Evelyn and Erin’s Stories
Evelyn playing on the Leeds Mencap playground (Left) and Erin on a Sib’s trip to Puttstars (Right)
As Leeds Mencap celebrates its 70th Anniversary, we are pleased to present the first in a series of case studies highlighting the incredible impact of our organisation. In this article, we will explore the fantastic impact of Leeds Mencap’s Siblings Group, a club that has made a tremendous difference for all those involved!
The Siblings Group is a group where children and young people aged 8 to 16 can meet and spend time with peers who have siblings with learning disabilities. The group is run at The Vinery Centre every Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm during the school term. The Siblings Group offers a friendly, supportive environment where members can choose activities and venues that interest them, including trips to laser tag, bowling, and the cinema. In addition, we organize a variety of events such as sports days, games nights, and talent shows, so there is always something exciting happening!
Let’s meet Erin and Evelyn, two members of the Siblings Group and their parents, Charlotte and Kate, who have experienced the positive impact of the group first hand!
Erin has recently turned 12 and has been attending the Siblings Group for just over 18 months. Erin’s mother, Charlotte, wanted her to join a club where she could have time away from the home environment and meet other siblings who are in a similar situation. Charlotte, who had previously attended a course at Leeds Mencap, was aware of the services we offer and decided to enrol Erin in the Siblings Group. Although initially Erin was apprehensive about attending the group, she is now always eager to attend! Charlotte notes that Leeds Mencap organises the club very well, with frequent trips out, and the Siblings Group members involved in choosing varied activities. Erin loves attending the group and has made new friends, giving her more opportunities to enjoy her time away from home. Charlotte has also met parents she identifies with, helping her feel less isolated.
“Erin has met new friends, enjoys going and I know she is getting time away from the home environment. I have also met parents who I identify with and this has helped as it can be difficult for friends who are not in the same situation to understand.” Charlotte (Erin’s Mother) – April 2023
Evelyn has been attending the Siblings Group on and off for a few years now. Recently, she has restarted attending the group regularly and found it was much needed, feeling relaxed and happy. Evelyn’s mother, Kate, notes that Evelyn loves making new friends and having fun trips out with the group. Evelyn has two brothers who both attend Leeds Mencap youth clubs and playschemes. Evelyn’s mother, Kate, mentioned that talking about her family life with other children has been challenging for Evelyn, and attending the Siblings Group has been a great relief. Attending the Siblings Group has helped her find a peer group with whom she can relate and talk openly, allowing her to lift a mental weight off her shoulders. Evelyn feels understood at the group and has made a best friend that she is able to have fun with as well as talk to about her feelings. She absolutely loves attending.
“It was much needed! She felt absolutely relaxed & happy.” Kate (Evelyn’s Mother) – April 2023
Both Charlotte and Kate highly recommend Leeds Mencap to other parents. Kate, who co-runs a support group for families caring for children and young people under 25 with disabilities, frequently recommends Leeds Mencap to other families due to our outstanding family support services.
“I always recommend Mencap due to the many amazing services of family support. That they offer in Leeds. They really are one of a kind.” Kate (Evelyn’s Mother) – April 2023
At Leeds Mencap, we take pride in supporting families and individuals with learning disabilities. The Siblings Group is just one example of how we provide safe and supportive spaces at The Vinery Centre for children and young people to make friends and have fun. It also gives parents the opportunity to connect with others in similar situations and feel less isolated. We hope that this case study inspires families to take advantage of our programs and services, which are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual.
If you have a child with a learning disability and need support please contact our friendly team by calling 0113 235 1331 or by emailing email@example.com. Alternatively, you can pop down to chat to us in person at The Vinery Centre, 20 Vinery Terrace, Leeds, LS9 9LU