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  3. Reclaiming the Past: the Role of Local Mencap Societies in the Development of Community Care in East Anglia, 1946–1980

Reclaiming the Past: the Role of Local Mencap Societies in the Development of Community Care in East Anglia, 1946–1980

A black and white photo of a charity event, 1966

This Open University project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and ran from 2000 to 2002.

The project reclaimed, with the help of the local community, the history of post-war community care for people with learning difficulties before it was too late, before records had disappeared and before people who experienced the earlier days of community care, or were involved in its organization, were no longer here to share their memories. The project uncovered the development of a new and benign aspect of community care in East Anglia in comparison with the often judgmental and eugenicist care of the years before and during the Second World War. Local Mencap societies challenged local authority apathy and stigmatising attitudes and, with enormous energy and vision, demonstrated what was possible when families banded together to campaign for their children's rights.

Visit the project website.

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

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