Britain’s Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy and the Great British Bake Off stars among many others are teaming up with Mencap to host a virtual Big Family Christmas Party for people with a learning disability and their friends and family on Thursday 17th December.
This Christmas is going to be difficult for everyone but particularly for the 1.5 million people with a learning disability. People with a learning disability are seven times more likely to feel lonely than the general population.
Lockdown restrictions, the closure of day services and difficulties staying in touch with friends mean this Christmas many are set to feel even more socially isolated and lonelier.
Mencap hopes that its virtual Christmas party will help bring people with a learning disability together virtually to celebrate Christmas and spread the gift of hope this year.
Mencap’s Big Family Christmas Party line-up
Hosted via Facebook Live from 4pm, the event will be a jam-packed hour of entertainment that will be presented by Sign Along With Us. There will be a whole host of special celebrity guests performing at the party:
- Britain’s Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy (Lee Ridley) will be performing stand-up comedy.
- Great British Bake-Off’s Kim-Joywill be delivering an accessible festive recipe demonstration and book giveaway.
- Little Florence Art will be delivering an accessible Christmas garland craft workshop.
- Great British Bake-Off’s Briony May Williams will be doing a Bake-along with Makaton.
- Electric Umbrella will be performing their sensational new Christmas song.
- The Greatest Dancer contestant Andrew Self will be dancing to music by Ward Thomas.
- Dance Syndromewill be delivering a special Christmas performance.
Mencap supporting people with a learning disability this Christmas
Mencap is doing everything it can to support people with a learning disability and their families who need our help more than ever this holiday season.Mencap support workers are going above and beyond to create a sense of normality and community this Christmas – hosting Christmas parties in living rooms and transforming homes into Winter Wonderlands. In some cases, they are the only contact some people have.
In the run up to Christmas, Mencap’s Learning Disability Helpline is providing vital information and advice to people with a learning disability and their families. The charity has also created easy-read information about the Government Christmas bubble rules as well as Christmas-themed activity packs and an easy-read guide to mindfulness, developed by Gig Buddies and Mencap, to help people stay healthy and happy this winter.
George Webster, Mencap Ambassador who has Down’s syndrome and a learning disability, said: “I am excited to be taking part in the Mencap Big Family Christmas Party.”
“This Christmas, many people with a learning disability won’t be able to see their friends and they might be feeling lonely. I am glad that they will be able to get together online and hope that you can join us to celebrate Christmas this year!”
Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said: “This Christmas is going to be a tough one for many, but for people with a learning disability it is set to be even harder.”
“For many people the Christmas party at their day service is the event of their year. But the coronavirus pandemic means people can’t come together in the same way, and many are worried about feeling lonely this Christmas.”
“That’s why we are inviting people to come together online for Mencap’s Big Family Christmas Party to help combat loneliness and make this Christmas as special as we possibly can.”
“We would like to thank everyone with a learning disability who has helped to make the event possible, as well as our special celebrity guests, Electric Umbrella, Dance Syndrome and Sign Along With Us. I really hope that you will join us. Together, let’s celebrate this special time of year and spread the gift of hope.”
To find out more about Mencap’s Big Family Christmas Party on Thursday 17th December at 4pm, visit Mencap’s Facebook Live.
Donate to Mencap today to give a family the gift of hope this Christmas. Your gift could make a huge difference to the future of children with a learning disability and their families.
By Emma Purcell
More on Disability Horizons…
- 18 virtual Christmas tours and experiences to get you in the festive mood
- Shielding stories: the impact on disabled people’s mental health
- Briony May Williams: Bake Off semi-finalist and TV presenter who lives with a “little hand”
- Lee Ridley on life as a disabled comedian and living through lockdown
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