Tell us your views
Do you have a view about how health, education, leisure or other services could be improved for people with a learning disability in Merton?
Merton Mencap Leaflet
Download a PDF of the standard version of the Merton Mencap Information Leaflet here.
Merton Mencap Leaflet: Easy Read
Download a PDF of the Easy Read version of the Merton Mencap Information Leaflet here.
Disability Symbol Awarded
Merton Mencap has been awarded the Disability Symbol, to reflect the charity’s commitment to equal opportunities.
Find out more.
Merton Mencap News
Public meeting in Merton to discuss energy for the future:
A public meeting will take place on Wednesday 5 June to consider the problems with fuel and energy in the future, and their costs. More information (PDF).
The Baked Bean Theatre Company are holding a night club for adults with learning disabilities:
Rise Up! A proper club-night for adults with learning disabilities.
16th May, at The Student Union Bar at St Georges Hospital, Tooting. Tickets cost £5.00 (Parents/Carers go free).
Tunes will be provided by the ReWired DJs, a collective of DJs with learning disabilities. Over 18's only!
For more information call The Baked Bean Company on 0208 944 0024.
Gateway Active Award Bronze Level
Nineteen people were recently awarded with a Gateway Active Bronze level certificate and medal. This was a fantastic achievement by all, with individuals spending the last year completing hours in the following areas to complete the award:
- Gateway Active Challenge
After the success of the individuals who took part Merton Mencap will be running Gateway Active for a second year – allowing another group of individuals to complete the Bronze award and some of the individuals who just completed Bronze to move onto the Silver award.
For more information about the Gateway Active Award please visit the Gateway Active page.
Cick to see large images.
Four new job vacancies have been posted on our vacancies page.
Thinking Outside The Box - A free conference open to all
New innovations in service-user led research and recovery
(Learning Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorder)
Friday 19 April
10am - 4.30pm approx
Monkton Lecture Theatre
St. George’s Medical School, Tooting
Come and hear about exciting new projects, personal experiences and stories about recovery from the members of ResearchNet St George’s.
You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about Books Beyond Words in a free morning workshop looking specifically at the therapeutic value of the books.
With guest speakers – please see flyer for more information
Merton Mencap 4 : Midland Mencap 6
The recent hotly anticipated match between Merton Mencap and Midland was full of goals!
Midland Mencap, who recently played Midland Police (and won) brought their players and supporters to Merton, where a hotly contested match was played at the Hub. Midland quickly took a two goal lead in the first half, but after a spirited fight-back, Ben (from our TC club) crossed a superb pass into the box which John (from our Evolutions Club) struck firmly into the net to make it 2-2! The second half was hard and Midland Mencap were just too strong in the end, despite some great defending by our team.
The photo of the team on the day, with our Football Team Manager, Ruth Abbott (in red hat).
A return match in Birmingham is being organised!
Merton Mencap’s Gateway Club will be changing its name from the 1st April 2013. The club will continue to be a social club for Adults with a Learning Disability, and it is now run by a small committee of voted in members and peers of the club. The 2gether committee will run monthly meetings and consult with members and Project Manger on future events, and activities provided at the club.
2gether will be closed for Easter Thursday 28th March and Thursday 4th April – opening again on 11th April.
2tgether runs at:
High Path Community Resource
63 High Path, SW19 2JY
7pm to 9pm Thursday evenings, transport is provided with a £1.50 subs each week.
If you would like any more information about the new club then please call Ruth Abbott Project Manager on 020 3458 5121 or 07738051189.
New Merton Mencap Café Menu
Merton Mencap’s café has launched a new menu including our health options supported by Sutton and Merton Responsibility Deal. The Café runs in Wimbledon every Monday throughout the year and is run by adults with a learning disability with support from staff and volunteers.
Funds raised from the Café go back into Café and this has allowed the group to recently complete a new food hygiene awareness course which gave them all a certificate of completion of the course. Our new menu has some new options as well as the old favourites. Make sure you visit us soon to try out our new menu choices.
Sutton Careers and Transition Fair
The London Borough of Sutton are holding a Career and Transition Fair on Wednesday 13th March from 11am - 5.30pm at Carshalton College.
This event is aimed at young people in school years 10 to 13 to look at post 16 options the fair will have employers, training providers and apprenticeship opportunities on display for students to find out more.
The Transition area of the event is being specifically designed for young people who have a statement of special educational needs and their families to give more in depth information about what is available post 16 for young people with learning disabilities and difficulties.
There is also a young employment conference and a number of workshops that will be running alongside the event.
For more information and to register please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Wimbledon Arts Centre Exhibition
On Wednesday 27th February 2013 the members of the Wimbledon Arts Centre attended an exhibition at the Merton Civic Offices to see the display of the work which was completed by the group for Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council.
The Members of the Wimbledon Arts Centre were invited to bring a guest and this was the first time they had seen their work since it has been displayed in the Councillor’s meeting room at the civic offices. It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work that the group does with support from the art teacher Shreeti and the staff and volunteers of the club.
It was lovely to see the members of the Wimbledon Arts centre so pleased to see their work and to be able to show their guests, and special guests such as the Mayor work they are proud of.
Here are some pictures of the fantastic artwork and the members of the group enjoying themselves with their guests.
Click the images to enlarge.
Opening Doors in Merton
On Monday 25 February, Merton is launching Opening Doors week, in which 12 people with a learning disability will have the opportunity to experience the working environment through work placements. The project is being run by Merton Council, Merton Mencap and the Volunteer Centre.
Most work experience placements will be within various departments and services run by the council. Volunteers will be available to support people with a learning disability during the placement, which will be carefully structured in order to provide individuals with a worthwhile experience. The work placement may be, for many, the first step on a journey into new activities such as training, volunteering and employment.
If you are interested in having a work experience placement, or you know someone who might be, please contact Andy Whittington at Merton Mencap by
4 February on 020 8687 4676 / 07767 670 134 /
Merton Mencap would like to say a big thank you to Neil Weddell for his Fundraising.
Neil Weddell, who attends a number of our Merton Mencap clubs, raised an amazing £823.36 by completing a sponsored swim. Neil was improving his swimming as part of the fitness section of his Gateway Active Award and asked friends and family to sponsor him to complete a swim of 32 lengths.
Neil has done fantastically well to raise this amount of money and he presented Andy Whittington, Chief Executive of Merton Mencap, with the cheque at our AGM in December 2012. Neil has kindly donated the money to Merton Mencap’s Health and Fitness club which he attends. The Health and Fitness group, based in Mitcham, runs weekly and currently supports 14 adults with a learning disability to increase their Health and Fitness by using Gym equipment in a local environment.
Neil’s donation is vital to keep the club running as funding recently expired for this club and we have not been successful in securing funds to continue the running of the club.
Merton Mencap and the voluntary sector has been advised of a major scam as follows:
A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a Premium rate number).
DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize.
If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.
If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655 .
For more information, see the Crime Stoppers website
Huge thanks to Putney High School!
Merton Mencap wishes to congratulate Eliot House at Putney High School for their superb efforts in raising money for Merton Mencap. We are so grateful for all their hard work and support for our charity - their combined efforts raised, in total, a terrific £3,506.42, all of which will go towards our activities for adults with a learning disability. Well done and thank you to everyone at involved at Putney High School!
No to Trick or Treat
We know that many people would prefer not to be visited by those celebrating Halloween and calling to ‘trick or treat’. If you feel this way, you may wish to download and display a poster which indicates that you would prefer not to be disturbed. Download the poster (PDF file) which you can then print.
Our volunteer is also a Games Maker!
Merton Mencap was delighted to see one of our volunteers, Christine Sutton, contributing as a games maker at the Olympics! Christine is one of our volunteers at our popular Gateway Club which runs on Thursday evenings.
After a busy schedule of Olympic Ceremony rehearsals, many of which were late at night, Christine took part in both the opening and closing ceremonies. If you know Christine, you may have seen her as one of the drummers in the opening Industrial Revolution scene, before a quick change into her marshal suit ready for the athletes parade. At the closing ceremony, Christine was a marshal again - wearing a bowler hat with a light!
Well done to Christine for helping to make the Olympics such a brilliant event!
Vacancy for a Project Search Instructor at Cricket Green School
A new vacancy has arisen for an instructor to support young people with a learning disability to develop their skills in a workplace setting. Download the information here
Save money on your heating bills
People with a learning disability could save money, thanks to free loft and cavity wall insulation from Mencap and British Gas. Find out more by logging onto http://www.mencap.org.uk/britishgas or phone British gas on 0800 975 1631* and quote the code: ICP0004, and we gather they will arrange for a British Gas energy expert to come round to your home and carry out a free no obligation survey.
Easy-read information for the Paralympic games
The London Organising Committee of the Paralympic Games has an Easy Read Section to their website:
There is lots of information about the Games, what's happening each day, how you can get involved and also there are easy read guides to all the sports.
Free local workshops on Personal Budget and Direct Payments
Carers Support Merton are running free workshops to provide information for people interested in using a personal budget or direct payment to employ a care worker or personal assistant. For more information, download the flyer.
Merton Mencap is saddened by news that Pauline Fairbrother died on 4 August 2012. Many local people know Pauline who, with great energy and determination, campaigned tirelessly for a better life for people with a learning disability and their families. Pauline’s work and achievements are an important part of Merton Mencap and we send Pauline’s family all our best wishes at this time.
If you would like to attend a celebration of Pauline’s life, download details which have been provided by one of Pauline’s daughters, Ruth Sharrat, here.
If you would like to know more about Pauline, download details which have been provided by one of Pauline’s daughters, Ruth Sharratt here.
Merton Mencap salutes their own triathlon champion!
Merton Mencap congratulates Rachel Lecky for her super efforts in completing the Shock Absorber Women’s Triathlon on 10 June 2012 and, in doing so, raising £377 for Merton Mencap’s Saturday Club, which is based at Perseid School in Morden.
The triathlon, which took place at picturesque Eton College rowing facilities at Dorney Lake, was contested by 156 women, all of whom took part in the punishing programme of events including open-water swimming, cycling and running. Merton Mencap is very proud of Rachel’s terrific performance on the day, which saw her come 47 out of 156, with an impressive recorded time of 36 minutes!
Rachel’s son, Darren, is a member of Merton Mencap’s Saturday Club and Rachel feels training for the event was worth every effort: “I felt I wanted to support the work of Merton Mencap and particularly their Saturday Club which my son goes to. The club provides a chance for young people with special needs to take part in various activities, meet people and enjoy life”.
This was Rachel’s second year in the event, which is organised by Human Race, and she is already considering entering next year! If you are interested in sponsoring Rachel in any future ventures, get in touch with Merton Mencap on 020 8687 4676 or email@example.com
A BIG THANK YOU to the students of Ursuline School, Wimbledon, who raised funds for Merton Mencap through their super fundraising efforts, including a sponsored cycle. We were delighted to be at their end of year celebration to congratulate the students and thank them for all their support! The funds raised will be used to support our activities for adults with a learning disability. Thank you very much to everyone involved - well done!
Merton Mencap has been audited by the City & Guilds for the London Youth Quality Mark (AQYP) and has just been awarded accreditation. This quality standard underlines the charity’s commitment to providing services of quality to young people. More details to follow.
A BIG THANK YOU to the students of Putney High School, Putney, who chose Merton Mencap as their charity to fundraise for. Their fundraising activities included more than 10 cake sales and Crispy Crème Sales, and we were delighted to visit the school and congratulate the students for their efforts. The funds raised will be used to support our activities for adults with a learning disability. Well done to everyone involved!
Street Party on 2nd June
Download more information here.
Diamond Jubilee Beacon Event
Diamond Jubilee Beacon Event at Morden Park on Monday 4 June. Download more information here.
South London Jobs Fair 2012 on 21 June 2012
Download more information here.
People with learning disabilities and their experience of cruelty in the community
Lemos & Crane’s report Loneliness and Cruelty is a study based on in-depth interviews of people with learning disabilities by frontline practitioners across the country. The report shows that people with learning disabilities living independently in the community experience a disturbing range of harassment, abuse and related crime with alarming frequency.
Loneliness and Cruelty: people with learning disabilities and their experience of harassment, abuse and related crime in the community by Carwyn Gravell, Researched and published by Lemos & Crane working with the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities and with support from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Download the main report here
Download the easy read version report here
How would you improve health and social care services in Merton? For more information visit www.linkmerton.net or call on 020 8685 1771 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Link Merton has produced a report showing the progress it has made in delivering its current work programme. To download a copy of the report, visit www.mertonconnected.com/link-update-1-12 . For a hard copy of the report, call 020 8685 1771.
Dates for your diary
Friday 9th March - Go4M event - 11am to 3pm - Morden Baptist Church
A celebration of the work of disabled people in Merton - information, music, theatre, art and craft displays
For more information ring 0770 359 6834 or visit website : www.go4m.org.uk
Friday 16th March - Transition and Personal Budget Resource Fair - 10am - 4pm - Chaucer Centre, Canterbury Road, Morden
This will cover leisure, colleges, employment, housing, health, training, benefits, daytime activities etc.
For more information follow this link
Thursday 22 March - 10.15am - 3.00pm / Thursday 29 March - 10.15am - 2.15pm: Carers Support Merton course on Personal Budgets - Vestry Hall, Mitcham
Contact Debbie Kilby (8646 7515) to find out more or book a place on this course
Wednesday 9 May - 10am - 4pm -St Albans Centre, Leigh Place, Holborn - Seminar/workshop on 'Eligibility, choice and quality of residential care for people with a learning disability'
Run by Kith & Kids. This costs £25 for family members, £5 for service users.
Speakers include Luke Clements and Mark Goldring. Call 8885 1517 to find out more or book a place.
Go4M ‘Celebrating Our Lives’ event and AGM
Anyone who wants to find out more about organisations in Merton that are run by disabled people, or that positively include disabled people, should attend the Go4m ‘Celebrating Our Lives’ event on Friday 9th March at Morden Baptist Church. Read the PDF for full details.
National Personal Budget Survey Results
A social care survey of the experiences of over 2,000 people who have received a personal budget, and their family carers, has been completed. Download the full report here or the summary report here.
A similar poll was conducted by Mori to examine the users experience of personal budgets – download it here.
A big thank you to Morrisons Solicitors of Wimbledon
Very special thanks to Morrisons Solicitors of Wimbledon for choosing Merton Mencap as their charity for fundraising for their annual quiz night on 6 October. This is the second event Morrisons Solicitors have chosen to raise funds for Merton Mencap and we are all very grateful for their encouragement and support for the work that we do. The event raised over £2,000.
The quiz night was made special by Dave Beasant, the former England goalkeeper, who also attended and joined our Merton Mencap quiz team. Many will know Dave as the captain of the 1988 FA Cup Final winning team Wimbledon as, during the match, Dave became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty during an FA Cup Final. On the night, Dave was definitely our man on our quiz team for all the sport questions! A big thank you to Dave too!
Rogue doorstep trading
The office of Fair Trading tell us that rogue doorstep trading is a serious problem in the UK. A substantial proportion of these complaints are vulnerable customers such as disabled people (23%) or elderly people (49%).
The Office of Fair Trading offers helpful advice in this area, if you or the person you care for needs it.
Download their guide
'Look Here!' SeeAbility event in London, 3rd November 2011
People with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have serious sight problems than other people.
SeeAbility is holding an event on 3rd November in London to advise people with learning disabilities and their supporters about good eye care.
For more information, download the leaflet, download the directions and download the booking form.
'Time For You' day
If you're a carer, it's important to take some time to look after yourself. On Thursday 20th October 2011,you can come along to The Vestry Hall, London Rad, Mitcham for some FREE therapy taster sessions.
Advertisement: Books Beyond Words Facilitator Training: Friday 9th September 2011
An essential interactive workshop for family carers, support workers and professionals.
Who are we are:
Beyond Words publishes an award winning series of books for people with learning disabilities or communication difficulties. The books communicate through pictures designed to help people understand and cope with a wide range of challenging situations. The books can be used by family carers, support workers and other professionals — anyone who wants to help someone with a learning disability to understand their world. Professor Baroness Sheila Hollins has edited all 38 titles in the series since 1989.
The aim of the workshop will be:
To demonstrate how pictures can be effective communication tools in support of people with intellectual disabilities for a variety of situations including in the home, in social and health care settings and in the community.
To equip participants with techniques and enhance their communications skills in using pictures with people with intellectual disability.
To achieve a level of proficiency for participants who wish to become certified facilitators for Beyond Words and lead a Beyond Words Book Club or work with individuals and groups using the Books Beyond Words series.
How will we learn:
- By watching short films of people using pictures to communicate.
- By practicing using pictures in small groups.
- By watching a demonstration of a book club.
- By communicating with people with learning disabilities using pictures.
What the workshop will teach:
Why are Pictures Better than Words?
- Expressive and receptive communication.
- Visual literacy
- What are Books Beyond Words?
- Ways to Use Books Beyond Words.
- Preparing somebody for a new situation
- Making sense of something that’s happened
- Getting consent from patients
- Helping people to tell their own story
- Educational uses with a group
- Educational uses one-to-one
- Using the books in therapy
- Using individual pictures
- Using the books in professional training
How to run a book club:
What you need to know:
Where: Boardroom 2, Hunter Wing, St. Georges, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, SW170RE.
When: 10:30 am - 3.30 pm Friday 9th September 2011
Cost: £145 per person, includes lunch, refreshments and training folder.
If you book two or more places the cost reduces to £125 per person. To sign up for this workshop, please send a cheque for £145 made payable to "Books Beyond Words", together with your name and contact details to:
6th Floor Hunter Wing
St. George’s, University of London
London SW17 0RE
Merton Centre for Independent Living is holding a meeting for all disabled residents in Merton to have their say about services and priorities in these difficult times. Senior officers from the London Borough of Merton will be present. The day will provide opportunities for disabled people and their carers to discuss in small groups and identify key services. Signers and graphic communicaters will be present to ensure all views are heard.
The meeting will take place on 16 September 2011 between 11am- 4pm at the Chaucer Centre in Canterbury Road, SM4 6PX. A buffet lunch will be provided. Please book your place by email or leave a message on 07710 576267.
Mental Capacity Act
Please click the link for a guide to the Mental Capacity Act - what it means for the family carers of adults with a learning disability. http://www.hft.org.uk/Family_Carer_Support/MCA_Resource_Guide
Therapists at the JMC day centre planning to offer a service to carers
A resource that not everyone knows about is the team of therapists based at the Jan Malinowski Centre in Mitcham. This includes art, music, drama and dance therapists, and they currently work with over 70 adults with a learning disability in the borough. The good news for us is that they are thinking of also providing a service for carers in the future - they are shortly going to be getting in touch with people to find out who might be interested, when and where they'd like the service to be provided etc. If you don't hear from them but would like to know more, the person to contact is Becky Ware at the JMC.
Toenail Cutting Service
The Podiatry Department is no longer commissioned to cut toenails; this has left a lot of adults with Learning Disabilities without a toenail cutting service.
The Community Nurses have proposed piloting a basic toenail cutting service for these individuals.
The aim of this service is to provide regular toenail cutting to these individuals who no longer receive a service from Podiatry.
Anyone can make a referral to this service and an assessment will be carried out to ensure the person is eligible for a service.
The eligibility criteria are as follows: -
- The person used to receive a toenail cutting service from Podiatry
- The person is not able to or has no-one who can support them to cut their toenails
There is no charge for this service but every person accepted for this service will have to commit to buying a foot care kit, which will consist of Toenail clippers, foot file, emery boards or a metal nail file and a pair of nippers.
Feet and toenails will need to be thoroughly washed on the day of the appointment. It is not advisable to wear tights on the day of the appointment. A clean towel will need to be provided.
This service can happen at the day centre or at home to suit the needs of the person. The service will be available between Monday - Friday 9am–5pm. If it is felt more specialist foot care is required, it may be necessary to access a qualified Podiatrist where there will be a charge.
Learning Disability Week : 20th - 26th June 2011
Mencap thinks that almost 1 million people with a learning disability have been a victim of disability hate crime. We want to see local authorities housing, social care and education come together to stop it.
In preparation for Learning Disability Week, Merton Mencap and national Mencap have been working together to raise awareness of the Stand by Me campaign, in which we want to see an end to hate crime against people with a learning disability in Merton.
We have also been working with the local police to raise awareness of this issue and to gain their support in stopping hate crime.
On Saturday 25 June, Merton Mencap, Sutton Mencap, and police officers and police community support officers came together for a sporting event in Morden. Footballers from Merton Mencap (‘Top Cats’) and Sutton Mencap joined with the police officers and staff for football training and matches. It was a super event in which everyone came together and had great fun!
If you want to know more about the Stand by me campaign, and support us, please download the Stand by me information (PDF).
St George’s Hospital
The Consultant Nurse for Learning Disabilities at St George’s Hospital, Jim Blair, is away until 6 July. If you need to speak to someone in Jim’s absence about a person with a learning disability at St George’s Hospital, contact David Flood on 020 8725 1624 or 020 8672 1255 and ask for BLEEP 8031.
Government strategy on mental health
If you support an adult with a learning disability who also has a mental health problem, you may be interested to download an easy-read version of the government’s strategy on mental health.
Community care law and the cuts on learning disability services
National Mencap have published a short video to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the cuts on learning disability services. The video is an interview with Luke Clements, who is a leading expert in community care law. See the video
Accessible information about the Census form
If you would like some accessible information about the Census, download this document. If you would like help to complete your Census, contact Lisa Gallacher on 020 8687 4657 or Email her.
Merton Mencap were delighted to be chosen as the charity for fundraising at the first birthday celebration at the Wimbledon Young Professionals Group. Read more