Mencap Liverpool & Sefton is a local charity for people who have a learning disability. Our members have little or no support from the local authority and many no family or friends. This isolation causes many entirely preventable problems: benefits are stopped because the form is too confusing; debts mount until eviction notices are issued; lonely individuals become targets for hate crime and exploitation; people are forced into food poverty; health concerns are missed until they become an emergency.
The charity runs an outreach service to help people work through the problems they experience. Then we help members address the underlying issues which make them vulnerable in the first place. We do this by providing a wide range of social groups and fitness activities, so that friendships and confidence grow. Workshops such as money management help people learn the skills they need to thrive and our befriending project gives the most vulnerable a friend to share their interests with.
As well as giving members the skills and self-belief to overcome the barriers they often face, we also work to reduce those barriers where we can. We run Learning Disability awareness training and Easy Read workshops so that organisations can learn to be more accessible. Our training and workshops are co-designed and co-delivered by experienced members.
Mencap Liverpool & Sefton is affiliated to national Mencap, but we are (and always have been) a separate charity. This means we have our own trustees and have to raise all our own funds.