Set up in 1946 by a group of passionate parents who came together to fight for the rights of their learning disabled children, Harrow Mencap started life in a little wooden hut in Rayners Lane.

As parents of children with learning disabilities, Jim and Lillian Snell, with Hilda Drew and the Simcox family got together to offer each other support and campaign for the rights of disabled children. 

Families, friends and neighbours joined in to form the Harrow Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and started running much needed activities for children and taking groups on holiday.


It is unlikely those parents could have envisaged, seventy years ago, that what they started would grow into the leading campaigning charity and provider of services for people with learning disabilities that Harrow Mencap is today.

In 1986 the organisation became a company limited by guarantee.  In 2007 we took the decision to move to bigger accommodation in the Harrovian Business Village which enabled us to expand our services and campaigning activities.

70 years on we are still working hard to persuade the public, business and public services to go beyond the label of disability and to give people with learning disabilities an equal chance.

Take a look at our Timeline and find out how Harrow Mencap has developed over the last 70 years.


Watch our 70th anniversary film celebrating all that we have achieved over seven decades.