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Advice and Information Service Client Charter

Find out how our information and advice service aims to give the people who contact them the advice and support that they need.

Mencap's Learning Disability Helpline and Information and Advice Service provides free, confidential and impartial advice to people with a learning disability , their families, carers and supporters.

People with a learning disability currently face many challenges in areas such as social care , health, welfare benefits and housing, which means there is a high demand for our service.

We have thought carefully about what we offer the people who contact us to make sure that we can respond to as many people who need our advice as possible.

Our offer

The Learning Disability Helpline responds to enquiries by phone (0808 808 1111), email (helpline@mencap.org.uk), webform and letter. 

We will respond to your original enquiry within 15 working days.

If, after an initial discussion, we believe you need tailored advice, we will arrange a time at a later date to discuss your case with our Learning Disability Caseworkers.

What we do

We respond to your enquiries about issues facing people with a learning disability, their families and carers in the following ways.

We may be able to answer your query immediately, or we may signpost you to a piece of advice or organisation that could answer your query. We may provide you with a factsheet. 

We may require more information to assess your situation further, this may be requested by email or a phone call.

After we have assessed your situation we will provide you with relevant information, advice or casework.

Our key areas of advice are:

  • Social/ Community  Care
  • Welfare Benefits
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Energy and Money

We may be able to offer advice in other key areas. We will clearly let you know whether we have the expertise or capacity to take on your case.

What we do not do

We do not advise on every area of advice, and we only advise people with a learning disability, their families and carers, so we may not always be the best people to answer your enquiry. If this is the case, we can usually inform you of the most appropriate service or organisation for you.

In some situations we may be working with an external organisation who are better able to help you and with your agreement we will let you know how to refer yourself to them, or with your consent we will make a referral on your behalf.

Aims of Mencap's Learning Disability Helpline and Information and Advice Service

Empower

We want to make sure that people with a learning disability, their families and carers know their rights and have the information to allow them to exercise those rights and to make informed decisions. Whilst we encourage people to do things for themselves if they feel able, we are also able to support and guide people and to do things on their behalf if it is appropriate. 

Advice and guidance

We want to make sure that people have the advice, support and guidance available to assist them in navigating complex situations. 

We will do this by signposting, providing advice and information and, where appropriate, casework support.

Challenge

We will gather anonymised data about the advice we provide and use that data to monitor trends and to influence locally and nationally to improve the lives of people with a learning disability.

From time to time we may need to use real life examples as case studies. We will never do this without your explicit agreement. 

If you want to be considered as a possible case study please let your adviser or caseworker know.

How we will deliver our aims

Provide an excellent service to people with a learning disability, their families and carers

We will:

  • reply to emails, online forms and letters within 15 working days
  • answer the telephone quickly, 30 seconds wherever possible
  • introduce ourselves when answering the telephone
  • use plain English in all written communication but, can offer advice, information and casework in a range of community languages 
  • be polite, courteous and helpful.

Provide information and advice you can trust

We will:

  • make sure that our staff and volunteers have the right support and training they need to provide timely and accurate information, advice and casework
  • give all our staff and volunteers regular training in keeping your personal data secure
  • give all our staff and volunteers regular training in keeping people safe 
  • be clear about what steps we can take and what steps we would like you to take to progress your enquiry
  • ensure all our staff and volunteers have appropriate checks performed by the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Continually improving our service to you

We will:

  • work to involve our users in developing our service
  • monitor our performance using the data we collect; we will include feedback and evaluation 
  • review the feedback we receive to drive improvements to the service
  • use clear procedures, which are regularly reviewed, to help ensure everyone receives an excellent service.

Complaints procedure

Mencap is committed to providing a high quality service to all our clients and service users.

If you have a complaint, we need you to tell us about it. You can find out more about how to make a complaint here.

Access to your records

Under General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) you have the right to obtain a copy of your personal data as well as other supplementary information.

If you would like to see a copy of your records please ask a member of the team who will supply you with a copy of the Privacy Policy and process your request.

Do you have a question for us?

If you have a question that you would like us to answer, complete the contact form and one of our advisors will get in touch with you shortly.

Get in touch now

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The Mencap helpline is a member of Advice UK in England.

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