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New taster course launched for islanders with learning disabilities

New taster course launched for islanders with learning disabilities

Sunday 03 January 2021

New taster course launched for islanders with learning disabilities

Sunday 03 January 2021

A local charity will be offering islanders with learning disabilities access to activities in nature, at the beach, and at sporting venues to give them a taste of what is available in the island.

Jersey Mencap supports children and adults with a learning disability, striving for improved services, choices and opportunities by offering support in a variety of ways.

With 2020 being Mencap’s 60th Anniversary, the charity had been looking forward to a year filled with fundraising and celebrations. However, like many other others, they instead had to adapt their plans to ensure the safety of islanders whilst also continuing to help those in need of their services.

Express spoke to Jersey Mencap about what they achieved in 2020 and their aspirations for 2021.

“The fine summer weather allowed us to run outdoor activities in small groups in local parks which were well received by our members, many of whom live independently or with parents.

Art packs were sent out regularly as another way to keep in touch and offer activity-based projects.


Pictured: Jersey Mencap members enjoyed more outdoor events throughout 2020.

Sessions at our pond project have included art, yoga and gardening. Both staff and members benefited from time away from stresses and strains of the pandemic and without the usual raft of volunteers through our CSR programme, there was a lot of work to do to maintain the site.  

Zoom calls for singing, art and parties have also proved successful and offered members another outlet for socialising with friends and help ease back to a more normal daily life.

Like many vulnerable groups, adults with a learning disability have experienced difficult times during and since lockdown.With winter approaching it is likely to be harder to be active with fewer chances to exercise and get out and about. This can impact wellbeing on many levels.


Pictured: Many of Jersey Mencap's events, including the South Coast Charity Challenge, had to be cancelled this year.

“With our fundraising events being cancelled in 2020 the dates have been set and registration open for next year.  The South Coast Charity Challenge on Sunday 16 May 2021 is a 15 mile coastal hike which regularly attracts around 400 participants. 

The Jersey Mencap Charity golf day at the Royal Jersey Golf Club is on Friday 14 May.  

Mencap UK, as part of their drive to tackle this issue, have granted Jersey Mencap funding to deliver more sessions offering fitness and sport.  We are excited to grow our partnership work with Jersey Sport as part of this. 

We are pulling together a programme to offer our members more of the sessions we already enjoy such as health walks, cycling, yoga, Zumba and Boccia; as well as trying out some new activities including boxing and tai chi.


Pictured: Art packs offered another way to keep in touch and provide activity-based projects.

On top of this we are working on an eight-week taster course designed to give new experiences that may motivate and encourage members to think about what is available locally. This will include activities in nature, at the beach, at current sporting venues and also in recognised clubs.”

For more information about the work of Jersey Mencap, you can visit their website, email or call the office on 01534 866622.

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