Carlisle Mencap has supported adults and children in Cumbria with learning disabilities since 1968. They provide a range of support services, youth groups and socialising events to individuals and their families. Their priority is creating a space where people can learn independence and relax among friends. Carlisle Mencap’s dedicated support team organise a wide range of events and activities for their members and currently support over 500 people across the county. Referrals can come from social workers, other professionals and families. Carlisle Mencap tries to support as many people as possible.

They have the fully equipped Grace Little Centre that acts as a children’s hub. It comes with games rooms, soft play, playground, and a sensory room. It is fully accessible throughout and welcomes a wide demographic of children to have fun and make friends. Similarly, the Adults Respite Centre at California House is a guest house for adults to relax and get away from daily life in a location that is built around their needs. Furthermore, they offer a selection of information services for families and carers. This includes a variety of online resources and advice for parents with autistic children.

Carlisle Mencap specialises in supporting individuals and their families who have learning disabilities or are autistic. Their facilities and events cater specifically for them so that they have the space to have fun and socialise. Additionally, Carlisle Mencap is an independent and locally funded organisation. They often work with the National Mencap Society but they are not a branch of them.

Children’s Services:

  • Outreach community support;
  • Grace Little Centre for disabled children;
  • Youth clubs;
  • Activities for all interests, including art, music and sensory interests.

Adult Services:

  • The Independence Studio to help individuals develop independent life skills;
  • Supported living services;
  • Holidays;
  • Carlisle Active provides social and outdoors activities;
  • Community support;
  • California House guest house.

For more information, see here.


Carlisle Mencap’s activities take place in numerous locations. However, their priority is always to provide access to as many of their members as possible. California House and The Grace Little Centre are fully accessible and are prominent locations for the organisation. There are public transport links by bus in the area.

California House:

  • Disabled access toilets and hoisting facilities;
  • Overhead tracking;
  • Wheelchair adapted kitchen and dining room;
  • Jacuzzi bath equipped with sensory lights and surround sound;
  • Accessible landscaped gardens;
  • Accessible minibus to take guests on outings.

The Grace Little Centre:

  • Sensory room;
  • Disabled access toilets and hoisting facilities;
  • Level access throughout and outside the property;
  • Accessible minibus;
  • There is limited parking on site.

To explore another adapted activities option in Carlisle, please see here.

Q Is an official referral needed?

Family referrals are accepted. Contact them for more details on how to receive support.

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