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The Action Thread Part Two


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"My name is Darren. I want to tell you my story and how Mencap helped me escape loneliness.

When my partner Trace passed away in 2008, I was lonelier than ever, and fell into a deep depression. I was really unhappy and would just sit at home all day on my own, until I found Mencap.ย 

Coming to Mencap means I have friends and people to talk to now, and I can get help with any problems I have. Theyโ€™ve helped me with everything from healthy eating to expressing my feelings. And they were there for me during lockdown when I had nobody else."ย 

This Christmas there are thousands of people like Darren across the UK with nobody to talk to. You can help give them a brighter future with the gift of hope๐ŸŽ.ย 

Donate today: https://bit.ly/3vC1ox5


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๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ Thank you! We now have over 5000 members in our online community. ๐Ÿ’–ย 
Our amazing community have supported each other with topics including;ย 
capacity and decision makingย 
supported livingย 
fun activities in their local areaย 
Join for free today ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿฝย 



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Friends are so important. โค

Lucinda and Nikki definitely agree! ๐Ÿ˜€

That is why they are having fun with the Makaton sign for friend to help us celebrate Befriending Week. ๐Ÿ‘
Everyone needs a good friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

Even Spider-Man! ๐Ÿ•ธ

To find out more about making friends, email us at friendships@mencap.org.uk ๐Ÿ“ง


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Say hi to Hannah. ๐Ÿ‘‹

For her, #BefriendingIs finding someone to connect with and share a love of...

Baking ๐Ÿฐ
Cats ๐Ÿˆ
And mermaids! ๐Ÿงœโ€โ™€๏ธ

As a befriender with Wirral Mencap Hannah has made a new friend in Emily, who makes her "laugh so, so much!" ๐Ÿ˜‚

Befriending works both ways - if you have something to give, you'll almost certainly have something to get in return. โค

Learn more about befriending on our website at ย mencap.org.uk/befriending ๐Ÿ‘ˆ


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Say hello to Rob and his befriender Gary. ๐Ÿ‘‹

Rob has really enjoyed spending time with Gary, thanks to a scheme run by Wirral Mencap.ย 

"The best thing about having Gary as a befriender is that we get on well and have a good laugh! Gary has been my befriender for over a year-and-a-half now" Rob says. ๐Ÿ’ฌย 

"Every Wednesday we do a walk and talk together with a group called Journeymen. We get to go and meet other men and chat about anything and everything. It makes me feel good just to meet other people and to get out and about." ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

"We do lots of different activities together like fishing, walking, cycling and walking football. I never thought that I would enjoy fishing or even get to try it, but I really enjoy it. I can set my own rod up, cast out and catch fish now!" ๐ŸŽฃ

"Going out with Gary means that I get to go out of the house and it helps with my anxiety as I get to meet people I donโ€™t know. Itโ€™s great having Gary as a befriender." ๐Ÿ‘

If you'd like to find out more about getting a befriender, email us on friendships@mencap.org.uk ย ๐Ÿ‘ˆ


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Meet Graham. ๐Ÿ‘‹

He's been one of our incredible volunteer befrienders for more than 20 years!

As a Mencap visitor, every few weeks he goes to see Nigel - who is in his 70s and has a learning disability - at his home in Norfolk, where he's supported by Mencap.ย 

"If you mention the word 'tea' Nigel will almost run to be there" says Graham. โ˜•

"As long as he can have a cup of tea and a sticky bun he's happy, and as long as Nigel is happy, then I'm happy."ย 

He and Nigel will often walk around the city centre together, looking in the shops ๐Ÿ›’ and having that all-important cuppa!

"Nigel loves going to the shops ๐Ÿช so will often tell me that he wants to go to all of the shops. I picked him up one day and asked him what he wanted to do โ€“ he said โ€œI want to buy a book about Walesโ€ and I said โ€œThe sea mammal ๐Ÿ‹ or the place?โ€ย 

"He said โ€œThe place!โ€ So I knew there was an Oxfam bookshop to take him to. ๐Ÿ“š

"I looked through the geography section and amazingly found a book about Wales, I handed it to him and he said โ€œItโ€™s not big enoughโ€. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

"We went around all the shops looking for a bigger book about Wales and never found one. A few weeks later I asked him what he wanted to do and he said โ€œI want to buy that book we foundโ€ โ€“ and would you believe it the book was still there!" ๐Ÿ˜‚

Being a volunteer can open up a new world for someone, but "youโ€™ve got to want to do it" says Graham. ย "Youโ€™ve got to feel motivated to make the effort that is required. Itโ€™s not a 'dip in, suck it and see' thing. Itโ€™s someone elseโ€™s life." โค

If you want to make a meaningful difference as a befriender like Graham visit our website to find out more at mencap.org.uk/volunteer ๐Ÿ‘ˆ


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Say hello to Puja and Sophie. ๐Ÿ‘‹

For them, #BefriendingIs being matched through Gig Buddies in January this year, where they shared their love of crafting with each other, making soap over Zoom calls! ๐Ÿงผ

Sophie and Puja finally met face to face in March, going for a walk along the beach and have met up lots since then. ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธ

"I feel like we got on straight away" Sophie says. "We like the same things and have a lot in common."

"Puja is really bubbly and happy, and doesn't take anything too serious, we're always laughing together! I don't get nervous talking to her."

Since joining Gig Buddies and meeting Puja, Sophie says her confidence has definitely improved.ย 

"Seeing other Gig Buddies like me like me being confident makes me feel like, 'I could do that'. In the past, going to events, I would never dance. But seeing others do it made me feel like I can." ๐Ÿ’ƒ

Find out more about Gig Buddies and other befriending opportunities at mencap.org.uk/Befriending. ๐Ÿ‘ˆ


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Today is the start of Befriending Week 2021! ๐Ÿ™Œ

We'll be celebrating by sharing stories about what befriending is and what it means to people. ๐Ÿ“–

Befriending gives people who might be lonely a chance to meet others, get out, and spend time together. โ€๐Ÿค

Befriending could mean...

Sharing a hobby ๐Ÿงฉ
Meeting up to have a cup of tea โ˜•
Having a chat on the phone. ๐Ÿ“ž

What does befriending mean to you? โ“

Let us know! ๐Ÿ‘‡


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Happy Birthday Judy. ๐ŸŽ‰

Mother, campaigner, and our founder Judy Fryd didn't accept that change was impossible. ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ

Thank you for starting a movement that has changed so many people's lives. ๐Ÿ™Œ

And for always putting the rights of people with a learning disability's at the heart of everything you ever did. ๐Ÿ“ฃ

You can be like Judy and create change today, on what would have been her 112th birthday. ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ

Take the pledge to support people with a learning disability: https://secure.mencap.org.uk/en-gb/activism-week-75th-anniversary-pledge ๐Ÿ‘ˆ


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