Supporting Reading Mencap

“It’s a tough time for small, local charities like ours – with huge cuts to council and other public budgets that historically funded key services for the most vulnerable in Reading. This means we increasingly rely on the support of our local community to keep delivering our critical services. So AYL is a great opportunity for us to reach out to you, tell you about what we do and ask for your support.” (Mandi Smith, Reading Mencap CEO)

Thank you for listening and thank you for helping: your generous donation means we can keep working to make sure people with a learning disability in Reading are valued equally, listened to and included.

Have a great festival – we look forward to seeing you there!

How Are You Listening? Supports Reading Mencap

Thank you! Just by being here you have already helped, as proceeds from each ticket you buy go to Reading Mencap, as do all donations on the day and donations made with online ticket bookings, the art auction, all the profits from the Charity Bar in St Laurence’s Church, and donations from West Berkshire Brewery for every AYL Festiv-Ale sold.

How You Can Support Reading Mencap on the Day

You can donate cash at any time during the day – using donation tins in bar areas or collection buckets on at the entrance to each venue – please go and say hello to our volunteers who will be happy to tell you more about what we do.

By using our Charity Bar at St Laurence Church – where all the profits go directly to Reading Mencap.

Text RGMP01 plus the amount you want to donate (£2, £5 or £10) to 70070 (JustTextGiving).

Donate on our Localgiving page:

Sign up for the Reading Mencap 50:50 Lottery:
paying £5 a month to enter our monthly draw (please note you must be 16 years or over to enter).

More about Reading Mencap

We are a small local charity that supports children and adults with learning disabilities and autism, and their families. We celebrated our 55th anniversary in 2017!

While we are affiliated to the national Mencap charity, we do not receive any funding from them. This means we rely on the generosity of our local community and fundraising events like Are You Listening? to continue our vital work, especially in these challenging times.

We provide people with learning disabilities and their families with personalised information, advice and practical support with issues such as housing problems, lack of respite or social care, ill health, hate crime, welfare benefits and special education provision.

“I’m not aware that there are other organisations that can give this level of support.” – Jackie, parent- carer

We also run a range of leisure activity groups during the evenings and weekends, and a day activity service. These give people with learning disabilities – who are often at risk of isolation – the chance to make friends, stay healthy and have fun while their families get a break from caring. Activities include canoeing, singing, yoga, dressing up, soft play, arts and crafts, educational courses and bowling.

“It’s fun at Reading Mencap. I get to try new activities. I like Zumba; I wouldn’t be able to do it outside of Mencap.” Will, adult with a learning disability

What is a Learning Disability?

A learning disability is a reduced cognitive ability occurring before, during or soon after birth, and the effects last throughout life.

Having a learning disability means that you may find it difficult to perform everyday tasks that most of us take for granted, like getting dressed, shopping or making a meal, catching a bus, having a job, understanding simple instructions or working out problems.

You may have speech difficulties or not understand fully what other people say, or not be able to speak at all. You may get very anxious about everyday problems, such as a letter arriving that you can’t read or someone asking you to do something you have never done before.

Some physical and genetic conditions, such as Down’s syndrome, can mean a person will have a learning disability as well. Every person’s experience of learning disability is unique to them. It is important to remember that people with a learning disability are individuals with their own emotions, opinions and dreams.

For more information about Reading Mencap and to find out how you can support local people with learning disabilities and their families by volunteering, donating, fundraising or attending an event, please see

Watch our video ‘Who is Reading Mencap?’

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @readingmencap

Thank you – from us and all those who benefit from our services – for your support!

ayl partner mencap
ayl partner dork
ayl partner girls against
ayl partner slacker

© Copyright Are You Listening? Festival and respective venues and acts.