Family Support Service

Our Family Support Service is leading our response to the Coronavirus crisis.

We are helping children and adults with learning disabilities and their families by:

  • keeping in touch on the phone
  • making sure people have essential supplies of food and medicine
  • providing help and advice 
  • providing activity packs and ideas for things to do
  • providing links to other services

Our Family Support Service is also available to help in other ways.

Our unique, outreach and home visiting Family Support Service provides information, advice and practical support for individuals and families affected by learning disability. 

Our Family Advisers:

  • Are experienced and qualified professionals in learning disabilities and Autism best service A family adviser at work
  • Have expert knowledge of the law and guidance governing services for people with disabilities
  • Have experience across Reading Borough Council's Children's and Adult Services. 

The team can provide information, advice and casework around:

  • Diagnosis
  • Health and social care including care assessments, care planning and appealing charges for care 
  • Housing, benefits and legal issues
  • Reporting hate crime and harassment
  • Managing debt
  • Leisure, social activities and respite.

Our Family Advisers can also:

  • Accompany and support individuals and families at appointments, appeals, reviews and court hearings
  • Help to fill out forms
  • Be a listening ear when you need help.

You can contact the Family Support Team by calling 0118 966 2518 between 9.30am and 1.30pm, Monday to Friday. An answerphone is available at other times, please leave a message.


What people say about the Family Support Team:

Paulette, who cares for her 30-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy and is also registered blind, said she couldn’t have coped without the support of Reading Mencap’s Family Advisers.

She said: “There are so many battles I have to fight to ensure she receives the correct care and benefits from simple things.

“Reading Mencap have been key in supporting me. I couldn’t have coped without their support over the last six years, to the extent I may have had to place my daughter in care or given up my job, which I enjoy.

“They’ve also saved my health and reduced my stress levels no end; they are always at the end of the phone when I or my family need them.”


“My family adviser has really helped me to carry on managing in life. She is there to talk to and to help me when I get worried about things. She helps me with my letters and I know she knows me and my situation really well. Everyone at Reading Mencap is really nice and friendly and it is a place I feel safe to go to.”

We are delighted to have been awarded a National Lottery Community Fund award to support our Family Support Service.

National Lottery Community Fund award