The organisation that is now Reading Mencap is a small local charity that was founded in 1962 by local parents of children and adults with learning disability (LD) and autism to help themselves and others to provide support for their dependants so that they might lead a full and active life in their community. To understand about learning disability see ‘What is a learning disability?’.
We now provide services from birth and throughout life for children and adults with LD and their parents or carers. We aim to reduce inequality in statutory services, combat isolation and discrimination, and to bring to local people an experience of having people with LD as part of their community. This could be by means of a mixed choir carol-singing in a local church at Christmas, adults with LD taking part in a campaign about a local issue, or carers speaking out for themselves at local forums.
We have our own premises in central Reading, The Centre, at 21 Alexandra Road, near the Royal Berkshire Hospital. This includes offices, a meeting space and a large club room and garden.
See a snapshot of our activities by clicking/touching the play button in the 90-second video above (or you can see it on our YouTube channel here), or by reading on and clicking on one of the links on this page and elsewhere.
We run a help line which is open from 9.30 to 1.30, Monday to Friday with an answering machine service at all other times. Tel: 0118 9662518
The Centre functions as a Drop-In for anyone who needs information, advice or support on diagnosis, benefits, education, housing, health & social care and respite services, leisure and legal. We are open from 9.30 to 1.30 Monday to Friday, and there is always someone there to help and advise as well as a full range of literature to take away.
Family Support Team
Our team of Family Advisers are an outreach service who are there to give support and information with those problems which need a bit more help to sort out. You can reach them on our help-line, or by appointment at our Drop-in Centre, or, if you prefer and would like to talk in the comfort of your own home, we can do that too. Family Advisers are also supported by a Family Support Worker who gives practical support where needed with appointments or form filling etc. All the team are experienced and qualified in learning disability, see our Family Support page for more details.
Clubs and Activities
We sit on many forums and steering groups like the Learning Disability Partnership Board, the Carers Steering Group, the Autism Partnership Board and the LD Carers Forum in Reading to give a voice to learning disability. We use our contacts at both local and national level when issues arise where action can be taken. Our aim is to empower parents and individuals to help them to help themselves, so that they can choose how they want to live their lives. Statutory services don't always understand the problems that face people with LD or their families and carers on a daily basis, but we do because our members tell us every day, and many of us are parents of children or adults with LD ourselves.
Use our Contact Us page to seek answers to queries, provide feedback, or send comments to Reading Mencap.