People with learning disabilities share their stories in new book

Artist Lucy Bergonzi with Heart of England Mencap customer and book contributor Emily

A group of Heart of England Mencap service users have joined forces to publish a new book, sharing their stories of what it’s like to have a learning disability.

Our Life, Our Choice is a collection of stories and artwork created by Heart of England Mencap customers, who attend a day activity group run by the charity in Warwick. They spent time working with leading illustrator Lucy Bergonzi to create the book, which combines drama scripts, poems, short stories and drawings.

With funding from Warwick District Council and the Friends of Heart of England Mencap, they worked with Lucy – the illustrator of the Books Beyond Words picture books – to bring to the project to life.

Lucy worked wit the group to help them share their stories and put the book together, to help give other people a better understanding of learning disabilities.

Our Life, Our Choice explores ideas such as being listened to and respected, rights and achievements.

“This innovative project has been a wonderful opportunity for our customers to express themselves, helping to highlight the day-to-day experiences of those in our community with a learning disability,” says Helena Wallis, Chief Executive of Heart of England Mencap. “We are delighted with their creativity; this book has given a voice to their hopes and fears for the future. We hope that this book will help to break down barriers and tackle stigma which sadly still exists in our society.”

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