A Sheffield charity supporting children and young people with learning disabilities has raised over £10,000 for its 70th anniversary fundraiser.
Sheffield Mencap is a small charity set up by parents of people with learning disabilities in 1951. To commemorate 70 years of the charity’s work, there has been a year-long celebration that includes various fundraising events. This ends next month.
The charity supports 500 people across Sheffield, both individuals living with learning disabilities and their parents and carers.
Dave Swindlehurst, senior manager of Sheffield Mencap said: “We’re all about helping and supporting children and young people with disabilities to achievethe very best they can, to have a very rich life and to be seen as valued as much as possible in wider society”.
Mencap provides a range of services from education programmes during the day, social clubs in the evening, and sports clubs. They have also done a lot of work encouraging uptake of covid-19 vaccinations.
The main event of the anniversary fundraiser was the ‘Sponsor me for 70’ in which trustees, staff and Mencap members did various sponsored actives to raise funds.
As well as this, Mencap is sharing 70 stories from the individuals they support. The 70 stories were collated into a final ten to form a published book now on sale.
The £10,000 raised will allow the charity to refurbish their sensory room which provides a relaxing environment for people with the most severe disabilities, away from the busy environment of the other services Mencap provides.
Mr Swindlehurst said: “There’s an awful lot of emphasis on encouraging and developing people and supporting them through difficult times, but also celebrating the wonderful things we can achieve with people with a learning disability every week in the city.”
He continued: “As a small local charity, we’re always keen to bang the drum for what we do and celebrate the wonderful things that we achieve. At times been able to change peoples perceptions, get on people’s radar a bit more and be seen for what we are, a very valuable local charity which needs support.”
He said that the Christmas fundraiser was one of the highlights of the 70 year anniversary fundraiser, with people coming together for the first time since the end of lockdowns.
Mr Swindlehurst recalled the spirit and sense of community during the 70 year anniversary: “Oh its was brilliant!”, he said.