RAP Appeal for Volunteers

Saturday 8 June 2019 - Filed under Events

Please spread the word if you know anyone who might be interested – or consider volunteering yourself! Coming hard on the heels of our 25th anniversary, it would be a great shame if RAP were to fade away after all these years.

Margaret Cawthorne R.I.P.

Wednesday 29 May 2019 - Filed under Events

We were very saddened by the loss of Margaret, our longest standing member and one of the most enthusiastic. Jerry prepared and read out a tribute, which is reproduced below.

Margaret Cawthorne

1946 – 2019

I first met Margaret in February 2001 when I started volunteering with Ripon Activity Project, known as RAP. She started coming to Ripon Gateway Club, now called Ark Ripon, not long after that when she was able to get a lift from the Evason family who were then living at Marton cum Grafton. Ark and RAP are both clubs for adults with learning disabilities.

Margaret was a key member of both clubs and kept us on the straight and narrow. She liked to organise things and boss us about a bit. She was a very committed Committee member for both groups and the Vice Chair of RAP for many years, keeping me on the straight and narrow. She wrote comprehensive reports for the AGM and took a very active part in Committee meetings, certainly not hesitating in having her say. After she stood down from the Committee I think our meetings were half an hour shorter ! She was always making suggestions and came up with some good ideas often in her frequent phone calls ! Probably her best idea was to hold a Talent Competition. We’ve been doing this each year since 2006, formerly at our Christmas meeting but nowadays with our AGM in October. We invite the Mayors of Boroughbridge, Pateley and Ripon who come along and do the scoring, a bit like ‘Strictly’, but with us they just hold up score cards. The trophy is named the ‘Margaret Cawthorne Talent Competition Trophy’ as it was Margaret who came up with the idea. The first trophy was made of a ceramic plaque which Margaret had made which was mounted on a wooden shield, Unfortunately, it was dropped at a winners’ house and the plaque shattered; we now have a wooden one made by Jennyruth Workshops which can bounce. Margaret would eagerly take part in the competition, known as ‘RAPz Got Talent’, and would recite her fantastic poems. “Rose with the snotty nose” was a favourite which she spoke in a strong Yorkshire accent, (excuse my southern try). Margaret was the first winner of the competition and won it 3 times. She was delighted to see it mentioned in the Ripon Gazette in the Mayors reports and in other articles which I submitted.

Margaret enjoyed other activities including bingo, organising raffles and taking part and writing quizzes. She also enjoyed craft activities and when I invited members to bring along some of their craft work for the RAP AGM to show the Mayors, Margaret could always be relied upon to bring a basket full of various items for display. In fact she was often the only one to bring anything and brought plenty for all.

Margaret especially enjoyed our summer outings where we went to places like Whitby and Beamish. She also enjoyed our annual trips to the Ripon Charity Panto.

I mentioned Margaret and her poetry. She was a member of a Ripon Scribes and I remember seeing a booklet which contained some of her poems.

Not only was she a published poet, but Margaret was also a competition winning photographer. In 2003 Mencap launched an annual photography competition called ‘Snap !’ which is still being held. In its first year Margaret was one of the winners with a photo taken of her brother Graham asleep in his chair. The photo was in a booklet, sadly I can’t find my copy, and it was displayed with all the other winners (about 30 I think) in the world-famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Isobel Wilson, the former Chair of Ripon Gateway Club, took Margaret to London by train to see the exhibition – that must have been a real treat. They actually travelled down twice because the first time was the day of the London bombings and they only got as far as Peterborough and had to return home. I think they stopped somewhere for fish and chips.

We will all miss Margaret with her great sense of humour. It has been a real pleasure to have known her. She was a lovely lady and we will miss her.

Rest in Peace, Margaret.

By Jerry Anderson 26 May 2019

Margaret loved to write poetry and won our annual talent show several times with her dialect verses. The show was Margaret’s idea and her name will be remembered each year when the winner receives the Margaret Cawthorne trophy.

Here is one of Margaret’s winning poems, always delivered in her own unmistakeable style and reproduced with the permission of her sister Marion.

Rest in Peace, Margaret. We shall miss you very much.

A proud moment for Jerry and Carole

Friday 17 May 2019 - Filed under Events

Chairman Jerry and his lovely wife Carole were very honoured last October in winning a Volunteer Oscar for their charity work. As a result of that, they were nominated by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire to attend a Royal Garden Party in Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, 15th May.

It was a very special day for them and they would like to thank all their fellow volunteers, past and present, for their support.

HRH Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were also in attendance.

The food looks scrumptious!

RAP is 25!

Saturday 11 May 2019 - Filed under Events


Founded in 1994, RAP has just reached its Silver Anniversary and we celebrated in style this morning.

The celebration cakes were made for us by Sue and there was plenty of other delicious food as well, savoury nibbles and a big coffee cake from Danielle. Thank you!

There was a craft activity to begin with, but the room became fuller and fuller as honoured guests and former volunteers crowded in to join us. We were delighted to see them all.

Even local reporter Finola Fitzpatrick and photographer Gerard Binks came to see what we were up to. We’ll look forward to seeing ourselves in the Ripon Gazette next week!

We were making coasters from old CDS.

It was quite a sticky business but fun.

Some patience required though.

Jerry had worked tirelessly to create a display of past activities.

The Music Men entertained us.

We each received a souvenir magnet made specially for us by the Jennyruth workshop, at which some of us are employed. Its website is

11th May 2019
Ripon Activity Project 25th Anniversary event.
Pictured big group shot of people attending
Picture Gerard Binks

This wonderful group photo (taken by Gerard Binks for the Ripon Gazette) is certainly one to cherish.

Finally Jerry thanked everyone for attending and WE THANKED HIM for everything he does for RAP all year round.

Ten Pin Bowling

Saturday 13 April 2019 - Filed under Events

We all enjoyed our morning in Clifton Moor. Getting started is much easier now that shoes no longer need to be changed.

Competition between members, carers and volunteers was fierce, but Louise emerged as the winner and was presented with the trophy by Jerry. Once her name has been added, it will be hers to keep for a year. Matthew was a very worthy runner up.


January 2019

Saturday 12 January 2019 - Filed under Events


Not all our regular volunteers were unable to join us today, but Jerry and Carole helped us to make 2019 calendars and hold a Boccia tournament, which Matthew won.

Christmas Party 2018

Sunday 9 December 2018 - Filed under Events

As with most of our meetings, we began with a craft session devised and organised by Sue, (who also brought us some delicious pastries to eat with our tea or coffee). This time, we were making baubles to hang on our Christmas trees.

Coating red and green plastic balls with glue, covering them in scraps of fabric and then rolling them in glitter was a sticky business, but we all enjoyed it.

The baubles turned out very well and dried off in time for us to take them home.

There was an opportunity to chill out for a while too.

We were delighted that the Mayor of Ripon, Councillor Pauline McHardy, was able to join us for most of the morning. Here she is with Jerry and Matthew in his Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer outfit.

Maggie, who takes most of the photographs for our website and therefore is rarely in them, was almost as colourful in her Christmas jumper!

Another good friend to RAP, Joy Rayden, played her guitar for us and led the singing of some well known carols.

Jerry had had the names of our talent show winners engraved on the trophy and our Mayor and her consort, Councillor Eamon Parkin, were happy to present it to Ben, Bethany, Rebekah and Matthew.

In a big (and very welcome) surprise at the end, we were each given a box of chocolates to take home. Thank you very much, Madam Mayor! (Jerry has kept some for those members who had to leave the party early and will hand them over at the earliest opportunity.)