Who We Are

The organisation that is now Reading Mencap is a small local charity that was founded in 1962 by local parents of children and adults with learning disabilities (LD) and autism.

The aim was to provide support so individuals with learning disabilities and their families might lead a full and active life in their community. To understand more about learning disability see What is a learning disability?

We now provide services for children and adults with learning disabilities and their parents and carers.

We aim to:

  • Reduce inequality in statutory services
  • Combat isolation and discrimination
  • Bring to local people an experience of having people with learning disabilities as part of their community. This could be by means of a mixed choir carol-singing in a local church at Christmas, adults with learning disability taking part in a campaign about a local issue, or carers speaking out for themselves at local forums.

We have our own premises in central Reading, at 21 Alexandra Road, near the Royal Berkshire Hospital. This includes offices, a meeting space and a large club room and garden.

See a snapshot of our activities in the 90-second video above, or you can watch it on our YouTube channel.

Or (just below) watch and listen to a PowerPoint presentation for a event in 2021 on how Reading Mencap can help in the transition between school and adulthood for people with learning disabilities. There is an 8-minute audio narration that accompanies the slides. Click or tap the play button in the bottom right to start the presentation. You can pause it at any time. (You may have to click on a 3-dot menu icon to see the play and pause controls -- this depends on your web browser.)


Get in touch

Our centre phone line is open from 9.30am to 1.30pm, Monday to Friday, with an answering machine service at all other times. Tel: 0118 9662518. 


Family Support Team

Our team of Family Advisers are an outreach service who are there to give support and information with problems which need a bit more help to sort out. You can reach them on our office telephone line (0118 9662518), by appointment at our drop-in centre or by appointment at home. 

Family Advisers are also supported by a Family Support Worker who gives practical support with appointments or form filling etc. All the team are experienced and qualified in learning disability. See our Family Support page for more details.


Clubs and Activities

We run a range of clubs for adults, a support service for carers, and other events for families and siblings throughout the year including school holidays.



We sit on many forums and steering groups including the Carers Steering Group and the Autism Partnership Board to give a voice to learning disability.

We use our contacts at both local and national level to drive action when issues arise. Our aim is to empower parents and individuals to help them to help themselves, so that they can choose how they want to live their lives. Statutory services don't always understand the problems that face people with learning disabilities or their families and carers on a daily basis, but we do because our members tell us every day, and many of us are parents of children or adults with learning disabilities ourselves.



Use our Contact Us page to seek answers to queries, provide feedback, or send comments to Reading Mencap.