Stephen McHale and Daymien Todd, tenants of national charity Golden Lane Housing, opened the markets at the London Stock Exchange today, and are understood to be the first people with a learning disability to do so.  

The event celebrated the impressive success of the first ever charity retail bond to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. The bond was launched by Golden Lane Housing and closed two and a half weeks early after reaching its £11m target due to immense demand and being oversubscribed.

Golden Lane Housing, Mencap’s housing arm, will use the proceeds to buy and specifically adapt much needed accommodation for over 100 people with a learning disability in their communities, who will be supported by Mencap.

Stephen and Daymien both gave a speech at the event about how Golden Lane Housing allowed them to live in their own permanent homes in their community. Just 16% of people with a learning disability live in supported housing in the community, and many struggle to compete on the open market, with it being virtually impossible to find housing in areas where there is no suitable social housing available.

Stephen McHale and Daymien Todd, who opened the market and are Golden Lane Housing tenants said:

We're very happy to be here today to open the London Stock Exchange Market.  We moved into our home last year and we love it.  We are very happy that Golden Lane Housing's bond has raised lots of money so more people with a learning disability can live in their own homes.

Alastair Graham, Director of Golden Lane Housing said:

This Bond has been a huge success for Golden Lane Housing. We are thrilled to be the first retail charity bond to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. This is an innovative new way of securing private finance to deliver social impact. The combination of financial return and doing social good proved to be very attractive to investors and we were pleased the Bond issue had to be closed early to avoid being over-subscribed. 

Now the Bond has officially been listed we will be able to start deploying the funds raised and working on housing around a hundred people with a learning disability, who are currently living in inadequate housing due to the housing shortage.  This will also provide a lasting legacy for future generations of people with a learning disability.

Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap said:

This is a significant day. Not only is Golden Lane Housing the first retail charity bond to be listed on the London Stock Exchange but this landmark has been fittingly celebrated today by another first; Stephen and Daymien becoming the first people with a learning disability to open the market. We are immensely proud of them and everyone involved in this Bond. It shows that investors are committed to helping us make a difference to the lives of people with a learning disability. I hope that the significant firsts that we have achieved today continue to improve the lives of people with a learning disability.

Tim Jones, CEO of Allia commented:

The success and the early closure of the Bond demonstrates the strength of demand for listed products of this kind which provide a financial return and create tangible social benefit. This is the first charity bond to be issued by Retail Charity Bonds and we hope to meet investor demand and enable more good causes to raise debt in this way in the future with equal levels of success.

-ENDS-

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 5414 or media@mencap.org.uk

Notes to editors

About Mencap

There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.

www.mencap.org.uk  

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email help@mencap.org.uk

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life.

People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.

Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’.