Local charities Reading Mencap and ACRE (Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality) are celebrating after being awarded a £372,919 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to support vital services for children and adults with disabilities and their families.
The four-year funding programme will enable Reading Mencap’s Family Support Service to continue its invaluable work with individuals with learning disabilities and their carers and for ACRE to reinstate Alafia – an information and support service for families from ethnic minorities with disabled children.
Both services provide free personalised information, advocacy and practical help to people navigating the benefit, social care, health, education and housing systems – many of whom literally have nowhere else to turn.
Mandi Smith, Chief Executive of Reading Mencap, said the funding was particularly welcome at a time when demand for the service is increasing year-on-year.
She said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the award which will enable our highly experienced team of family advisers to carry on with their essential work supporting people with learning disabilities.”
“Many of the people who benefit from our services are often hard to reach by virtue of their disability, caring responsibilities and experience of poverty and therefore, we are also looking forward to working in partnership with ACRE to reach even more individuals and their families who need help.”
Victor Koroma from ACRE said: “ACRE is really pleased to be given the opportunity to reinstate our much needed Alafia Family Support Service for ethnic minority families caring for disabled children at a time when such practical support is scarce, and other service providers overstretched.”
“We recognise, with thanks, the invaluable support we have received from Reading Mencap for including us as a delivery partner in their bid to The National Lottery Community Fund, and thereby enabling the full resumption of our Alafia services.”