A Hundred Thousand Thank- Yous From Aodhan and Lucas

30 June 2016

A Hundred Thousand Thank- Yous From Aodhan and Lucas

Mencap is absolutely delighted to announce that all you marathon runners, relay team members, 8 mile walkers and Fun Runners have smashed the £100,000 barrier!




Thanks to all your marathon fundraising- you have all helped raise over £105,000! This is an amazing amount which will go such a long way in providing support for hundreds of children and young people  with a learning disability; as well as their families, right here in Northern Ireland.

Adohan and Luca’s story below highlights the amazing work you are helping to fund and the massive difference you are making

Aodhàn and Luca are three years old and attend Mencap Centre Nursery. They took part in a photo shoot for Learning Disability Week 2016- which launches today. Paul Kane, their Mencap Key Worker shares with you the progress they have made at the nursery and their budding friendship.

Paul says:

“Both boys have shown a lot more confidence during their time at the nursery and have become more outgoing. This is Luca’s second year at Nursery-he was very quiet in his first year and had no verbal skills at the start of this year. Now you can see how the friendship with Aodhàn has brought him out of himself, but also helped bothboys develop.

Aodhàn was also very introverted, shy and did not say much, but now they have the confidence to go and play together, communicate and help each other. Aodhàn only uses a few words, but came in the other day saying hello, hello, hello to everyone in the room!

Their communications skills have improved so much that they can have a friendship with each other, which has developed their confidence so much. They happily say ‘This is my friend’ or make the Makaton sign for friends, which is holding the two hands together.

The two boys both love role playing in the play kitchen area of the nursery, making each other pretend cups of tea and food. They like the rough and tumble of the soft play area, they will go down the slide together and even help each other up onto the balance beam. They both love singing and rhyme- time, and can use some of the few words they know and newly learned Makaton signs.

Friendships are so important to all children- even more so for children with a learning disability. It is security and comfort for the children to have a friend- they see each other as the same, using the same sign language and other skills they have learned together.  

At Mencap Nursery we help to start the learning  of a life- skill like no other- how to make and keep friends and to decide who is my friend and who they want to play with!  

Communication can be a real barrier for children with a learning disability – some are still very introverted and shy or have no real awareness of other children around them.

But  Aodhan and Luca have really started to come out of their shells and interact with others. Having a friend who gives them that support and confidence is so vital and this will really help them as they go on to nursery and primary schools.”

We still need your help to ensure that all children with al earning disability get the best start in life, the chance to make friends  and to grow in confidence

We still need you to #doit4mencap on 18th September – so please sign up to take on Deep RiverRock’s Belfast City Half Marathon! Your next step could mean many big steps for children with a learning disability in Northern Ireland!

To sign up please visit http://www.belfastcitymarathon.com/enter and to learn more about Mencap and the difference you will make – please visit www.mencapbigstepforward.org.uk