This year Mencap’s Learning Disability Awareness Week was all about the vital role of friendships and relationships.
“People with a learning disability can find it difficult to make friends, and still often face isolation and exclusion from everyday activities” - Mencap
Mencap findings revealed, over 30% of people with a learning disability spend less than 1 hour outside their homes on a Saturday.
Voyage supported Mencap’s goal of promoting the importance of friendship for people with learning disabilities. Here’s a snapshot of just some of the fun activities that took place at our services to celebrate this important week and the inspiring stories provided by the people we support.
Bracken Villa Services started the week with their popular Monday night disco for people with learning disabilities, which has already helped develop many new friendships and relationships. The disco has enabled one of the people we support to realise their dream of becoming a DJ. We’re also delighted to thank the Retford Lions for their recent donation of extra music equipment.
People we support at Hermitage Lane enjoyed a day packed full of fun activities. They engaged in spinning Alpaca fleece into yarn, and using loom bands to make different types of friendship bracelets. The day included a music session with percussion instruments and an opportunity to pamper themselves with relaxing foot and hand massages. A wonderful day was had by all at Coleman Street, where individuals at the residential service and local supported living services enjoyed a bake off competition, garden party and delicious barbecue food. Tea parties were a regular occurrence during the week at many of the Voyage services, with the people we support inviting their friends and family and getting to know their neighbours - a great opportunity to rekindle old friendships and form new relationships.
Chris shared the story of him meeting his future wife at Elsmead Services in Taunton: "On Wednesday 6th September 2006, I, Chris, moved into Elsmead care home where I met a girl called Sam. I asked my dad at the beginning of 2007 that I could save up to £10 a month so that I and Sam could get married. On 10th October 2007, I, Chris, proposed to Sam at the Master Thatcher Pub in Taunton in front of our family and we got engaged. Then on Saturday 19th June 2010 at 2pm, I and Sam got married at St Georges Church in Taunton where we had our wedding and Sam is now a Mrs Sam. We have now been married for 6 years on Sunday 19th June 2016."
We’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who was involved in creating such a memorable week of fun-filled activities. Thanks also go to all the people we support for sharing their wonderful stories with us.