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Sheffield Mencap and Gateway

Sheffield Mencap and Gateway was formed in 1951 by parents of children with a learning disability who wanted to provide a better life for them. Since then, the organisation has grown and developed to support over 700 people with a learning disability and/or austim and their carers every week, with members ranging in age from 6 to 96.

We have our own purpose-built centre near Norfolk Park. It is fully accessible and features a large sports hall, catering kitchen, cafe area, art and design technology rooms, performance hall with stage and ICT suites, as well as beautiful ourdoor spaces and kitchen gardens.

Our vision is that

“all people with a learning disability and their carers in Sheffield are valued, included and respected so they can live fair, full and happy lives”.

To fulfil our vision, we provide over 100,000 hours of support every year through social and educational activities focused on individual needs, interests and development.

Day Services for Adults

  • The 'Activity Learning Hub' (ALH) is our core day service, operating every weekday. Members can choose from a range of subjects, many of which lead to AQA accredited awards. Subjects include Media Studies, Performing Arts, Gardening, Community, Independent Living, Cooking, Sports, Art and Design Technology.
  • Our ‘Health Support Service’ works in partnership with the Integrated Care Board (ICB) and GP surgeries across Sheffield to reduce health inequalities and ensure people with a learning disability and/or autism can access the healthcare they are entitled to.

Evening and Weekend Groups for Adults

  • Gateway is our social group for people aged 16+ that is held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30- 8:30pm. It is only £3 per week to attend Gateway and it is a great opportunity to socialise, make friends and get out of the house. Gateway offers activities including baking, bingo, a disco, games, quizzes, crafts, movies and other theme nights.
  • 'Out and About' is our programme of community-based activities. These groups support members to become more confident and independent as they enjoy exploring Sheffield. Out and About has a range of groups such as bowling, walking, a youth group and a female-only group that meets for meals out.
  • We have a range of evening sports and fitness groups to encourage members to keep active in an enjoyable, social environment. On Monday we have snooker and ladies’ football, Tuesday is cricket, Wednesday is men’s football and Thursday is ‘Fitness Fanatics’, a group exercise class for all abilities.
  • Our ‘Healthy Lifestyle Programme’ is a free, year-long evening course that supports people with a learning disability and/or autism to lose weight and improve their lifestyle in a sustainable way. The first 8 sessions are weekly, followed by monthly maintenance groups.

Evening and Weekend Groups for Children

  • Our children’s groups are for ages 6 – 17. All groups support young people with a learning disability and/or autism to improve communication and social skills, build confidence, make friends and have fun in a safe, supportive environment. Each group costs £3 per session, waived in cases of low income. Each group is held in term-time only.
  • TGIF! (Thanks Gateway It’s Friday!) is our weekly youth club held on Fridays from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. TGIF! can be attended by siblings too. TGIF! has a range of activities including sports, crafts, baking, movies and just the chance to relax and spend time with friends.
  • ‘Communicate’ is held on Saturdays from 9:45am – 11am (craft-based activities) and 11am – 12:15pm (sports-based activities). Each group starts with a 15-minute social and snack time. This group supports children to develop their interaction, communication and social skills.
  • ‘Shine Out’ is a performing arts group held from 9:45am – 11am and 11am – 12:15pm. Each group starts with a 15-minute social and snack time. Children can explore music, dance and drama and create performances.
  • ‘Soundbites’ is a group based on researching, recording and editing audio. Children can create their own podcasts, interviews and stories.
  • Kid’s Fitness runs from 5pm – 6pm on Thursdays featuring a range of activities such as dance, football, aerobics and team games.
  • Short Breaks is a respite service on Saturday afternoons in term-time and selected weekdays in the school holidays. Children with learning disbailities and/or autism are fully supported to enjoy a range of fun, social activities whilst their parent-carers can take some time for themselves.

    Support for Carers

    • Our Carer Support Team is available for 1-2-1 advice, practical assistance and emotional support. Areas of expertise include applying for benefits, seeking and arranging respite and independent living.
    • Our team also arranges workshops on common areas of concern for carers such as ‘Wills and Trusts’, ‘Power of Attorney and the Mental Capacity Act’ and ‘Planning for the Future’.
    • We run friendly carer’s groups in communities across Sheffield – get in touch for more information. Groups provide a warm, friendly place and a chance to meet people in similar situations and gain peer support.
    • Sunday Lunch Club is a monthly group for carers aged 75+ and the people they care for. A freshly prepared roast dinner is served and members enjoy a chat and game of bingo.

    Cost details

    Our day service 'Activity Learning Hub', 'Out and About' and 'Short Breaks' services are usually funded through people's social care budgets. Evening and weekend social and fitness groups cost £3 per session. Our 'Health Support', 'Healthy Lifestyle' and 'Carers Support' services are all free of charge. Please contact us to discuss these costs.

    Time details

    Our centre is usually open from 9:30am - 4:30pm for weekday services, then at varied times on evenings and weekends depending on which groups are running. Please refer to our website or contact us for full details.

    Details around accessibility

    We are a fully accessible centre, with all rooms and facilities suitable for people with wheelchairs/frames. We have accessible showering and changing facilities.

    Eligibility criteria for your service and any priority groups

    Our services are for people with a dignosed learning disability and/or autism, along with any additional associated conditions.

    Staffing arrangements/training to support children or young people with SEND

    All of our staff have completed training relevant to their roles. Training includes safeguarding adults and children, working with people with a learning disability, autism awareness training, epilepsy training, food hygiene and MAPA, 1cooking
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