The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which began in March 2020, has overshadowed the work of Royal Mencap Society in the last year.
We are immensely grateful to colleagues and volunteers throughout the organisation. They have responded to the challenge of coronavirus magnificently, tirelessly and with great personal sacrifice to make sure that people with a learning disability continue to get the support they need.
Despite the challenges, it was a positive year for Mencap.
All of our services have remained open, redeploying colleagues as needed and recruiting hundreds of new support workers to cover for those who are self isolating or unwell.
The helpline extended its opening hours from 30 to 50 hours a week in order to handle the number of urgent and complex queries since coronavirus began. This work was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care.
We created accessible information for people with a learning disability about how to stay safe, how to follow government guidelines and what to do if you became unwell.
We adapted our employment services to a virtual classroom where possible, and have continued to support 98 supported interns, as well as 161 learners on Employ Me programmes and 296 participants in Northern Ireland.
We worked closely with London Marathon Events and Virgin Money to make the most of our special moment in the run up to the Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon and on 40th Race Day on the 4 October 2020. Despite the challenges, our partnership was Virgin Money’s most successful charity partnership to date, and Virgin Money colleagues raised over £470,000 for Mencap.