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 the 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 (0808 808 1111), email (, 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 may arrange a time at a later date to discuss your case with our information and advice officers.

What we do

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

We may be able to answer your query immediately by providing you with a factsheet.

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

After we have assessed your situation we will provide you with relevant information and advice.

Our key areas of advice are:

  • community care
  • welfare benefits
  • the Mental Capacity Act
  • healthcare

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, so may not always be the best people to answer your query. If this is the case, we can usually inform you of the most appropriate service 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, occasionally we will make a referral on your behalf.

Aims of Mencap's information and advice service


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. We do not usually do things for people, we will guide people to do it for themselves. 

Support and guidance

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

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


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 know.

How we will deliver our aims

Provide excellent customer service

We will:

  • reply to emails, online forms and letters within 15 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 our staff and volunteers have the right support and training they need to provide timely 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.

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 from surveys
  • act on the feedback we receive
  • 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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