In the late 1940’s a Newark couple Denis and Joyce Mills were told by doctors that their little son David had a learning disability.
When he reached the age of five they received a letter saying that he would not be accepted at school. In those days’ there was no alternative provision, financial support or care. Denis and Joyce visited other parents who were in a similar position and set up a group. They rented a room at Newark Technical College where the children could meet weekly supervised by parents on a rota basis. That gave the other parents a break from 24/7 care.
Following the formation of National Mencap under the patronage of the late Lord Brian Rix, pressure grew on local authorities, councils and eventually government to provide some level of care and financial help. One of the earliest posters read “Kevin should be an MP – he sits in the house all day.” In due course fund raising and local patronage enabled what by then had become Newark Mencap to buy a property in Whitfield Street. This was to be our Centre for very many years until the recent move to the Congregational Church Hall in Hatton Gardens. Here sixty plus years on from its formation Newark Mencap continues to work with energy and enthusiasm to improve the lives of children and adults with a learning disability and to support their parents and carers.
The charities activities are overseen by seven volunteer trustees. They set the strategy and ensure that proper controls are in place to cover the care of our clients and that financial controls are in place.
All our trustees either have direct experience of looking after people with learning disabilities, some as parents, or have extensive business knowledge. This experience, coupled with our professional service delivery team, help ensure we run the charity for the sole benefit of our clients.