My mother Doreen had my brother John in 1958 in Wales, where unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of provision made for children with special needs. So my mum moved, as a single parent, to England to give John more opportunities.

From what I have been told, my mother was introduced to Mencap through a training centre that my brother attended as a teenager. She always asked them for advice on John’s rights, as well as her own rights as a parent.

She’d cared for John full time at home until recently, when it became apparent as a pensioner she was struggling, so we were very lucky to find John a house with excellent supported living. He’s really thriving in his new environment. Mencap also gave us a lot of valuable advice on how to make the transition easier for us all, which helped a lot.

Recently, I had to get in contact with the Mencap legal team for advice about night care for my brother. The legalities are complex and seem to be constantly changing – I was just glad that someone could help steer me in the right direction. Without Mencap, I wouldn’t have known how to stand up for John’s right to night care.

To us as a family, Mencap have been a safety net that has provided us with answers and support that we struggled to find elsewhere. We are very grateful for that, it’s been a comfort to us all as a family, knowing someone is there to listen no matter how small. I have done several runs and my donations have always gone to Mencap, it just seems to be our family charity.

Sadly, my mother recently passed away. As she never really was a flower person, it just seemed fitting that we asked for donations instead. She would have loved the idea, as her life was with John, and with Mencap supporting her when she needed it. We simply put donation envelopes in the order of service cards - today I counted the donations and we raised £100.

A cheque will be going in the post tomorrow for the amount collected in memory of Doreen Lewis, my mother. 

Making a donation to Mencap in memory of a loved one is a special way to remember them. Find out more here.