Wirral Mencap celebrates 60 years of supporting people with learning disabilities

Wirral Mencap has been supporting people with learning disabilities and their families since 1963.

It was a different organisation then. The parents and families who formed the volunteer committee met in each other’s houses and in the very early days the newsletter was handwritten. But lots of things were different back then. A pint of milk was eightpence ha’penny. That’s the equivalent of 7p.

The organisation has changed a lot since then but what hasn’t changed is the passion and commitment to support people with a learning disability in Wirral to have healthy and happy lives.

The Wirral Mencap Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 24 February 2023, kicked off a year of 60 themed celebrations to mark this huge milestone for the organisation.

As well as the formal business of the AGM the celebrations started with 60 cupcakes and a large 60 balloon.

Tina Phelan, Information, Advice and Advocacy Manager at Wirral Mencap said, “Happily, legal rights and changing attitudes to learning disability mean things have improved massively for people with a learning disability since 1963 but there is still work to do to make services more accessible and inclusive.

” In the next week, I am supporting one of our Learning Disability Advocates to attend the launch of the My Vote My Voice campaign at Portcullis House, London.

“It is all about creating better access to voting for autistic people and people with a learning disability.”

Newly appointed Chair of the board of trustees, Clare Newton said, “I feel very honoured to be the new Chair of Wirral Mencap. 2023 is a very special year for us as it is our 60th anniversary.

“At our AGM we had a look back over the past 60 years and the ways in which things have changed for people with a learning disability and for us as an organisation and what a long way we’ve come!

“Wirral Mencap has moved to bigger premises , has paid staff, offers courses, social events, information advice and advocacy and much more. But the meeting was also very much about the future.

!We are planning many events to celebrate our 60 years including the 60 day challenge and a comedy night. We are feeling really positive and are looking forward to another 60 years.”

Group photo from the 1960s

Debbie Green, Fundraiser at Wirral Mencap said, “This is a very exciting year for Wirral Mencap and the uptake we have received from the local community has been nothing short of amazing.

“Over 2023 we shall be encouraging individuals/families and companies to take part or create a fundraiser. This can be an event they wish to partake in, or they can join an event we have organised and there are some great ones coming up.

“If anyone is interested in supporting us this year in whatever way big or small please contact me at Wirral Mencap and I will support and guide you, call on our main number 0151 666 1829 or email dgreen@mencapwirral.org.uk and I will get back to you.”

All events will be featured on the Mencap website www.wirralmencap.org.uk

Planned events include Banana Bingo on 3 March, Legends Comedy Evening in June, Tea Party in the Square in June, and the Comedy Novice Event in November

Debbie Green continued, “There are too many to mention as we are now up to 20 events in the planning. I look forward to a very exciting year with lots of fun along the way, please join us to celebrate 60 years of support for Wirral.”

Over the years, the dedication and enthusiasm of an amazing team of volunteers and staff has helped thousands of people with learning disabilities develop their skills, have fun and get the support they need to live fulfilling lives.

Alex with the celebratory balloons

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