Are you up for a challenge in 2016?

Vietnam Challenge for Isabel Hospice 

Hot on the heels of returning from Iceland where as part of a team she trekked up a volcano and across glaciers and ice fields, Isabel Hospice Fundraising Co-ordinator, Jordan Russell, is putting the call out for adventurers to join the next overseas fundraising challenge for the local charity. 

“I’m really excited that we are able to put on two different versions of this Vietnam trek each one with its own challenges. One group are going to be trekking in the hill tribe region of Sapa, whilst another group will be scaling the highest point in Vietnam, Mount Fansipan. 

Both groups will really get the feel of the country during their time there and they will see some stunning scenery. However, this isn’t going to be a walk in the park! Both of the treks are described as challenging, with the trek up Mount Fansipan being the most difficult, however a good level of fitness and a positive attitude will go a long way for both. We are recruiting trekkers now for the 2016 challenge as each person will need to raise a minimum sponsorship, and so by starting sooner rather than later, this makes the fundraising easier.” 

If you would like to find out more go to or call Jordan on 01707 382500. 




24 September – 25 October




40 Works of Art Donated by Two Acclaimed Artists

Online Auction by Sworders

Art Competition Open to All


Grove Cottage, the home to Bishops Stortford Mencap is proud to be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.  As part of the celebrations, it is hosting a prestigious art exhibition, Animal Magic from 24 September – 9 October at the Rhodes Centre, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire with donations from two leading international artists Robert Dowling and Gerry Jones.  Their wonderful range of photographs and paintings of rare breeds and exotic animals will then go under the hammer via an online auction (that runs from 24 Sept -25 October), hosted by Sworders, the renowned fine art auctioneers.

Robert Dowling is the award-winning film director and photographer whose iconic images such as the Esso tiger, Lloyds Bank black horse and Jaguar’s jaguar have captured the public’s attention for years. His brother-in-law Gerry Jones’ striking paintings are inspired by his lifelong interest in the natural world and the stunning scenery, wildlife and vibrant colours of his travels.

Gerry Jones, said:  “Grove Cottage is a special charity which Robert and I are delighted to support; it is very well respected locally for its tremendous work supporting people with learning disabilities and their families. We hope that people will dig deep to bid online and help this fantastic little organisation – we wish it every success.”

Linked to the exhibition, Grove Cottage is holding an art competition during the summer inviting members of the public, particularly children to submit a painting, drawing or photograph of an animal.  Winners will see their pieces hang alongside the professional work in the Animal Magic exhibition and artists signed prints of their art will also be auctioned by Sworders.

Natalie Trapmore, fundraising at Grove Cottage, said: “We are thrilled to be able to host this exhibition and so grateful that Robert and Gerry, artists of such repute are so generously donating their exceptional art. We are really looking forward to seeing the works entered in the competition and adding to the already inspiring collection to auction. Our thanks go to the Rhodes Centre for hosting the Animal Magic exhibition and we’re also indebted to Sworders for hosting the online timed auction, such an effective online fundraising platform. All the proceeds will make a real difference to the families we support.”