Each year, BGC and Cantor Fitzgerald donate 100% of the global revenues generated on Charity Day to the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund and dozens of charities around the world to commemorate the 658 Cantor employees and 61 Eurobrokers employees who lost their lives in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.

Around 1.5 million people have a learning disability in the UK. A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities – for example, household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone for their whole life. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities may need round the clock care and support.

Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want. Mencap’s mission is to transform society’s attitudes to learning disability through campaigning, lobbying and support. People with learning disabilities and are often not treated as equals and cope with stigma and discrimination every day of their lives. Mencap’s ‘HERE I AM’ campaign aims to increase visibility of people with a learning disability in the media and in society.

The money raised at the 2019 BGC Charity Day will help fund Mencap’s Round the World Challenge programme, which inspires and supports people with a learning disability to get active in a way that is flexible, fun and empowering.

As well as the health benefits of increased physical activity, research has shown that getting people with a learning disability involved in sport can help boost confidence in other areas of life, including securing employment, reducing loneliness and building friendships and playing a full part in their communities.

Kit Harington, actor and Mencap Ambassador, says:

“My cousin Laurent is one of the 1.5 million people in the UK who has a learning disability. People who have a learning disability need extra support to lead the life they wish to. Mencap has supported my cousin to live the life he wants and that’s why I am proud to support Mencap. Mencap is truly a wonderful charity and the money donated here today will go to the most incredible cause: Mencap’s Round the World Challenge programme. Sport is a great way to break down barriers and bring people together. This programme will be a game-changer, opening up more opportunities for people who have a learning disability, like my cousin.” 

Harry Roche, Mencap Ambassador who has a learning disability, says:

“Thank you Kit for being such a good ambassador for Mencap and thank you BGC and Cantor Fitzgerald for generously hosting this Charity Day event. The vital money raised at this event today will help more people with a learning disability to get involved in sport. People with a learning disability have been hidden away for far too long and many people don’t know what a learning disability really is. We’re pleased that Kit is using his profile to make people with a learning disability, like me, more visible and in turn help change attitudes about learning disability. The money raised today will help fund Mencap’s Round the World Challenge programme, which helps people with a learning disability take part in sport and break down the barriers they face to having friends, getting fit and having freedom over their lives. If more people take part in inclusive sport, the world would be a better place.”

One in three people with a learning disability spend less than one hour outside of their homes on a typical Saturday and are more likely to be socially isolated. They are also nearly twice as likely to be inactive; almost half (43%) of adults with a learning disability are inactive compared to the national average of 25%, according to Sport England’s 2017/18 Active Lives data. Participating in sport is a great way to break down these social barriers – increasing people with a learning disability’s health and confidence while also bringing people and communities together through sport.

-ENDS-  

For further information, contact Mencap’s media team on:  media@mencap.org.uk or 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).      

Notes to editors

About Mencap

There are approximately 1.5 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’s Freephone Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (9am-3pm, 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.

Learning disability is NOT a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’.

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.   

Round the World Challenge

Mencap, in partnership with Sport England and the National Lottery, launched the Round the World Challenge programme which hopes to inspire and support people with a learning disability to get active in a way that is flexible, fun and empowering. 

Participants will take part in a variety of activities including zumba, boccia, walking rugby and more traditional sports like football, cycling and tennis. Participants then register the time spent on any type of exercise each week and this is converted into miles. 

This can be either 20, 40, or 100 hours depending on how far someone wants to go ‘around the world’. The sessions are guided by specially trained staff and volunteers to ensure those who take part feel welcome, are encouraged to try new activities and inspired to continue being active. Visit www.mencap.org.uk/about-us/our-projects/mencap-sport/round-world-challenge