Mencap's information and advice service provides free, confidential and impartial advice to people with a learning disability, their families, carers and supporters.

This group of people currently face many challenges in areas such as social care, health, welfare benefits and education, which means there is a high demand for our service.

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

Our offer

The Learning Disability Helpline responds to enquiries by phone, email, webform and letter. 

We will respond to your enquiry within 5 working days.

If, after an initial discussion, we believe you need tailored advice, we may arrange a time at a later date to discuss your care with our information and advice officers.

We will always try to prioritise your call when we think that your situation needs a quicker response.

What we do

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

  • we have a one-off call to understand your needs
  • we provide factsheets, precedent letters and details of organisations who can assist you with the issues you are contacting us about
  • if your situation relates to community care, welfare benefits, making decisions under the Mental Capacity Act or health care and your family member is detained in or at risk of admission to an assessment and treatment unit, and we believe you need more ongoing support resolve the situation because of your personal situation, then we will provide up to 5 phone and/or email contacts to assist you to work towards an agreed outcome.
  • where appropriate, and were there is capacity in the service to do so, we will help you to secure legal advice.

Aims of Mencap's information and advice service


We want to make sure that people with social care needs, their families and carers know their rights and know when to get advice to help with any problems they face.

Support and enforce

We want to make sure that people have the support available to assist them in navigating these complex situations. 

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


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

How we will deliver our aims

Provide good customer service

We will:

  • reply to emails, webforms and letters within 5 working days
  • answer the telephone quickly, within 5 rings wherever possible
  • give our name when answering the telephone
  • use plain English in all written communication
  • be polite, courteous and helpful, and show every customer respect.

Provide information and advice you can trust

We will:

  • make sure that your staff and volunteers have the right support and training they need to provide helpful and accurate information and advice
  • give all our staff and volunteers regular training in keeping your personal data secure
  • ensure all our staff and volunteers have appropriate checks performed by the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Keeping improving our service to you

We will:

  • work to involve our users in developing our service
  • monitor our performance using the data we collect, feedback and evaluation surveys
  • act on the feedback we receive
  • make use of clear procedures, which are regularly reviewed, to help ensure everyone receives a good 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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