Buccaneers and scallywags waved the Jolly Roger and had fun walking the plank during ‘Talk Like A Pirate’ day at Highdowns, a rural service for people with learning disabilities near Camborne, Cornwall.
Service manager, Jenna Betts, said: “Today is ‘International Talk Like A Pirate Day’ so we’ve all given it a bit of the old heave-ho to plan a fun-filled pirate-themed day as a fundraiser in aid of MIND.
“We were ho-ho-hoping for a good turn-out, having invited quite a number of landlubbers – friends and family – to join us for the day, and we weren’t disappointed.
“Fancy dress was optional, but our service users love the excuse to dress up, so there have been a lot of eye-patches, pirate hats and skulls and cross-bones around today.
“And although we haven’t got any pieces of eight, we’ve had plenty of pieces of cake – Gilly, Simon, Donna and Ben have all been busy baking cakes to sell, and Douglas has made his Cornish speciality, heavy cake, which is delicious.”
MIND is Regard’s chosen national charity for 2016, with fundraising events being undertaken at Regard services throughout the UK all year long, featuring activities such as sponsored or fundraising barbecues, picnics, walks/runs, muddy obstacle courses, bake-offs, tombolas, charity days and auctions.
Nearly £3,000 has already been raised this year, and Highdowns’ pirate day just added another £32 to the total.
Jenna Betts said: “Regard’s staff and service users vote annually for a charity they wish to support, and the organisation matches every pound raised by the staff and service users with a pound from the corporate coffers.
“These kind of fundraising activities provide a sense of purpose for the people we support, as well as allowing them to connect to their community, make new friends, and develop their social skills.”
Highdowns is run by award-winning care provider Regard and is home to up to 14 people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and parallel complex needs.
The service occupies a 10-acre site, with service users living in four properties in the grounds, as well as a variety of animals which the individuals help care for, including sheep, ducks, rabbits, peacocks and hens.
The farm also has a polytunnel where people who live on the farm grow their own fruit and vegetables.
Regard is the UK’s fourth biggest private provider of supported living and specialist residential services in the UK for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and Acquired Brain Injury.
The organisation is due to open a new supported living service, Meadow View, just outside Redruth next year. After refurbishment the service will offer two roomy self-contained flats plus a main house with six large en-suite bedrooms, communal areas and extensive grounds.