How Mencap creates employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities

Gina Collins has worked for Mencap for a quarter of a century, and it helped her get her dream job

Taking to the stage on behalf of Mencap, Gina shared her story at the recent Women in IT Awards UK 2022…

‘I would like to take a couple of minutes to tell you a bit about my successes and how you can help other people like me who have a learning disability to achieve their goals and ambitions.

I have been working at Mencap for over 25 years, and before that, I worked at McDonald’s and Sainsbury – but I really wanted to work in an office.

Mencap’s Employment service supported me to find my role. They helped me prepare for interviews and apply for jobs.

Since starting at Mencap all those years ago, I have worked in our bookshop our fundraising team and now work in our Wills and Trusts Service.

Without the support I got back then, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to talk to you all tonight.

Alongside my role, I am now also part of Mencap’s leadership team, which means I take part in making decisions about how Mencap is run and how we make a difference in the lives of people with a learning disability.

This means a lot to me as I want to show the world what people with a learning disability can do when given the right support.

Whilst I am on my way to achieving my goals – you can probably tell I am quite ambitious and want to achieve more! There are other people who still need support to achieve their goals.

You may not know there are 1.5 million people in the UK who have a learning disability, and only 6% of them are known to be in paid work.

So, we are asking you to make a donation. This will enable us to support more people like me with a learning disability into finding a job and giving them the confidence, independence and fulfilment that we all have from working.

So, a big thank you from me and everyone at Mencap for your support and the event organisers for choosing Mencap as their beneficiary charity tonight. I hope you all enjoy your evening.

*Gina Collins was speaking at the recent Women in IT Awards on behalf of Mencap, which was the charity partner for the event. She spoke as part of a campaign Mencap is running to highlight the need for greater employment opportunities in all sectors of the economy for people with learning disabilities.

Mencap is also encouraging anyone reviewing their wills to consider leaving a legacy to the charity to help it develop its Employment Service work. At the awards in London on 28th February, guests bought raffle tickets and made individual donations to support Mencap. If you would like to donate or find out more information about the Wills and Trust services where Gina works, please go to

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