Ciara Lawrence and Edel Harris, Mencap (easy read)

Ciara Lawrence
Person sitting indoors alone

Covid-19 has been hard for everyone. But it has been really hard for many people with a learning disability.

Zoe Anderson

I am Zoë Anderson from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Person with a thought bubble

I wanted to know more about what was happening to people with a learning disability during Covid-19 and what can help.

a bag filled with money

The National Lottery Community Fund has already helped.

We gave £100,000 for a Mencap project in England called Home Not Alone.

A computer screen showing people making a video call, with the Skype logo

The project helps to stop people being lonely.

It helps people to meet and do things on the internet.

Woman looking at her phone screen and waving hello. A text bubble shows another woman checking her phone with the word hello

In Northern Ireland the money has helped people with a learning disability to get support at home during Covid-19.

Mencap logo

I spoke to Edel Harris and Ciara Lawrence from Mencap to find out more about what can help.

Helping everyone to understand the Covid-19 rules

Man sitting alone in an empty room

Ciara from Mencap said that many people with a learning disability have been forgotten during Covid-19.

Man reading a document. He is scratching his head and looks confused, with a question mark beside him

She said that a lot of information has been hard for people with a learning disability to understand.

Woman looking confused and scratching her head. There is a question mark beside her

And many people with a learning disability have not had their usual support.

This means they have not had people to help them know what to do.

Chart of coronavirus tiers 1 to 4, with images of the virus

It has also been hard because the Covid-19 rules keep changing.

Ciara Lawrence
Ciara Lawrence

Ciara has a learning disability.

She said she found it hard to understand the rules at first.

She had to ask her mum for help.

What can help?

Woman holding paper, which says Your Vaccine Appointment

I found out that clear information about Covid-19 and what to do is really important.

A group of people sitting around a table

Mencap and other organisations have done some good work on this.

They worked together to make some easy to understand information about Covid-19.

Three people looking at a paper. They are smiling and making the thumbs up sign

Ciara even set up an easy read group at Mencap.

The group looked at lots of information about Covid-19.

They worked out how to make it better for everyone.

A man hands a paper to a second man. They are both smiling

Ciara said that the easy read group has done a great job.

Some families said that the group’s information really helped.

Working together

Edel Harris

Edel is the senior boss of Mencap.

She said it is important for different organisations to work together when there is a problem like Covid-19.

A woman with a thoughtful expression. There is a thinks bubble over her head.

She said that Covid-19 has also helped Mencap think more about the future and what they need to do.

Five people sitting together and talking

Mencap is working with people with a learning disability and their families.

They are looking at how everyone with a learning disability can have a happy and healthy life.

Listening to people with a learning disability

Woman and man looking at a paper together. He is pointing at the page, and she is speaking

Ciara said that what is most important is to listen to people with a learning disability like her.

Two people shaking hands over a Welcome mat

Ciara said that people should meet people with a learning disability and hear what they have to say.

A group of people smiling. They are of different ages and have different disabilities.

This will help people to understand people with a learning disability.

And it will help people with a learning disability to show what they can do.

Then we can all work together, Ciara said.

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Easy Read version prepared by Making it Clear. Pictures by Photosymbols.

This page was last updated on 22 March 2021.