How Mencap began

Seventy years ago, Judy Fryd – angered and frustrated by the lack of support and provision available to her daughter Felicity, who had a learning disability  –  wrote to Nursery World magazine asking that other parents of children with a learning disability reach out to her.

More than 1,000 parents responded and Judy went on to suggest they should all band together to plead their cause with the various health and education authorities. Here, Mencap was born.

Mencap today

Today, Mencap is a national organisation operating across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, leading and influencing change for the 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK.

In addition to Mencap, there are over 400 organisations working with us in communities across the UK, to respond to the local needs of people with a learning disability living there. One hundred and sixty-seven of these groups share our name as local Mencap groups;  all share the Mencap ancestry as well as our vision and values, while operating as independent charities with their own governance and strategy.

Who we are

The Mencap movement – both national and local – continues to work together to bring about change for people with a learning disability, while acknowledging the need for a degree of legal and organisational separation to be able to respond to specific local contexts.

We are a diverse group, from large-scale service providers, to small social groups who organise sport activities over the weekends, but we all share the same aim — to improve the lives of people with a learning disability and to increase the opportunities available to them in their local areas.

Find your local group

Whether you're looking for advice and support, learning disability services – or simply, somewhere to make friends, why not see what's available in your local area?

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Join the Mencap movement

The Mencap movement – both national and local - works together to bring about change for people with a learning disability.

If you're a learning disability group or organisation, that operates on a local-level, why not join our network?

If you're already part of our network, visit the Your Network site for more information.

Visit Your Network

If you're part of a learning disability group or organisation, that operates on a local-level, join the 420+ groups like your own, and you'll get access to:

  • our online community, where you can connect with your peers working for other local Mencap and learning disability organisations
  • excellent resources and best practice guides from Mencap to help you and your organisation develop
  • up-to-date learning disability information and policies
  • networking events, such as Big Day Out - an opportunity to connect with and learn from others
  • free workshops and training sessions
  • fortnightly e-newsletters and communications
  • support from the Your Network office - a dedicated membership team based in Peterborough
  • opportunities to collaborate
  • exclusive offers from Mencap
  • the Mencap brand with full membership
  • opportunities to promote your organisation, services or activities on Mencap’s digital channels.

Join us!

If you're a learning disability group or organisation, that operates on a local-level, why not join our network?

Join the Network
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Our vision, mission and values

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Mencap's history

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Our services

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