Harrow Mencap had an amazing time at Notting Hill Carnival 2019.

Many of our people including ambassadors, self-advocates, volunteers, clients from Cedars, Skill Up and their families, as well as staff got their groove on in the Carnival's big Sunday Parade.

We joined the parade for the second time in partnership with MaKING Carnival. 

Our group looked fantastic in their face paint, festive outfits and orange Carnival t-shirts on the big day. Many had been practicing their dance moves and making costumes for months in preparation.    

Check out our highlights video below for more: 

Our visit to the Carnival was a fantastic experience for all involved, with lots of happy memories made and new experiences for many people.

Harrow Mencap Ambassador Brendan who attended the Carnival for the first time said:  

Attending the Carnival was the highlight of my year, today is a new beginning, I hope there will be more disabled people coming to Carnival.

(Brendan enjoying his first time at Notting Hill Carnival)

Cedars Day Opportunities Assistant Manager June Dorr said:

For Harrow Mencap to be part of the carnival again was a fantastic occasion. For lots of the clients it was their first time, and some had been before, family members attending to see all the hard work that has been put in to make a successful carnival and enjoying the day.

It was nice for the clients to be included from the beginning in the carnival prep groups choosing their costume to make, practising their dances and seeing all it come together on what was a hot and enjoyable day

(Harrow Mencap clients, volunteers, staff, families and others having an exciting day out)

Deven Pillay, CEO of Harrow Mencap, said:

Carnival is an iconic, high-profile and internationally acclaimed event which has real potential to make a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities and change the way they are perceived by the public.

We all know there is plenty of work to be done on making our society more inclusive. Exclusion, non-participation and a resulting lack of visibility has created negative and inaccurate stereotypes around those who have a learning disability with truly detrimental results.