Mencap have announced a new Chair and two new Vice-Chairs of the Voices Council, a committee of dedicated individuals with learning disabilities, who meet to discuss the charity’s work and priorities.

They report to Mencap’s trustees and leadership team, influencing their priorities and decision.

Jack Welch

Man, Jack Welch, with dark hair wearing chequered shirt stood smiling in front of yellow brick wall.

Jack Welch is from Dorset and is a member of several organisations including Ambitious About Autism, YoungMinds, and NHS England, which he advises on their engagement of people with a learning disability or autism.

Sam Jefferies

Man, Sam Jefferies, with short hair wearing glasses, looking into camera.

Sam Jefferies joined the Voices Council in November 2015. He has been involved in campaigns with Mencap on the Isle of Wight, where he lives, and is also a part of other voluntary community organisations.

Andrew Wilson

Man, Andrew Wilson, with brown hair and glasses smiling into camera.

Andrew Wilson became a Mencap trustee in October 2015, bringing his expertise as someone with a learning disability. He also volunteers with the Leonard Cheshire Foundation and is a member of his local council ‘Disability Advisory’ and ‘Access and Inclusion’ groups.

New Chair, Jack Welch says:

“I am deeply honoured to have been appointed to serve as the first chair of the Voices Council. The growth and progress we have made since we first met as a group has been phenomenal.

“I want to see us at the forefront of putting people with a learning disability making decisions in the charity, and to act as a vehicle for the people that are supported or have personal experience as an individual, a relative or a friend, to influence the priorities.”

New Vice-Chair, Sam Jefferies says:

“The Voices Council enables people to voice their expert opinions on a range of subjects, to help Mencap shape their plans and make the right decisions in the best interests of people with a learning disability.”


For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 5414 or or for out of hours 07770 656 659.

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.

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact hte Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email

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’.