Mencap Leeds. Nothing With Us; Without Us.

Nothing With Us; Without Us.

A Social History of Learning Disabilities in Leeds.

Nigel, one of the Rookery Residents

Nigel, one of the Rookery Residents

  The charity which is based in East End Park has been delivering services and activities for children and adults with learning disabilities, along with their families and carers since 1953.   
    Leeds Mencap currently support over 300 families a week and offer a range of activities and care from social groups to parent support, residential care to a dance group.  Head of Fundraising & PR at the charity, Ruth Fawcett said “We’re really excited to deliver this exhibition in our 60th year.  We hope it will have something for everyone – regardless of their age, disability or background.”
   The exhibition will investigate the history of learning disabilities throughout Leeds and  examine the changes of definitions, community care, institutions, stereotypes and perceptions of individuals with a learning disability throughout the city.
   Taking place in the Leeds City Museum from 9th to the 23rd September 2013 the exhibition will be co-ordinated by Leeds Mencap and will work alongside students from the University of Huddersfield who will buddy up with individuals with learning disabilities from the city to dictate the feel and content of the exhibition, in addition to collating personal stories through informal interviews, photographs, audio-visual material and more  traditional historical documents and artefacts.
   Peggy Cooke, a second year History student at the University said “I’m really excited to be involved in this project, coming from a family with learning disabilities I can thoroughly appreciate the need for further awareness, education and support of individuals with learning disabilities who are regularly marginalised throughout society.”

Liam attends the Hawthorn Family Support Centre for 0-3's with learning disabilities

Liam attends the Hawthorn Family Support Centre for 0-3’s with learning disabilities

Fiona Spiers, Head of HLF Yorkshire and the Humber, who supported the exhibition said: “Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of story tellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what the grant will do for the social history of learning disabilities in Leeds project as they embark on a real journey of discovery.”
In addition to the social history of learning disabilities in Leeds project, there will be a series of fundraising events that are specifically linked to the charities 60th birthday.  Fundraising mechanisms taking part in one of 60 tea parties and the year will culminate in our very own Apprentice, which will see Leeds Mencap working with schools throughout Leeds to turn a sponsored £60 into as much as they can through whatever ethical means possible.  This fantastic event will encourage entrepreneurial, numerical and communication skills, whilst also supporting a local charity in delivering excellent services to families throughout Leeds with a learning disability.
The charity are still looking for artefacts for the exhibition and would ask anyone who might have photos, videos or notes that they may wish to lend to come forward and get in touch on 0113 2351331 or



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