South Wilts Mencap: News

South Wilts Mencap news along with local and national stories relating to people with learning disabilities.

Running for South Wilts Mencap

Rob Paget, Disability Sport Development Officer for Wiltshire Council is running the London Marathon on 23 April 2017. 

Rob has chosen to raise funds which will be split 50:50 between South Wiltshire Mencap and the national charity Mencap.

Rob says “I have been successful in receiving a London marathon place through the ballot. However after working closely with South Wiltshire Mencap over the past 8 years I wanted to give something back and raise money for such a fantastic charity. South Wilts Mencap supports people with learning disabilities; inspiring individuals to achieve their full potential and enabling them and their families to lead active, more fuller lives.”

Visit his just giving page here to support Rob running the London Marathon by donating towards his target of £1,000.

National Consultation on High Needs Funding


The Department for Education (DfE) are introducing a national funding formula to make funding fair for local areas, children and young people. This consultations seeks views on the detailed design of the formula, building on the earlier consultation on the principles and structure. 

You can read about the Consultation here and submit your views online here.

The survey closes date is 22 March 2017.

Expert Parent Programme in Salisbury

The Expert Parent Programme began in 2014, supported by research led by the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign which found that parents and carers of disabled children faced numerous barriers in accessing health services and struggled to navigate the health system.

Developed with funding support from the Department of Health, the Expert Parent Programme drew on evidence of the positive impact of parent-led training and it empowers parents of disabled children and young people to become more confident and resilient when engaging with health services.

The Expert Parent Programme is unique in that it maps out the current health system specifically to the needs of children and young people with disabilities. Through training led by an experienced trainer the programme enables parent carers to better understand the health system and provides them with practical tools on how to access it to ensure the best outcomes for their children and young people.

This FREE training session will be on Tuesday 28 February at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Sports Club, Wilton Road, Salisbury SP2 9NY, from 9.45am-2.00pm.

Places are limited to 16 parent carers and will be awarded on a first come first served basis. Booking will close at 5pm on Thursday 23 February 2017 or when maximum numbers have been reached, whichever comes first.

Click here to book your place.

Able Hands Together CIC based at River Bourne Farm

Take a look at the fantastic work the co-farmers do at River Bourne Community farm under the Guidance of Laura Tween. This is thanks to the community interest company, Able Hands Together, set up in 2016.

Able Hands Together aims to teach adults with learning disabilities (Co-Farmers) to nurture livestock on a smallholding. Growing their own produce to cook from their success
Laura Tween, LLB- Founder

You can learn more about this project by visiting their website or facebook page.

Webinar: Transforming Care for children and young people with Learning Disabilities, Autism or both

Join this live webinar on Wednesday 1 February 12.30 – 1.30pm

Transforming Care is an all age programme for children and young people (and adults) with learning disabilities, autism or both, which aims to transform the way that care and services are provided to help children and young people have a meaningful and positive life. The programme also aims to prevent children and young people with learning disabilities and/or autism who also have behaviours that challenge or a mental health condition being admitted to specialist hospitals such as Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs).

In local areas, Transforming Care Partnership Boards are leading on this work to improve services and the lives of children, young people and adults with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism.

This webinar will explain why Transforming Care is so important, what it really means for children, young people and their families, what is happening in your local area, how it relates to and overlaps with the Special Educational Needs & Disabilities, (SEND) agenda and how you can get involved to shape transformation. It will also explain what individual parents can do when things are not working for you and your child, particularly if your child may be at risk of being admitted to hospital.

Mary Busk, National Network for Parent Carer Forums, (NNPCF) Steering Group member for London, has been an integral member of the national advisory group for Transforming Care for children and young people and will be presenting the webinar alongside Sue North, the Children’s Social Care and Education Adviser for the Transforming Care programme.

Register for the webinar HERE After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. You can view system requirements HERE 

New to webinars?
A webinar is a presentation live on the internet. You will be able to hear presentations live, follow the slides and submit questions for the presenters to answer. You will need a home computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone. You can also join via telephone, although you won’t be able to see the presentation or submit questions. Read this information and guidance document (PDF). Please note that if you are joining a GoToWebinar for the first time, you will need to download the necessary software – please give yourself a little time to do this before the broadcast begins.

Family Fund Digital Skills Programme

At Family Fund they understand the power that digital technologies have to transform the lives of disabled children and their families.

They know that having a digital device is just the start and that some families need the skills and knowledge to understand how to get the most out of these devices and the internet. Family Fund is working to support families with disabled children in acquiring the digital skills they need. Visit their website to learn more.

Five Rivers health and wellbeing centre Official Opening

On Thursday 9 February, Five Rivers health and wellbeing centre will be holding its official opening event between 4:30pm and 6:30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend and take part in the exciting programme of events. 

Exhibition stands include Citizens Advice Wiltshire, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Wiltshire Police, The Royal British Legion, Salisbury City Council, The Salisbury Museum, South WIlts Mencap and Salisbury District Hospital.

Activities include The Wessex Community Circus, bouncy castle, five-a-side junior tournament, face painting, balloon modelling, arts and crafts workshop, creche play equipment, fire engine and a skill and training market place.

At 4:30pm the Salisbury Cathedral School choir will perform. At 5pm there is a healthy eating workshop. At 5:15pm a drama workshop starts. Drama 60 will also perform there showcase at 5:15pm.

Download the flyer here.

WPCC SENDIS Event 2017

WPCC SENDIS Event is for parent carers of children and young people from 0 to 25 with SEN and/or a disability (SEND) and professionals, to find out more about services and support in Wiltshire.

The event will take place on Friday 3rd February at the Corn Exchange in Devizes, SN10 1HS and will run from 10.00am to 2.00pm. We have approximately 40 confirmed information stands and we will be running three information sessions on:-

  • The Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Behaviour
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing

For anyone needing some help to complete and submit their Short Break applications for the 2017/18 Scheme, WPCC SENDIS officers will be available to help and submit applications live on the day.

For more information about the event, please see the flyer.

To book your place at the event, please click HERE to go to the booking form, or telephone WPCC on 01225 764647. Bookings for this event close on Tuesday 31st January 2017.

Mencap Legal Service coming soon

Royal Mencap will be launching a Mencap Legal Service to increase their capacity to provide advice to families.

Cuts to legal aid and closures of charitable legal services have made it difficult for people with a learning disability and their families to access free legal support. In addition, 20% of families with at least one disabled member live in poverty and increasing numbers of people have seen their care and support dramatically reduced by local authorities.

In the meantime you can look at these useful documents; Professor Luke Clemment’s Problem-solving Toolkit and Rights Here Rights Now.

Tigers Chalk up 10 Years!

Salisbury City Tigers Football Club is 10 years old this year. Started at Salisbury College by Dave Wilcock with support from South Wilts Mencap, the club has gone from strength to strength offering the chance to play football to a wide range of adults with learning disabilities. We very much like to think of ourselves as a social club with football as a focus, it’s all about enjoying the game.

Tigers train on Monday evenings from 5.00 – to 6.00pm at South Wilts Sports Ground and there are usually 12 or so players at each session where we work on fitness skills and also enjoy a game. The club plays in the Wiltshire FA Ability Counts league where we meet teams from across the county; completion is tough but games are always played in a good spirit.

In order to keep going for another 10 years Tigers need more coaches who are prepared to get stuck in and work with the lads. If you know anyone who might be interested ask them to contact John Page (01722 417316 ) or johnpagerfc@hotmail.com.