Mencap and Virgin Money have announced a year-long partnership to bring people with and without learning disability together through sport.
The charity of the year partnership launched during Learning Disability Week (June 17–26) and starts with a series of sport and inclusion events.
The partnership includes Mencap being charity of the year for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, while the fundraised income from the partnership will directly fund a new inclusive programme ‘All Move’ in schools across the UK aimed at bringing young people with and without a learning disability together through sport to tackle stigma and discrimination.
The partnership with Virgin Money will also fund Scotland’s largest charity for people with learning disabilities ENABLE Scotland to deliver its own inclusion project, ACE Youth Groups.
For Learning Disability Week 2019, Mencap is hosting a series of inclusive sports events across the country to help improve social inclusion and tackle discrimination against people with a learning disability. The ‘Here We Are’ events will be taking place in 15 different locations across the country with activities ranging from inclusive sports days and yoga, a zumbathon as well as a coastal walk along the Millennium Coastal Path at Llanelli.
Mencap will also be hosting a staff engagement roadshow for Virgin Money, visiting each of its UK offices to raise awareness about learning disabilities and teach staff Makaton phrases.
The staff at Virgin Money chose Mencap to be their official charity of the year through a competitive staff voting process.
David Duffy, Chief Executive of Virgin Money, said: “We are thrilled to announce Mencap as our charity partner of the year. As an organisation we are extremely proud to be supporting the charity’s ‘Here We Are’ events during Learning Disability Week. These events will really help transform the lives of people with a learning disability and help bring about social inclusion. We’re looking forward to working with Mencap to make the 2020 London Marathon the most inclusive marathon yet.”
Jan Tregelles, Chief Executive of the Royal Mencap Society, added: “We are incredibly grateful for the support of Virgin Money which means that we are able to host our Here We Are inclusive sports events for communities across the country this Learning Disability Week.
“Our partnership will help us to make to make a real difference to the lives of people with a learning disability with the launch of All Move – our vision for a socially inclusive world with young people with and without a learning disability taking part in sport in schools together.”