Who we are ….
Local charity set up in 1968 and we have over 150 members and provide services for more than 500 people with learning disabilities and their families across Cumbria. Our services include short breaks for adults at California House and for Children at the Grace Little Centre, children’s home based respite, community support, young people’s clubs and holidays, family support workers for young people with autism, holidays, leisure activities and befriending. We also have respite centres for children in Penrith and Ulverston, plus autism help groups in Kendal and Workington.
We are locally managed and funded, not a branch of the national organisation – although we do work closely with them on many of our projects. We are the fourth biggest Mencap group in the UK. We are a membership organisation and have over 150 members made up of people with learning disabilities, carers and other interested parties.
We believe everyone with a learning disability has an equal right to choice, opportunity and respect, with the support they need.
Carlisle Mencap has been right at the forefront of EPAtS – Early Positive Approaches to Support – which has the full support of the NHS and is set to be rolled out nationwide.
EPAtS sees parents of children, aged from a few weeks to five, come together in a group with trained tutors to learn practical strategies over a period of seven or eight weeks to help them with their child’s development and identify their needs.
Carlisle Mencap was also involved in the UK-wide annual #No2H8 Crime Awards which is now in its third year. Carlisle Mencap prides itself on being at the forefront of tackling hate crime. In March this year, Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall joined Carlisle Mencap and representatives from the Home Office at Tullie House in Carlisle for the launch of Take Control, a film about hate crime, funded by the Home Office. The Independence Studio at the charity’s Grace Little Centre in north Carlisle came up with the film with the help of Cumbria Constabulary. This year the same studio also produced another DVD on ‘Mate Crime’, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner. (Mate Crime is when criminals ‘befriend’ vulnerable people in order to exploit them financially or sexually).
Our main fundraising mission this special year is to raise a further £65,000 needed to pay for the extension and revamp work at California House in north Carlisle.
Why we support Carlisle Ambassadors: ‘Carlisle Ambassadors offers a fantastic and steadily-growing platform for charities like ourselves to develop partnerships with businesses and organisations which can help us promote our message regarding the vital work we do to support and provide much-needed services to potentially very vulnerable members of our society, and to forge new relationships with fellow members. And the fact we are all flying the flag for Carlisle and north Cumbria is something worth celebrating too.’