24 May 2023
Mencap describe activism as taking action that makes a change. It’s something that aligns strongly to our purpose at IJP, where we strive to do business differently, working as a social enterprise to transform lives. So when Mencap wanted to work with us on their new activism film, we were pretty excited.
A number of champions of activism came into the central London offices for a full day of filming. For a few people was first time they had been into the Mencap offices since pre Covid, and they were excited to be ambassadors for the charity that makes such a difference to their lives.
One participant described to us how she dreams of being on TV to “tell everyone how great Mencap is and I’m so proud to work with them and how they help people like me with learning disabilities.” Another said “I’m proud to have a learning disability” and wanted to use this opportunity to share her experiences and her voice as an active person not only in the disability community but in the world.
Brad is an activism coach. Mencap activism coaches work with individuals to develop the skills and attributes they need to develop a campaign. He described the day as “exciting, because as a result we could see a myriad of new activism campaigns.” It speaks to the power of the film as an enabler for change both in terms of what can be done and as a route to altering public perceptions around what campaigning means.
“Anyone can be an activist, that’s what the film is hoping to achieve,” says Bindy, a community activism coach at Mencap. “We want to empower people to stand up and speak up about the things that are important to them in their local community.”
The film features people discussing their ideas, seeing opportunities, and some of the challenges people with learning disabilities experience every day, such as crossing the road. It uses a number of compelling words such as ‘action’ ‘voice’ ‘together’ ‘share’ to generate a sense of activism and participation. And crucially it uses the lived experience of people with learning disabilities to be that vehicle for change.