Mencap LogoToday I was accosted on Villiers Street, close to Embankment station. No, it wasn’t those annoying people from London Lite and The London Paper trying to thrust a nasty rag in my face, but instead it was a guy trying to get me to give money to MENCAP, the UK charity supporting people with learning disabilities. What am I supposed to do in such circumstances? I’m sure the work that MENCAP does is all very well, but this is not – in my opinion – something that should be done by UK charities. This is a matter for the UK government, and hence I am not going to give money to such a charity. The guy’s argument back? That my £1.50 a week would help to lobby the UK government for more cash. I stuck to my position and moved on. But I feel so guilty! But I don’t want to give them money. I give a whole lot each month to Amnesty, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam etc. – a good couple of percent of my available monthly income. Anyway, if you do care about those with learning disabilities, I’ve at least given MENCAP some free publicity here – even if I did not sign up to give them cash each month.


  1. Hmmm. Maybe its more that there are governments that can do the work that MENCAP does elsewhere in Europe, while FoE’s work and Amnesty’s work is more directly applicable…

    I’m not sure – I have to draw the line somewhere, and give the cash to the things I really feel need it, and this is not one.

  2. I don’t see why what Oxfam and Friends of the Earth are doing shouldn’t also really be done by the government (with Amnesty, I think their independence is OTOH quite crucial). Alternatively, if charities/activist NGOs like Oxfam and FOE can have some kind of edge over the government, why can’t a charity for disabled persons?

    Their page on accessibility is well worth reading, anyway.

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