Ways you can get involved
With just a few minutes of your time, you can make a difference to the lives of people with a learning disability A learning disability is to do with the way someone's brain works. It makes it harder for someone to learn, understand or do things. , their family members and carers.
We want to make the UK the best place in the world for people with a learning disability to live happy and healthy lives.
Will you help us make that happen?
We campaign A campaign is when people work together to try to change something. for equal rights Rights are the things everyone should be allowed to do like have a say, or go to school. and opportunities for people with a learning disability.
We also campaign to stop discrimination Discrimination is when someone is treated differently (usually in a bad way) because of things like their disability or their religion Religion is to do with the things you believe about the world. For example you may believe there is a god or something else. Examples of religions are Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. . .
Be an activist in your local community
Make a difference to the lives of people with a learning disability, their family members and carers in your community A community is the people and places in an area. by becoming a local activist An activist is a person who campaigns to bring about change. .
Visit our activism Activism is taking action to make change. Going to a campaign event with others, writing letters and speaking up are all ways to take action. page to find out how to get support from your local Mencap activism coach.
Questions and answers
What is activism?
Activism means taking action to make change. This could be working with others to spread your message or sharing your story with the people who can make the change happen.
Going to an event with others, writing letters and speaking up are all ways to be an activist.
You don’t have to be an expert and you don't need to go to protests.
You just have to be a person who wants to make a change with other people.
Take a look at our activism page to find out more.
Who can I ask for advice about campaigning?
We have a team of dedicated activism coaches who cover four regions across England.
The team can support local activists with one-to-one coaching, tools, resources and training.
What is a Mencap Policy Shaper?
Policy Shapers are people with a learning disability, their family members, carers and/or other professionals who work with Mencap to influence laws and policies.
Policy Shapers help us tell the government The Government are the people who run the country. The Government decide how much tax people should pay and how things like the National Health Service (NHS) should work. and decision makers what life is like for people with a learning disability, and what support people with a learning disability need to live their lives the way they want.
What are Mencap's recent campaign successes?
Mencap has a long history of campaigning and has been involved in creating important change for people with a learning disability. We believe that people with a learning disability, their families and their carers have the most powerful voice and want to make sure that these voices are heard.
Some big moments for us recently include:
- Successfully campaigning for people with a learning disability to be prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccine A vaccine is medicine that helps your body to fight an infection in the future. in 2021.
- Securing an amendment to a law that meant all health and social care staff receive mandatory Mandatory means that something must be done. training in learning disability and autism Autism is a disability. Autistic people find it difficult to understand what other people think and feel. They also find it difficult to tell people what they think and feel. Everyone with autism is different. , called Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training. We’ve started co-delivering this training alongside people with a learning disability up and down England.
- Helping secure legislation that means people who receive cost of living payments will not have them taken away through social care charging.
- Convincing government to increase the amount of money that people who receive social care get to keep from their benefits – worth up to £820 a year for single people aged between 18 and 65.
- Working in a coalition led by Money Saving Expert to extend the Energy Price Guarantee until June 2023, saving people hundreds of pounds on their energy bills.
There’s still more to do to make the UK the best place in the world for people with a learning disability to live happy and healthy lives – sign up to be an every activist today.
How does campaigning make a difference?
It isn’t always easy, standing up to unfairness. But taking campaign actions with Mencap can and does help make change happen. We saw it with our campaign which helped get people with a learning disability prioritised for COVID-19 vaccines, as well as our work on healthcare which changed the law to make sure all health and social care staff receive mandatory training about learning disability and autism.
Every story shared, petition signed or MP lobbied, helps get the message heard by MPs and their political parties and other people who make decisions that impact the lives of people with a learning disability. The more people take part, the more those in power understand that our supporters won’t stand by and let unfairness and discrimination continue.
Your actions make a difference. Join our community of everyday activists today.
How many people currently campaign with Mencap?
We currently have around 20,000 people signed up to campaign online with us, and support dozens of local groups around the country.
We’re always looking for new members of our online community of everyday activists. Join today or become an everyday activist to campaign for change in your local community.
How can I meet up with other activists in my area who share my opinions?
We have a team of dedicated activism coaches who cover four regions across England. The team can support local activist with one-to-one coaching, tools, resources and training – and can put you in touch with other groups in your area.