A group of young people from London, all with a learning disability, attended the annual BGC Charity Day on Friday 11 September which brought together dozens of celebrities from the world of film, fashion and music, and helped raise millions for charities in the UK and across the world.
The group were invited to attend the event by the learning disability charity Mencap, along with celebrity ambassadors Jo Whiley, Will Young, Mat Horne, Ty Glaser and Karen David. The group also got to meet some of the other celebrities who attended the day which included Samuel L Jackson, Tom Hardy, Jimmy Carr, Piers Morgan, Jonathan Ross, Joanna Lumley and Jodie Kidd amongst others.
BGC’s Charity Day, now in its 11th year, commemorates the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald and 64 Eurobrokers employees lost in the World Trade Centre attacks on September 11th 2001. The day raises millions for charities by asking celebrities to conduct trades alongside licensed BGC brokers.
The Young Ambassadors from Mencap were at the event to help raise awareness about the employment barriers that exist for many people with a learning disability. There are just 7% of people with a learning disability with paid jobs and Mencap hopes days like this will make more people aware of what needs to change to increase this number.
Daniel Sartain, 25 from Hoxton who has a learning disability, said:
“I had an amazing time at the BGC event, the celebrities were very nice, I reckon it will make me feel more relaxed in a working environment in the future. I’m thinking about getting a job and I need to boost my confidence so this experience to witness a busy office was what I needed.”
Loreley Bedoya, 19 from Gospel Oak who has a learning disability said:
“Today was great, I met some football players, Jamie Oliver and Samuel L Jackson and they were all so lovely. I never expected it to be so busy and to actually meet people I’ve only ever seen on TV. It was an unbelievable experience.”
Mencap’s Young Ambassador Programme brings together 16-25 year olds with a learning disability who use their own life experiences to help break down negative perceptions that the public may have when it comes to learning disability.
The Young Ambassadors who attended the event were:
- Daniel Sartain – 25 – Hoxton
- Loreley Bedoya – 19 – Gospel Oak
- Sam Cook – 18 – Pimlico
There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want. www.mencap.org.uk
For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email firstname.lastname@example.org