Peter, Louise and Edward's younger sister Katy has Down's Syndrome and the family has benefitted from support from Mencap.
With Mencap’s help, their parents were put in contact with Special Needs Network UK, which helped them to meet and talk to other parents who were facing similar issues to the ones they had when bringing-up Katy. They also signposted them to activities aimed at children with special needs.
As Katy entered her teenage years she benefitted from a summer scheme run by Mencap which enabled her to go on daily outings and mix with other teenagers with a learning disability. While Katy was on this scheme, the Neills were able to have family time together in the knowledge that she was being looked after and having a great time too.
Katy has been helped by Bromley Mencap, where she enrolled on a buddy scheme. This has enabled her to go out with a buddy her own age to the cinema, to a bowling alley, out to lunch and generally to anything that other teenagers her age without a learning disability do all the time. Louise even worked on this scheme for two years.
Later, Mencap supported the Neills to get funding for Katy to attend Lufton College in Somerset. Lufton is a residential college where Katy is currently gaining skills and independence.
In preparation for the marathon, the Neills' took part in a training session together in Turkey, but since then they’ve trained separately.
Their fundraising has been going well, they’ve set-up a joint JustGiving page that they’ve been promoting on social media for friends and family to contribute to, but they’ve also been working separately to raise money.
Edward is holding a quiz in the pub he works at, and Peter climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in January.
On race day, Peter is hoping to finish the marathon in less than 4 hours, Louise hopes to complete the race in under 5 hours, and Edward just wants to finish.
Whatever their race times, the Neills' belief in what they’re doing and their immeasurable achievement is something Mencap is truly proud of.