The Voices Council

The Mencap Voices Council

A picture of a man sitting facing a table of other people in a meeting

The Voices Council is a group of 12 people with a learning disability.

There is also a Chair and a Vice Chair who lead the group.

We share our views and experiences to help support Mencap’s Board of Trustees to make decisions.

A picture of a table with lots of people sitting around it. They all have one hand raised.

The members are people with a learning disability across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Some might be involved in local Mencap groups or supported by Mencap.

Voices Council members can not be employed by Mencap.

A group of people with different learning disabilities

We think it’s important to have people with different types of learning disabilities in our group.

A diary page showing a meeting

The group meets around 4 times every year. Normally this is at Mencap’s Centre of Engagement in London.

We will also be having meetings in other parts of the United Kingdom .

A woman using a laptop and an image of the Microsoft Teams logo

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have now been having more meetings online on Microsoft Teams.

When we cannot fit everything into our face-to-face meetings in London or elsewhere, we might have another online meeting.

If you cannot join a meeting in person, you can also attend by using Microsoft Teams.

Mencap can support Voices Council members with access to technology.

The Our Big Plan icon

What do we do?

The group will have an agenda which will think about different topics that affect people with a learning disability.

Here are some examples:

  • Mencap’s Big Plan
  • Safeguarding
  • Campaigns led by Mencap (for example, ‘Treat Me Well’)
A drawing of a pile of paper clipped together with a paper clip. The top page says Plan

We also have what are called standing items. This is where we have a topic which we talk about at all of our main meetings.

Our standing items which we talk about are:

Sometimes this changes.


A photograph of the Chair, Vice Chair and Chair of Trustees

Who do we work with?

The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Voices Council will feedback to the Chair of Trustees at Mencap after every meeting.

They will also go to the Board of Trustees meetings and talk about what the Voices Council said. An update on these meetings will be given to members of the Voices Council.

As part of this, we also bring pieces of work to the board that are important to the Voices Council. Our mental health paper is a good example of this.

A photograph of Khaleel Desai

We work closely with the Executive Team at Mencap, including the Chief Executive Officer .

One member of the Executive Team always comes to our meetings.

At least one trustee will be present in our main meetings.

We are also supported by Khaleel Desai, who is the Executive Director of Governance.

Three people sitting at a meeting table talking

We offer support for other people who do not work for Mencap too.

This could be other charities or other organisations.

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What you need to know

Everyone on the Voices Council can be members for 4 years. You can choose to be a member for another 4 years.

This means members can be on the Voices Council for up to 8 years.

Members may also step down at any time if they no longer want to be part of the group.

We will look for new members whenever there are spaces to fill.

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I want to find out more

You, or someone who support you, can email:

Or call the Inclusion team on: 020 7454 0454

Our telephone lines are open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday

We will arrange to talk to you in a way that works best for you.