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Last updated:

April 8, 2022


6 months


This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


This course, Bedfordshire Mencap, enables you to hear some of the founding members of the Bedfordshire Mencap organization talk about how the organization was established and the wide range of support services it offers.


A major pressure for change in the way that social welfare services were provided and organized in the latter half of the twentieth century came from the voluntary sector. In this course, you will hear from three generations of members of Bedford Mencap society, describing how they brought pressure to bear for more community facilities aimed at people with learning difficulties and their families. The audio clips were recorded in 2000. Participants in the audio clips:
  • Brenda Nickson, founder member of the branch, whose son was born in 1955;
  • Fay, a near-contemporary of Brenda's, who played a major role in getting holiday accommodation for the branch's members;
  • Ann and Michael Tombs, in their fifties at the time of the recording, they have played a key role in Bedford Mencap for many years;
  • Beryl, who has been a volunteer welfare visitor for many years;
  • Kim, whose son was 16 at the time of the recording in 2000, and is one of the few younger people in the branch.
The work that individuals exerted to promote change is a source of pressure towards the ideal that parents should be supported in their task of bringing up children with learning difficulties.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Understand that individuals can promote change
  • Give examples of how the establishment of Bedfordshire Mencap has offered support to parents of children with learning difficulties.

Course Curriculum

    • A history of Bedfordshire Mencap 00:05:00
    • Pressure for Change 00:05:00
    • Audio Activity 00:20:00
    • Comment on the Audio Clips 00:15:00
    • What Pressures for Change were Exerted? 00:10:00
    • Conclusion 00:05:00

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