This week we are celebrating Learning Disability Week from the 14th to the 20th of June. The charity Mencap has chosen the theme ‘Art and Creativity’ for this year's campaign. According to Mencap ‘Creativity and self-expression can help improve mental health and lead to greater community inclusion.’
What is a Learning disability?
Mencap has a web page dedicated to information about what a learning disability is. They have their definition of a learning disability which can be seen below.
‘A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities – for example household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone for their whole life.
People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people.’
You can also view a video on their website where they asked people with learning disabilities what a learning disability means to them.
Who are Mencap?
Mencap are a UK based charity that works with people with learning disabilities. They first began in 1946 when a woman called Judy Fryd wrote to ‘Nursery World’ magazine inviting other parents to contact her about the lack of services available for children with learning disabilities.
Judy had her own child with learning disabilities, so she witnessed first-hand the lack of awareness around learning disabilities and support for people with learning disabilities. Judy formed an association which later became Mencap.
You can learn more about the history of Mencap by viewing their timeline here.
How can you support Learning Disability Week?
You can get involved with Learning Disability Week by downloading Mencap's ‘Art and Creativity’ resource pack. If you want to create some handprint splatter art, attend an art event in your local area or share your artwork on social media with your friends and family, this pack has it all. You can download your resources pack here.
You can also support the charity Mencap by donating, fundraising or taking part in quizzes, challenges and events in your local area. To find out more, click here.
How are we supporting the campaign?
This week, our learning disability clients are taking centre stage and sharing their very own artwork and examples of creativity with us. Throughout the week, we will be sharing their pictures of creative activities, such as baking, painting and exercising on social media.
Our Head of Services, Clare Metcalfe and Regional Clinical Lead, Debbie Mearman, have also created a blog about the mental health benefits of creativity for people with Learning disabilities and/or autism. We will be sharing this blog later in the week on our social media channels. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up to date with everything we’re sharing for Learning Disability Week.
If you'd like to join the Thornbury Community Services team as a learning disability nurse, or support worker, you can register here.