West Norfolk Mencap
West Norfolk Mencap works to support adults with a learning disability living in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, offering support and companionship to enable members to access opportunities in the community.
The charity operates a Befriender Scheme which aims to reduce social isolation and to increase the confidence, independence, self-esteem and life skills of people with a learning disability. Many find it difficult to make friends and form lasting relationships, and this scheme aims to create opportunities to develop friendships, experience different situations and develop new skills outside of their usual day-to-day care settings. The scheme is run by one part time member of staff and a team of people with learning disabilities, plus 10 volunteers.
Around 100 people with learning difficulties are supported each year, through one to one befriending and group activities such as coffee mornings, pub nights, trips and excursions. In a survey of members and carers involved with the project, over three-quarters of those interviewed said that the Befriender Scheme had a positive effect on their lives.
In 2012 a grant of £1,000 was awarded from the Freebridge Community Housing Trust to support this work.