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Exhibition marks charity’s anniversary

Interactive Artwork Board

A SPECIAL exhibition opens at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle next week to mark 50 years of a charity’s work in Cumbria.

’50 Years Of Carlisle Mencap – Our Lives Now And Then’ will be launched on Wednesday, March 20. Through artwork, photographs and other images, collated by Carlisle Mencap’s award-winning Independence Studio at the charity’s Grace Little Centre in Carlisle, the Heritage Lottery-funded exhibition will highlight how care and support for people with learning disabilities – children and adults – has progressed since Carlisle Mencap was founded back in June 1968.

The exhibition follows on from the launch in December last year of a short film, also funded by the Heritage Lottery and featuring children from Carlisle Youth Zone with support from Eden Films, which portrayed through dance and movement history of people with a learning disability in Cumbria and the way they have been treated, including how in the early days they were sent to a hospital “that felt more like a prison”.

Sheila Gregory

Speaking about next week’s exhibition, Sheila Gregory, the CEO of Carlisle Mencap, said: “This exhibition celebrates  a momentous year for Carlisle Mencap,  remembering 50 years of supporting people with learning disabilities and their families across Cumbria. We have made fantastic achievements for this often-marginalised group over those years – putting their talents and achievements on show for all to see  – and look forward to doing so for many years to come. The artwork produced by the Independence  Studio to tell the history is both beautiful and moving . And we are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery who made the project possible.”

The charity’s chairwoman Christine Bowditch added that Carlisle Mencap was proud to be at the forefront of helping people with learning disability and its position as one of the top five Mencap groups in the country with regards the number of people it helps.

The exhibition is being launched at 11am and will then open to the general public at midday.

Carlisle Mencap has more than 150 members and provides services and support for 500 adults and children with learning disabilities and their families across Cumbria.

For more details about the exhibition contact Sheila Gregory or Phil Taylor at Carlisle Mencap on 01228 674393.

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