Mencap started back in 1946 when Mrs Judy Fryd wrote that famous letter to Nursery World. I wasn't even born then!

She helped form the National Association of Parents of Backward Children. We don't say that now, we say 'learning disability', it's better to say 'learning disability'.

There were lots of other words people used to use too, like 'idiots'. I think it's really crude. When I hear them it makes me want to cry. We're all working to change things so no one says things like that any more.

When Judy wrote that letter I think she wanted to change the lives of people with a learning disability.

I think my life has changed already because I get involved in everything. I think Judy wanted that for her daughter, Felicity, too.

1946 was the day of the institutions. Now they've got rid of them, thank God. Being in an institution would be horrible. Mencap helped change things so that there are no institutions like those now. People with a learning disability should have the same rights as anyone else, we should not be sidelined.

I have worked at Mencap for 22 years now - it's like a prison sentence, you'd get less for murder! I'm joking, it's been great fun! I've worked on lots of different things, like improving healthcare, and on our Changing Places campaign, I do a reading at our Carol Concert too. Everyone I meet at Mencap is lovely, and people with a learning disability are involved in everything.

I have some great memories of Mencap over the years. I have met the Princess Sophie, the Countess of Wessex - she is our patron, she's absolutely lovely. She knows I work for Mencap and she's a fan. I get to talk to lots of new people, I tell them about learning disability and I tell them about Mencap, that's what I like doing mainly.

I've met Linda and Pat Fryd, Judy's daughters. They're wonderful people, I think they're proud of us.

There is a lot for Mencap still to do. Employment is important, we've just had Learning Disability Work Experience Week; only 6% of people with a learning disability have jobs, which is terrible. Employers should employ people with a learning disability, that would be positive. I'm going to carry on working at Mencap forever! 

The main thing I'd like to say now, on our birthday, is thank you - to all the people who help Mencap and support our work.

Thanks Judy!

We think our 70th birthday is a big deal, and we want as many people as possible to hear about it.

Find out more about what Mencap has achieved over the years, and how we're celebrating this special occasion!

Find out more

Thanks Judy!: A message from Luca and Nadine

Hear from Nadine about how Mencap has helped support her and her son Luca, who has just turned 4
Read more about Thanks Judy!: A message from Luca and Nadine

Thanks Judy!: A message from Linda and Pat Fryd

Judy Fryd's daughters, Linda and Pat, tell us about their mother; what her hopes and dreams were, and what it was like for them growing up with a sister who had a learning disability
Read more about Thanks Judy!: A message from Linda and Pat Fryd

Thanks Judy!: A message from Daisy and Carole

Hear from Carole about how her daughter Daisy has been supported by the new Mencap Children's Centre and Nursery in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Read more about Thanks Judy!: A message from Daisy and Carole