Gifts In Wills

As the only organisation in Reading supporting people with learning disabilities and their families throughout life, it is essential that Reading Mencap is able to continue providing services to reach every area of need.

Reading Mencap has been providing highly valued services for more than 60 years, from clubs and events to a day activity service and our specialist Family Support Service. The demand for our services is increasing and we need your help to meet the challenges ahead.

Without Reading Mencap and our Family Advisers, vulnerable members of our community would be struggling without support to deal with health issues, debt and poverty, lack of respite, anxiety, isolation and inadequate social care provision. In short, they would not be getting the help they need to live independent lives, stay healthy and make their own choices.

‘My Family Adviser helps me with my housing problems. I rely on Reading Mencap. I wouldn’t survive without them.’

Why your help is so vital

Imagine a future where people with a learning disability are valued equally, listened to and included, living free from poverty, fear and isolation.

  • There is a growing number of people who are being diagnosed with learning disabilities and autism
  • Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis have exacerbated the shocking levels of premature death and health inequalities
  • 40% of disabled children are living in relative poverty
  • Accessing statutory services involves ever more complex and confusing processes
  • Isolation is a huge problem for adults with learning disabilities, as the vast majority are unemployed; and there are few accessible social activities.

Case Study: Supporting Liz to overcome isolation

Liz is a 50-year-old who has a learning disability and autism. She is unable to work due to her disability and lives alone in the community without any support. When Liz first made contact with Reading Mencap, she was very depressed, had a large amount of debt and was isolated from her family. For three years she had been living without any heating after her boiler had broken down; she also had no white goods. She rarely left the house and felt unable to mix with others.

Our Family Adviser built up a trusted relationship with Liz, helping her with benefit checks, medical and housing issues and writing off her debt. The Adviser successfully applied to local charities to obtain funding for a new boiler and white goods. Liz was then encouraged to start attending Reading Mencap’s Hear Our Voice self-advocacy group, where she has since gained a circle of friends.

More recently, our Family Adviser supported Liz to become a regular volunteer at a local museum and a farm. Support from Reading Mencap has increased Liz’s confidence and reduced her anxiety. She says: “My life is so much better now.”

How you can help us – your options

Family and friends come first. But after you have provided for your loved ones when you are gone, you can also make a huge contribution for future generations.

  • Any amount – even 1% of your estate or a gift of £100 – will help us to create a brighter future for children and adults with a learning disability. We will use your gift carefully, so that it has the greatest impact. 
  • You may wish to leave the remainder, or a percentage of the remainder, of your estate once all liabilities, taxes and administrative expenses have been paid, and all other gifts have been made. This is known as a residuary bequest. Such gifts hold their value over time, so may reflect your wishes better.
  • Instead, you could leave us a fixed sum of money, or a pecuniary bequest.
  • Another option is known as a specific request, which is a particular named item left as a gift in your will.

All gifts in your will to charity are free from inheritance tax, so it can be a useful way to reduce your tax bill while benefiting a good cause.

Leaving a gift in your will to Reading Mencap

Thank you for considering leaving a gift in your will to Reading Mencap. If you have decided you would like to make a donation, we recommend you show your solicitor the specific wording here:

‘I give the sum of… pounds/I give the residue of my Estate to Reading Mencap of 21 Alexandra Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 5PE (Registered Charity Number 1118287) for its charitable purposes. I further direct that the receipt of the treasurer, director or other proper office of Reading Mencap for the time being shall be a full and sufficient discharge for my Executors or Trustees.’

What details should I use?

If you’d like to include Reading Mencap in your will, please ask your solicitor to use our full name and details to ensure the gift reaches us. These are:

Reading Mencap, a registered charity in England and Wales no. 1118287.

Registered office: 21 Alexandra Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 5PE.

Please remember that Reading Mencap is a separate charity from national Mencap, so leaving a gift to just ‘Mencap’ will mean that national Mencap in London will benefit rather than Reading Mencap.

Making a will is the only way you can be sure of making your wishes clear regarding what will happen to your property and possessions after your death. If you are not sure where to start, we can provide you with a list of local solicitors.

You can download a copy of our Futures Gift booklet .

Frequently asked questions

If I leave a gift in my will, can I change my mind?

Of course. You have the right to change your mind and amend your will without the need to inform us of your decision.

When do I have to make a decision about whether to include Reading Mencap in my will?

You can decide in your own time – there is no pressure to make a decision.

Do I have to let you know that I have made a donation to Reading Mencap in my will?

We respect that your will is private, but if you do choose to let us know that you have included Reading Mencap in your will, we’d love to thank you properly.

Any other queries?

Please email Marie-Claire Dillon on

In Memory Giving

In memory giving is when the friends and family of a loved one who has passed away make a donation in their memory.

Many families ask for donations to a charity that was special to their loved one instead of flowers at their funeral.

Donations can be sent to the charity itself, via the funeral director, who passes them on to the charity, or they can be made online at

If you have any questions, please email Marie-Claire Dillon on

Your gift will only go to helping people in Reading, as we are an independent charity and separate from national Mencap.