Case Studies

Click the links below to read stories from our members, befrienders and volunteers on how we have been able to help them:

Finding a job – Shane
Making friends – Paul
Befriending – Neil
Volunteering – Nicole
Fundraising – Kev

Finding a job – Shane’s story

Many of our young members with a learning disability don’t have the opportunity to work – they feel they don’t have the skills and lack confidence.  This was pretty much how Shane felt when he came to see us, he’d recently been diagnosed with autism and dyspraxia and was unsure of his future.

We invited Shane to join a series of our career workshops and to do some one-to-one work with our Career Coach to enhance his job opportunities. We identified strengths and areas of improvement for Shane and worked at a relaxed and comfortable pace. Within months he was ready to begin applying for suitable roles and very quickly a job became available. We supported Shane through the application process and worked with him on interview tips, helping to develop his confidence.

On the day of the interview Shane beat nine other candidates to the role and has been successfully employed for over a year as a learning disability consultant for national Mencap.

Life is a much more fulfilling experience nowadays, as his sister explains:

“Having paid employment has completely changed Shane’s life. It’s proved to him that he is a valuable member of society who has a lot to offer and it’s just amazing how much his confidence has grown as a result. Shane is so much happier, something which everyone has noticed, and for that we can’t thank the team at Mencap enough!”

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Making friends – Paul’s story

Paul and Kev enjoy a game of pool at Rileys

Paul spends time with Kev at Rileys

For Paul, signing up to our Befriending Project was a defining moment in his life. When we first met Paul he lacked the confidence to socialise and struggled to form new friendships. We spent time with Paul to discover his likes and dislikes, and we learnt that he loves dancing and Batman. Paul was matched with a befriender who suited his personality and shared some similar interests. We worked alongside his befriender to give him the support he needed to make his relationship with Paul work – and to make it truly worthwhile for both of them.

Paul says: “I came to Mencap Liverpool because I wanted I wanted to get out and do things and make some friends. I wasn’t going out and felt bored. I first met Kevin in Costa with Mencap Liverpool staff. At first, I was pretty nervous because I didn’t know him. This always makes me a bit unsure.

 I started meeting Kevin every Wednesday. After about two months I had got to know him pretty well. I thought he was excellent! He was starting to become a real friend and I was getting out of the house a lot more. With Kevin I go round the shops, go to the pub for a couple of pints to watch the football, go for lunch. We went to see Batman Live as well!

 As well as meeting Kevin, I started to come to Mencap Liverpool office. Before I met Kevin, the idea of going to the office frightened me. It was strange at first but I got used to coming in and it gave me even more to do – it occupied my mind. I also started coming into the office for socials, and then I started volunteering in the office every Thursday.

I can be a bit shy, but I find it much easier to talk to people now. I am really happy to be involved with Mencap Liverpool and I really like meeting up with Kevin.”

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Befriending – Neil’s story

I got involved with Mencap Liverpool and their befriending programme about two years ago. I wanted to give something back, and my day job is in social care so befriending seemed like a really good fit. I spent time discussing my aspirations and reasons for volunteering with Lois, who looks after all the befrienders at Mencap Liverpool. I then got matched to Stuart who needed someone to help him with his weekly food shopping, which he found pretty difficult as he felt anxious in some social settings.

When I first met Stuart, I noticed that he found it difficult to interact with people in certain situations. I used my knowledge and personal experiences to work with him on minimising these things and I knew there was befriending training available if I needed it. I listened, a lot. And I didn’t judge Stuart or patronise him. I treated him as the friend he has most definitely become.

Stuart and I go shopping once-a-week and always find time for a cup of tea afterwards. I’ve learnt a huge amount from the time I’ve spent with him and I feel really proud of how he’s managed his anxieties.

He’s now much calmer and relaxed in social situations and has even recently invited my mum round to his house to meet the love of his life – his ford Capri car!

Befriending has definitely had a positive impact on my life too; I really enjoy my weekly trips out with Stuart and count him as a genuine friend. I hope there are plenty more supermarket excursions ahead!”

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Office Volunteer Nicole’s story

I started volunteering in January 2013 and the experience has truly changed my outlook on Tuesdays –  they are the best day of my working week. I volunteer for two hours as an office assistant, which among other things can involve helping other volunteers with their tasks, supporting staff with sourcing stationery or posting updates on social media. Volunteering is a refreshing change from my day-to-day work.

The Mencap Liverpool office is not a place you go to if you want to avoid social interaction. More than a friendly environment, the office is a place where everyone’s commitment to supporting the charity’s members is contagious. I hope my contribution makes a difference, and that is why I will continue to volunteer every week.

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Fundraising – Kevin’s story

Bananaman aka Kev conquers the Liverpool Marathon

Bananaman aka Kev conquers the Liverpool Marathon

Ticking ‘running a marathon’ off his bucket list was the perfect incentive for local man Kevin to sign up for the Liverpool Marathon. As a committed befriender on our volunteer befriending project, he instantly knew he wanted this big personal challenge to also benefit a charity close to his heart.Kevin has been a befriender to a young man with learning disabilities, Paul, for more than a year.  Paul and Kevin meet up on a weekly basis and have struck up a great friendship watching the football together, although they both support teams on different sides of Stanley Park!

Kevin said: “I have honestly enjoyed every moment of my friendship with Paul. Paul has a fantastic sense of humour and a caring personality that shines through. When I decided to take on the challenge of running the marathon I wanted to make sure I was also raising money to support the fantastic work that Mencap Liverpool do every day.”

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Phone: 0151 707 8582
Post: Mencap Community Cottage, 6-8 Mariners Road, Crosby, L23 6SX

Registered Charity Number 1004262