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Good News and Testimonials

Learning Disability Week

June 2022

For Learning Disability Week in June 2022 members and leaders took over our social media pages and each tried to show everyone what they liked about the group. They even did various recordings which was played on our local radio station Rutland and Stamford Sound the following week. To hear what they said please press the play button below.

Rosie's Radio Interview

February 2020

To help us raise funds to hire a minibus several times in 2020 Rosie took part in an interview.

To listen to this interview please click on the button below

Out of Hours Club Rutland Volunteer from Oakham given 

British Empire Medal in Queen's New Year's Honours List

Published: 31st December 2020 in The London Gazette

Published: January 2020 in Rutland and Stamford Mercury

An enthusiastic volunteer from Oakham has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community.

Jacqui Darlington has played an important role in improving the lives of more than 40 adults with additional needs living in the county. Six years ago Jacqui set up the Out of Hours Club after realising that once young people turn 18 support decreases and out of hours help stops. The group enables people over 18 with additional needs to enjoy ‘grown up’ activities and learn to behave appropriately in adult situations, use public transport, handle money and interact.

Jacqui, an ambassador for Carers UK, said: “I’ve got a special needs son myself and I’m not happy with him just watching TV or playing video games when he comes home. That’s where it started from. “I conversed with other parent carers who were fed up of seeing this situation.”

Jacqui left her job at a nursery in 2012 to become a full-time carer for her son Joshua. “Because I gave up working to do this I became isolated and lonely and had lost all my friendships I had,” she said.

Jacqui co-ordinates activities for the group as well as transporting members around, which gives other parent carers a break.

She has also been on the board of Rutland Healthwatch since 2015 to provide a voice for people with additional needs and is now the vice-chairman.

Jacqui, who found out about the award in November, has struggled keeping it quiet. The 60-year-old said: “It’s been so hard as I want to cheer people up. At the moment everyone is so down with people not able to do what they want so I want to say ‘guess what I’m getting?’.” She added: “A whole range of emotions went though me when I read the e-mail. I had to read it twice as I didn’t understand and was thinking it’s a scam.”

I thought Google Meet OHCR session was really good and 

wish my daughter would join in more, the quiz is a good idea. 

My daughter and I do struggle a bit with everyone flashing on and off though, so I think this may be what puts her off a bit plus making the effort.

Please tell the leader I thought she was excellent. 

 Such a great communicator online and found something

 to say to each individual along with running the quiz. 

  Well done! 

Parent - November 2020

I’m very sorry that my son isn’t joining in on the Google Teams meeting - he absolutely refuses even though he enjoyed it the first time! 

I’ll keep trying but wanted to let you know how grateful we are to you and your team for what you do.

Parent - November 2020

I'd like to say that it's been an absolute pleasure having  

all the Out of Hours Club Rutland Members here,  

to see how much the group has grown and

developed into what it is now has been an absolute joy.

I know you won’t need it, but here's wishing you all the 

luck in the future as the group, I'm sure, 

will grow from strength to strength.

It's been an honour and a joy to play even 

my little part in the group. Cheers!

Shaun Jackson - Former Landlord of The Railway Inn Oakham Rutland 

November 2020

Out of Hours Club Rutland Gets Young Adults with 

Learning Difficulties Socialising Online

Published: August 2020 in Rutland Times and can be found on the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation Website

Out of Hours Club Rutland (OHCR) is a social group for young adults with additional needs and learning difficulties. Before lockdown, OHCR’s members met regularly to enjoy a range of fun activities such as going to the pub, cinema and theatre trips, bowling and days out. These outings, supported by age appropriate personal assistants, encouraged independence and alleviated isolation. Many members would not have had a social life at all without OCHR.

The members were very adversely affected by the lockdown. Being unable to get out had a negative impact on them and their families. However, with a £1,300 emergency grant from the Community Foundation they have been able to change the way they ‘get together’ by socialising online.

The emergency grant, which was made up of funding from the National Emergencies Trust and private donations, has allowed the group to purchase a number of tablet devices for members of the group without access to a suitable platform for online video calls. These were delivered safely, and with help from their families, and remote support, the group is now able to meet online for virtual catchups and games sessions.

Jacqui Darlington, Staff Member and Secretary of Out of Hours said: “One thing I was conscious of when we started Out of Hours, is that the young people in the group only went out with their parents. They were never going out with young adults their own age or making friends and we wanted to help to change that.

“I have personally taught both the members with learning difficulties and their parents to use these tablets via phone and video call, so that they can easily get involved in our online group meetings. It’s nice that many of these young people can join in, or they can just listen in and gain confidence from interaction with others of their own age group.

“Once we are out of lockdown, we will be adding virtual meetings into our usual schedule of physical meetings to continue to develop and hone the technical skills of members with the tablets. We feel that having a mix of meeting types, along with the obvious benefit of more social time will be very useful for everyone.

“The application for funding was very quick and straightforward, and it’s been extremely well received and well used. Our members need a lot of support to stay happy and positive and the grant helped us to give that support.” 

Due to the Covid19 Lock Down we are now having

Virtual Catch-ups and Games Sessions from our own homes.


Below is what some people had to 

say about the new sessions and about the 

electronic device that some members have received.

Our son has been so isolated but this tablet will help him to feel part of the group again.

Parent - July 2020


Thank you so much for the tablet.  

You have no idea how much this will mean to my sister.

Sibling - July 2020


Great now I can see everyone which I can't on my phone.

Member - July 2020


I know my son really looks forward to the group meetings. 

Seeing everyone and reconnecting albeit virtually is helping 

his emotional and mental well being. 

Thank you OHCR  ❤

Parent - May 2020

The High Sheriff of Rutland has handed out cheques to 14 charitable organisations in the county including Out of Hours Club Rutland

Published: 16:00, 22 March 2020 

The High Sheriff Margaret Miles hosted an event at Oakham Castle on Thursday last week to thank those who work for charities for giving their time, energy and patience to those in need. She also thanked those who had given so generously during her year in the role.

Mrs Miles said: “I have been so impressed by the hard work, dedication and time that so many give to help their fellow citizens. It has been a truly humbling experience for me to meet these people.

“During the evening we heard a few words about each charity, and several presented their own short videos to illustrate their activities.

Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation co-hosted the event with the High Sheriff. Their president of trustees, Sir Laurence Howard gave an address explaining the work of the Community Foundation which helps to support a number of often ‘unsung unseen’ charities in the area.

The evening was attended by 120 people, with more than 40 charitable organisations being represented. Guests enjoyed tea and cake on arrival and drinks after the presentations, giving them plenty of opportunity to talk with one another and make helpful connections.

Mrs Miles said: “It was a real delight, at the end of the evening, to see people from different charities meeting one another and sharing ideas and ambitions. Our county is full of so many generous and warm-hearted people who give their time and energy to support those in need.”

Below are a few things that was said about our 5th Anniversary

I cannot believe that the group has been going for 5 years!

I remember when there was only 3 members going and look at it now.

Thank you so much for having the foresight to start the group and for 

continuing to run it even when things got difficult.

Parent Carer - January 2020


This is a great party.  I have joined at the right time.

Happy 5th Anniversary

Member - January 2020


What a fabulous group!

Congratulations on your 5th anniversary

Parent Carer - January 2020


I am so pleased that I have been able to make it.  

I have missed seeing everyone.

Leader - January 2020


There were so many people saying that this group would not survive 

but look at it now! Happy 5th Anniversary

Parent Carer - January 2020


Since joining Out of hours club C’s confidence has blossomed - he struggles with 

social situations so going out with his peers in a supported environment has been 

such a positive experience for him. 

He always looks forward to the next meeting and has them all written up on his 

calendar - he is very impressed as I am with all the photos and videos of the sessions. 

These help to remind him of where he has been and also the rest of his family can see 

them and talk about what he’s been doing - he doesn’t always 

tell us what he does on a day to day basis. 

He doesn’t make friends as you or I would but really loves meeting people and is always 

happy to go to new places with the support of the fantastic staff and volunteers. 

Without the club he wouldn’t have the opportunities that other people his age take for granted. 

He can now talk to his brother about going to the pub or 

cinema and it’s really helped those relationships too. 

Having staff and volunteers his own age offers such positive role models and 

he has developed really strong relationships with all the staff and volunteers. 

Carer - January 2020

This is what some of our members said about the activities and the group

  • Sam said, "It was very brilliant to be honest. We went to the bowling at Kettering. Everyone had lots of fun. There was a lot of us there. It was a good environment and we all ate well and had a lot of fun".  

  • Edward said, "We had a fantastic time. Trust everyone. Trust their game and I do like going to the pub for a beer and to play snooker".  

  • Abbie said, "Out of Hours is brilliant, I love it ... every bit of it really but sometimes I don’t like the eating part, but I am getting better with that".

  • Joshua said, "Yes, Out of Hours and basketball … they are good!"  

4 Memb​er's Views - October 2019

Members and Leaders of the Out of Hours Club Rutland spoke about how they felt going to see Annie the Musical at the Birmingham Hippodrome in August and what they would be doing or not doing if they did not join in some of the activities offered  by the Out of Hours Club Rutland. 


To hear what was said, please click on the button below 


Thank you so much, Out of Hours Club Rutland, 

for hosting us at your Games and Pool night at The Railway Pub, Oakham. 

We all very much enjoyed meeting some of the members and leaders of OHCR. 

It was great to attend your event and see first-hand the positive impact that your inspirational 

charity has on the lives of the young people, fostering new friendships, hobbies and pastimes. 

It was really magical to see. 

Jacqui and the OHCR, you should be very proud  of the truly inspirational work that you do.

Danielle Garrity, Member of the Women in Philanthropy  Steering Group - August 2019

Jacqui, you are such a driving force for good! 

Thank you. We all enjoyed our visit to OHCR and 

meeting other committee members and the young people. 

I think it is such a valuable service you all provide for an age group that is 

often forgotten.... once children with special needs reach the age of 18 

they can still have real needs but because they are ‘adult’ 

these may not be as easily routinely met. 

The club is a way of celebrating their maturity but doing so 

in a way which protects, and respects vulnerabilities.

Please will you pass on my thanks to all your committee.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Sarah Furness PhD - August 2019

At our Pub, Pool, Games and Chippy Night in August, 

we had a visit from 

The Lord LieutenantThe Women in Philanthropy and

The Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation

Out and About with Out of Hours Club Rutland 

With the launch of a new funding opportunity in Rutland we applied to the Healthy Rutland Grant Scheme which is funded by Public Health Grant and the Better Care Fund and was successful in getting the full amount of the grant in June 2019.

We needed this funding to pay for an extra age appropriate leader when going on trips out to support the growing number of young adults with additional needs and disabilities to break the cycle of isolation that they were in and due to living in such a rural part of the country we also needed transportation.

It is really important for the members of Out of Hours Club Rutland to develop social skills not only locally but also with the wider community supported by age appropriate leaders and we are grateful that this was recognised by the Healthy Rutland Grant Scheme committee.  

Thank you!

Cheque Presentation

On 6th June 2019 following our Pub, Pool and Games session at the Railway Inn in Oakham Joshua Reid Savage presented us with a cheque for over £300 which was raised when Minnie Mouse went travelling around the East Midlands and there is still more donations to come!

Thank you everyone who have supported OHCR and Minnie Mouse (Joshua) and for those who still wishes to donate to us you can either use the PayPal method via or please contact us by completing the form on on our contact page here.

Minnie Mouse adventure for 

Out of Hours Club Rutland

On Saturday 11th May 2019 intrepid fundraiser Joshua Reid Savage completed a nine-hour sponsored journey for Out of Hours Club Rutland (OHCR) silence and dressed as Minnie Mouse.

Twenty-seven-year-old Joshua, who has a learning disability, is a volunteer at OHCR and used public transport to travel from Oakham to Warsop via Melton, Nottingham and Mansfield, clad in the cartoon character costume.

Joshua, who was accompanied on his travels by OHCR leader Sophie Gray, not only wanted to raise funds for the group but to experience some of what the other members deal with every day. For example, OHCR members have a variety of disabilities and needs from Down's syndrome, autism, anxiety and mental health issues to hearing-impaired, sight-impaired, unable to speak and mobility issues.

Joshua, from Oakham, shares the ups and downs of his adventure with Oakham Nub News which can be found by clicking here

•Great to meet up

•Playing board games


•Meeting others that are ‘similar’ to me

Members' Views -  AGM April 2019

•Even though we all have a disability 

we are all treated equally

•We are not separated into different 

rooms e.g. all with learning disability 

in this room and all with autism in another

•We are all together doing things together

Volunteers' Views - AGM April 2019

•Great to be able to send our young adults out to 

do something with others.

•I can see the difference that the group has 

made to my young adults confidence

Parents/Carers' Views - AGM April 2019

Mayor of Oakham Adam Lowe and 

His Wife Julie's ​Civic Reception at Oakham Castle

Some of Out of Hours Club Rutland members attended this event 

where we were not only presented with a cheque for £1000 but 

Jacqui Darlington our Founder and Secretary received a plaque in recognition for all the voluntary work she does for  

Out of Hours Club Rutland and for Carers in and around the 

County of Rutland.


"An evening of thanks to volunteers was organised by Adam Lowe, the Oakham Mayor, and his wife Julie. It was great to celebrate so many who help make Rutland the great place it is. And a special thanks to Adam Lowe for all he has done for our community!"

Building a Stronger Community:

Out of Hours Club Rutland Celebrates Aviva Funding

In 2018 we applied for funding from the Aviva Community Fund and in February 2019 our application was very successful and we were given 

funding to pay for the members to ‘Let’s Get Out and About’ 

project in the Health and Wellbeing category.

The funds awarded from the Aviva Community Fund will be used to support young adults with additional needs and disabilities to break the cycle of isolation and ‘to get out and about’ by paying for the age appropriate Leaders needed to support the members of the group, subsidise entrance fees into the theatres and other activities and transportation to various events.

We competed with over 3000 community projects around the UK to receive the funding as part of the Aviva Community Fund 2018 and although we did not manage to get what we had asked for or to be the overall winner we were a ‘Judge’s Choice Winner’.

Over 4 million votes were placed this year, with over 

2,000 local projects benefiting from the funding since the 

Aviva Community Fund was established.

Thank you to everyone that voted for us. Your vote was greatly appreciated.

Rutland and Market Harborough Living January 2019

Click above to read the article printed in the Rutland and Market Harborough Living January 2019

Leader's Funding Request Granted

Many organisations and charities do not and will not 

give grants to pay wages, and yet the 

Out of Hours Club Rutland cannot operate without 

paid Leaders who are needed to support our

 members to become more independent and 

less dependent on their families and carers 

whilst doing activities that they have chosen to do.

However, in January 2019 our application to the  

Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation for 

funding to pay for 3 experienced Leaders was successful. 

We were given enough funds to pay for 3 Leaders to 

support our members 3 times a month.

Thank you Leicestershire and 

Rutland Community Foundation

That’s a great video on your home page!!

I will show this to some of our other service users as it might help them understand what you do – and they might like to come along!

Manager of a Supported Living Household - October 2018

I've just watched your preview video with my mum. 

Just wanted to let you know that it’s so inspirational and 

lovely what you’ve done with it! If you ever need any 

help or support with anything, let me know 😁

Sister of a Member - October 2018

Thanks again, he’s looking forward to it as ever. 

think this is such a brilliant project and it’s a fantastic 

opportunity for C to try out a bit more independence.

Parent/Carer - October 2018

Thanks for funding from Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation we were able to create the film on our home page which consists of the five video clips below


Member's View

Leader and Volunteer's Views

Parents & Carer's View

Landlord at The Railway Inn's View

Support for ​Charity Tombola

On Saturday, July 21, the Mayor of Oakham Adam Lowe helped raise funds for his nominated charity Out of Hours Club Rutland.

A tombola, which was sponsored by builders’ merchant William Hercocks Ltd, was a great success.

Adam said: “I would like to thank William Hercocks, all those donated prizes and more importantly the wonderful generosity that was shown on the day by everyone who bought a ticket or two. We raised more than £150, all of which will go to OCHR". 

The stall which was set up by Councillor Lowe with the kind permission of Josh Hanbury, the Lord of the Manor. It was run with the help of volunteers from OHCR. Edward was there the whole morning with Joshua and Jacqui,chairman of the Out of Hours Club. 

Adam added: “During the morning Gianno took an opportunity to wear the Mayor’s chain of office for a brief spell, I needed his help to be my stand-in”.

“Huge appreciation to Hana, who presented one of the tombola prizes she had made and donated to the stall, to one of the many lucky winners on the day”. 

Printed in the Rutland Times on Thursday 2nd August 2018 in their Your News Section

The Wolf Run

On 3rd June 2018 Rosie, a volunteer with the Out of Hours Club Rutland, took part in The Wolf Run which is a VERY muddy 10km extreme obstacle course and raised £160 for us.

Thank you so much Rosie - the funds will be used towards funding future activities.

A Coach Trip to See How

The Harry Potter Films Were Made

In May 2018 we were very successful in our application to get funding to pay for a coach and driver to take the Out of Hours Club Rutland Members to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter in August 2018.

We are all very pleased to have been awarded this grant as it makes what would have been a very difficult journey for majority of our members (who would have had to take 2 trains, 1 tube and a bus ride) so much easier and less stressful for all involved. Also the members will be able have an experience with their peers and friends that many of them may not have been able to have without transportation being provided, which in turn will reduce the isolation that many of them feel.

Thank you Players of The Big Lottery Fund.

Members of Out of Hours Club 

were recognised for outstanding achievements  

In March 2018 young people were the focus of a special award ceremony at Rutland County Museum, celebrating outstanding achievement and services to their local community. The annual Rutland Young People’s Awards are hosted by Rutland Youth Council (RYC) and aim to recognise and reward individual achievements among 21 children and young people aged 11 and over from across the County.

TheOut ofHours Club Rutlandmembers that were nominated in this event were:- 

Alex for Overcoming Adversity and  
Sophie for being a Disabled Young Person's Champion

Read more at: or on

This is what some of our members have said about the 

Cinema Group in a recent presentation at the

Rutland Youth Council Award Ceremony March 2018

•I enjoy the Cinema Group as we have fun have a laugh and have made friends

• The Cinema Group is fantastic because we go every month to see a different film

• I love popcorn, socialising in the car, the movies and 

the reclining chairs

• I really like going as it allows me to spend time with friends socialising as well as watching the latest films

OHCR Members - March 2018

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