South Wilts Mencap: News

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

Blue Badge Consultation Considering Hidden Disabilities

The government believes that the Blue Badge scheme should not discriminate in principle between physical and non-physical disabilities.

The current rules embrace all conditions, physical or otherwise, but it has become clear to us that the regulations and guidance are not clearly understood by local authorities. People with hidden disabilities may be finding it difficult to access badges, even though their condition causes them very significant difficulties when undertaking a journey.

The department has accordingly committed to look again at how the scheme works for people with hidden disabilities, to ensure that the rules and guidance are clear and that those with the greatest needs have access to a Blue Badge. This accords with the government’s manifesto commitment to give parity of esteem to mental and physical health conditions.

This consultation document discusses the key issues involved, and presents ideas for improving the rules. The challenge will be to ensure a scheme that is both sustainable and works for all who are eligible for it, whatever their disability.

Read more about the consultation here.

WPCC SENDIS Annual Event 2018

Bookings are now open for the WPCC annual SENDIS Information Event which takes place on Friday 2nd February 2018As in previous years, the event is taking place at the Corn Exchange in Devizes, SN10 1HS and will run from 10.00am to 2.00pm (9.30am registration and tea/coffee). Further details of the event are on the attached flyer and booking form. To book your place at the event now, simply click this link: SENDIS Event 2018

View the flyer here.

Short Breaks Scheme 2018/19 Applications Now Open

One of the ways that Wiltshire Council provides short breaks to children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disability is through the Short Breaks Scheme.

Designed in consultation with parents and carers, the scheme aims to meet the individual needs and interests of children and young people who require additional support to either access or engage in leisure activities or ‘short breaks’.

As per last year, applications for the scheme need to be made via the Wiltshire Council [online form].

On submitting your application you should get a submission page on screen confirming your application. Text on the submission screen will include the following message: “Late applications will not be accepted so you are advised to keep a copy of this page (print or save a copy) as a record of your application should you need to evidence that you applied before the deadline.”

If you experience difficulties, do not have access to the internet or you need some help to make an application, please contact WPCC on 01225 764647 and they will be happy to help you. Please leave a message with your name and telephone number on the answering machine, if you cannot get through.


Change4Life are offering a free health snack pack, money-off vouchers and stickers.

Sign up here for your FREE healthy snacking pack and get money-off vouchers and stickers for the kids.

Joining Change4Life means you will also receive emails including healthy eating tips, tasty recipes, fun activities for kids, offers and lots more!

The Change4Life website is packed full of tips, recipes, activity ideas, advice and so much more or you can download one of their apps. Visit now… 

Rising Stars Sports Club

Rising Stars Sports clubs are open to any young person with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and/or Disability from the ages of 8 to 16 years.

From Monday 8 January 2018:

Delivered with the support of the Bath Rugby Foundation, clubs encourage young people to explore new activities and sports, helping individuals gain life skills as they take part. Participants develop social, personal, creative and learning skills as well as benefiting from improved confidence and self esteem. These clubs provide a safe, friendly and fun environment for everyone and new members are always welcome.

The cost is £30 for 10 sessions

For further information and to book a place please do not hesitate to contact Rob Paget by email or phone on 01722 434770.

Turn2us offers support to people in financial hardship

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.

You could be missing out on financial help available to you through welfare benefits or grants. Turn 2 Us provide a free and easy-to-use Benefits Calculator and Grants Search tools which can help you check what you might be able to claim or apply for.

Parent Carer Group at St Pauls

Carer Support Wiltshire run support groups for people who are caring for a child or young adult. Come along to share useful information and experiences with other parent carers and chat with one of our carer support workers.


St Paul’s Church, Fisherton Street, Salisbury. SP2 7QW

Time: 10.00am-12.00pm


Wednesday 10th January 2018

Wednesday 14th March 2018

Visit their website.

RETHINK Mental Health Carer Group

Are you caring for someone who has mental health problems? Come along to the Rethink support group for advice and support in a friendly, safe environment.

For more information please contact Clare Druett via email or visit their website.

Location: Tindall Room, Sarum College, Cathedral Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EE Time: 7.00pm-9.00pm

Dates: Second Thursday of the month: 11 January, 8 February, 8 March 2018

Family Holiday Association Applications for 2018 Short Breaks

Family Association short breaks are  mainly at seaside holiday parks, staying in a self-catering caravan. They also work with a wide range of other holiday parks, hotels and hostels who donate availability to them. They provide families with their holiday accommodation free of charge, and can sometimes make a contribution towards expenses for travel / food etc. The majority of breaks take place between Easter and the end of October.

Their criteria are that families have at least one child under 18, have not been on holiday in the last four years, and are on a low income (household income of under £24,000 per year).

Group Trip Funding

They can also provide funding for organisations to run trips for families, such as a day out at the seaside or a few days at an outdoor centre with the first deadline 31st January 2018.

They are especially keen to receive applications from organisations who take an unusual or innovative approach to supporting families through trips and breaks.

Day Trips

Day trips will be available later in the year.

Please Note: Applications can only be made by professionals. For professionals to get started click here

Visit their website for more information.