Happy 70th birthday, Mencap!
Incusion Europe’s member Mencap this year celebrated 70 years of supporting and campaigning for people with a learning disability in the UK. In the 70 years since Mencap began, the charity has been instrumental in helping to improve the way that people with a learning disability live their lives, and they wanted to say a huge thank you to the woman that played a key role in starting the Mencap movement.
In 1946, Judy Fryd, mother to Felicity who had a learning disability, wrote a letter to Nursery World magazine highlighting how badly her daughter had been treated at school. Judy’s letter was a call to arms to other parents to which over 1000 responded, kick-starting the Mencap movement.
To celebrate the launch of our birthday activity, Mencap encouraged people on social media to say their very own #ThanksJudy for 70 years of positive change for people with a learning disability and share stories of how Mencap has helped them and their families.
Mencap’s new online community, FamilyHub, was also launched to provide peer-to-peer support for parents, family members and carers of people with a learning disability. The community is providing a range of support, guidance and shared experiences to parents from other parents and family members and so far, has over 190 users.
The charity also released the results of a survey it ran earlier this year, which found that many parents of children with a learning disability feel isolated from society. 70% said they had felt unwelcome when out in public with their child, and 21% said that they’d been told to leave a public place because of their child’s behaviour. The research picked up interest from the UK’s national media with pieces both in The Guardian and on Sky News.
Public attitudes may be improving, but the fact is that still, families and people with a learning disability feel like they live in a society that excludes them. This shows us there is a lot more work to be done. Mencap is committed to continuing its work to make sure people with a learning disability in the UK can live life in the way that they want.
A big Happy Birthday from Inclusion Europe and best of luck for a successful 2017!