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March 18th, 2017 - Grippers are delighted to be chosen as the Gloucester Symphony Orchestra's charity this year. The Orchestra gave their first concert of the year in St Barnabas Church, Gloucester. It was an impressive programme of music with Rachmaninov's "Isle of the Dead" and D'Angelo's "The Angel of the Flowing Light" both inspired by images.

After the interval, we heard a full-bloodied broadside in the form of Bruckner's 4th Symphony to leave the audience inspired by a glorious echo from the high vaulted nave of St Barnabas. The warmth of the applause and smiling faces were a great tribute to the fantastic effort put in by conductor Glyn Oxley and every member of this great orchestra.

In the interval, Andrew Sabourin spoke eloquently about psychosis and the important work Grippers does in raising awareness as well as benefiting young Gloucestershire residents recovering from this horrible illness.

The retiring collection raised a spectacular £373.84 which will be boosted to £467.30 as this type of collection qualifies for Gift Aid. We are particularly touched that in addition to the response from the audience, many members of the Orchestra contributed very generously.

March 17th, 2017 - The village hall at Poulton was the perfect venue for this highly successful Murder Mystery evening. The packed audience was treated to the play "Murder in the Atomic Age" by the eight talented players from Purton.

During the interval the teams of sleuths started the process of eliminating people from their enquiries while enjoying an excellent curry supper followed by chocolate brownies. The second act was devoted to each suspect being interrogated and then the teams got down to finalising their answers, all aided by liquid refreshment from the bar.

The winning detectives, ably led by Virginia Mullan, came up on stage to receive their prizes and applause. Finally the Purton Amateur Dramatic Society were thanked warmly for their excellent and entertaining production.

As well as being a lot of fun we are delighted to announce that the evening raised over £1000 for Grippers.

January 2017 - After warming up with drinks and chat, we gathered to hear all about Rob Gardiner's latest exploit; travelling 3,600 miles across Southern Africa.

Accompanied by some excellent photos, we learned a lot about the different character and culture of the countries en route, from the poverty of Malawi to the relative prosperity of Botswana.

We were also drawn into the philosophy of cycling, particularly the way in which the bicycle brings the traveller so much closer to the local people and the landscape they occupy, while still covering long distances.

Inevitably, things don't always go to plan such as an early injury to Rob's companion and too close an encounter with a bull elephant. Over two months in the saddle, cycling fitness led to the ability and ambition to cover increasing distances each day, until the final dawn until dusk dash to be able to dive into the Indian Ocean.

To round the evening off after such a splendid talk, the audience was treated to a lovely meal and in addition, raised almost £800.

September 2016 - Grippers came into being in August 2006 and its fundraising started with a sponsored walk on October 29th 2006. Since then, over £80,000 has been raised to support young people recovering from psychosis. To celebrate this achievement, we gathered together on September 11th, 2016 to walk in very pleasantly warm sunshine in the glorious rolling countryside around Chedworth.

It was fitting that the group comprised a wide variety of supporters of the Charity; The Rambling Rabbits walking group, NHS staff from the GRIP team, carers and other supporters and a significant number of the people who have donated very generously since the charity was founded. The family atmosphere was rounded off by the presence of young children and some lively dogs. After the walk we enjoyed a lovely roast lunch in the Seven Tuns pub after which we were treated to a presentation of this year's sponsored outward bound course in Wales.

We saw how 9 service users in the recovery phase of their illness benefited from a wide variety of challenging activities which stretched them from their comfort zones and involved introducing them to new experiences, relying upon each other, teamwork, independence and judging by the smiles, a whole lot of fun.

The Trustees of Grippers thank all our supporters over the past 10 years. We are delighted by the level of continuing interest and financial support the charity attracts and we look forward to the next 10 years of activity.

September 2016 - The delightful St John's Methodist Church in Hereford provided a very attractive venue for this concert. In this dual celebration evening, Grippers was fortunate to celebrate its 10th year with the Hereford MIND team who were celebrating the opening of Hereford's purpose built 14-bedroom mental health recovery facility, Miller Court.

With nicely resonant acoustic, spacious dais and good lighting in the Church, the Quartet was able to enjoy a receptive audience. The concert started with the strong rhythmic Boyce Sinfonia from the Baroque period and continued with Engelbert Humperdinck's only complete string quartet. Spanning the Romantic and early 20th century periods, and known best for his charming opera Hansel and Gretel, Humperdinck's string writing is mostly tuneful and comfortable to play, though sometimes a little testing harmonically and rhythmically. Borodin's famous Nocturne, with yearning lyrical melodies contrasted. Last was Haydn's Op. 50, no.2 quartet. In firm Classical style, developed by Haydn himself, innovative syncopation and part-writing typified the composer's masterful intellect.

The interval gave members of both charities time to mingle over cups of coffee and tea and to examine details of building works on Miller Court and photos and reports from the Grippers archives up to the present day.

July 2016 - The entertainment by the 'Singing for Fun' choir and associates in South Cerney, on Saturday 9th July, was a clever combination of commemorative songs, readings and verse from World War I and Shakespeare.

South Cerney Village Hall was converted into a theatre and bar. Raffle prizes were drawn during the interval, providing suspense, fun and some lovely presents. It is with great gratitude that GRIPPERS received the gift of £900 funds raised.

November 2015 - The Strictly Ball was a sparkling evening - as close as you can get to the real 'Strictly'! The Centaur Building at Cheltenham Race Course looked splendid with marbled staging. Bill Turnbull, from the BBC ONE BREAKFAST programme, brought professionalism and wit as master of ceremonies.

Professional dancers and adjudicators did not spare the competitors detailed, if fair, criticism. This was after their own wonderful show when they demonstrated just how to dance! Welcome cocktails set the 190 guests off to a good start and dinner was both delicious and relaxing as there were demonstrations of the Jive and the Cha-cha-cha throughout.

Our grateful thanks go to all organisers and participants for their generosity in supporting the following charities: Grippers for psychosis, Home-Start for family support, The Nelson Trust for treatment of addiction, St Michael and All Angel's, Poulton and Diocese of Gloucester outreach work to foster a sense of community.

September 2015 - Eric Davis' climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro in September was a great success.There was a generous response by his sponsors and the Charity is very grateful for his support. More about this to come...
September 2015 - Becca and Oein completed a half marathon in support of Grippers. Well done and thank you to them. They did a wonderful job raising so much money for Grippers - a huge £837.50.

We know this was only possible with hard graft and therefore has a parallel with the determination needed for 'Recovery' in psychosis.

Becca says,"The run was on Sunday and went pretty well - we both made it across the finish line in good time, injury free and feeling pretty satisfied/relieved/exhausted! Here's a photo of us afterwards."

June 2015 - Mid-June and drizzle for the Grippers Sponsored Walk! Undeterred, 19 stalwarts strode out at 10am on a truly beautiful walk of 8 miles across the countryside to the north of the Garniche-Puesdown Inn (just off the A40 road, ten miles south-east of Cheltenham).

The route, through the villages of Hazleton and Turkdean, took the walkers across hills and dales amid stunning farmland; sometimes testing fitness and agility. The welcome by the Garniche-Puesdown Inn will be remembered with gratitude. The delicious lunch round the large table provided a good forum for discussion and sharing anecdotes and stories of recovery.

On 21st April, Grippers supporter par-excellence, Rob Gardiner, gave an entertaining talk with beautiful slides on his cycling adventures through China, North America and Cuba. Rob's talk highlighted adventures, and sometimes scrapes, which most of us would prefer not to think about!

For instance, sliding down a precipice at the side of the road in mountains in British Columbia. It was interesting being drawn into Rob's thoughts on the solitariness of travelling in unfrequented places abroad. His affirmation, that we humans do need each other, was seen in photos with his friends in North America. We all enjoyed lingering into the evening with a buffet meal to hand and with lots to talk about... The evening raised £465, which will go towards outward-bound projects in the near future.

January 2015 - The eight voices in the 'Joy of Song' concert given by OCTAVO delighted the audience in Poulton Church from start to finish. Smiling throughout, the choir entertained with both sacred and humorous songs dating from 16th century to 20th century.

The encore 'I'm a chucka train' by Albert Hammond gave us a good fast vehicle in which to travel home after the song 'Goodnight Sweetheart' and previous gems such as 'Bogoroditsye Dyevo' from the vespers by Rachmaninov and 'Sing Joyfully' by William Byrd.

Grippers is very grateful both to Octavo and Poulton Church for allowing us to collect a handsome figure to help the charity fund activities for those recovering from psychosis.

June 2014 - Beautiful weather on this Saturday afternoon in mid-June enabled the Grippers walkers to enjoy another highly successful walk, once again choosing the River Severn as an inspiring view to accompany the walkers throughout.

We started at The Red Lion pub at Arlingham, Gloucester, GL2 7JN - highly recommended for those who do not know it already and who like riverside walking. The visible 'goose-neck' loop of the river is attractive and beckons: and so it is that all eleven walkers finished this walk by lunch-time. The manager and staff of The Red Lion were very welcoming, taking food orders before the walk. Beers and hot food were ready for us and they joined in the spirit of our day with their generous donation. Sponsorship came to a grand total of £610.

February 2014 - The trustees are pleased to let you know that the Grippers coffee morning on Friday 28th February raised £601.19 for the charity.

This year, we are already committed to paying for equipment for the GRIP Women's Group (Gloucestershire Recovery In Psychosis) and for trips away for residents in three care homes for people in recovery in psychosis.

Thank you very much for your support.

October 2013 - The Grippers' Sponsored Walk on 27th October, 2013 was a great success! We all managed the 5 miles under quite tricky conditions in slippery, hilly, though very pretty, woods.

The last two miles were over a stretch of green fields and a lane which we sauntered down to our destination, the Daneway pub at Sapperton.

The sun shone through the woods and there was only a little rain to fight off!

Thank you very much to the walkers and to the sponsors. Without Grippers' help, psychosis sufferers would not be able to take part in a number of important activities.

August 2012 - This, our sixth Grippers' Sponsored Walk, was a success. Several hundred pounds were raised, thus ensuring continued financial support for activities for young adults during their recovery from psychosis.

The Charity T-shirts, with the rainbow emblem, perfectly represented the contrasting weather - the sun shone and the rain poured! A very British picnic was held under the shelter of a barn roof on Sandhurst Hill; the view of the golden fields a reminder of the glorious sun of the previous hour. From the barn, we slid down the muddy path onto Wainlode Hill. Dogs and buggies led the way! A short stop at the Red Lion pub on the banks of the River Severn gave us time to reflect on this site being perfect for viewing the Severn Bore. Our final trek to our vehicles at Norton Village Hall was over wet ground, but we departed happy.

February 2012 - The caller Fiona Jarvis ensured that she kept everyone on their toes for the Grippers' barn dance

This was great fun and very well supported, with Bailey's Beads provided lively music. Fund-raising was augmented by a raffle and an auction with interesting items, including a ride in a fast car at Castle Combe and also a signed Gloucester Rugby shirt.

October 2011 - About fifty people attended the very successful 'The Islay Whisky Trail' evening, which was kindly hosted by Andrew and Robina Sabourin.

Highlights included a fascinating talk about the whiskies, along with tastings and including lines from Robbie Burns and tunes on the bagpipes. We then had fabulous haggis, neeps and tatties prepared by Robina and finished the evening with some lovely pictures of Islay.

2008 - A sponsored cycle ride in the Forest of Dean.

This was a fruitful partnership between psychosis sufferers, Grippers charity members and friends when they combined to raise money.

2007 - The Charity soon became one of the Mayor's charities.

This was a highly productive year in which publicity was good and funds were boosted.

2006 - Grippers' Inaugral Sponsored Walk

Grippers' supporters took part in the charity's first sponsored walk. These walks have since become an annual event.