University of Northampton report praises ‘life changing’ benefits of London charity

Date 26.05.2016

The Lambeth Mencap ‘Carousel Project’, which supports adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities, has achieved ‘extremely positive and wide ranging outcomes and influences’, according to an academic evaluation undertaken by the University of Northampton.

Funded by a grant from Guys and St Thomas’ Trust, the three-year Carousel Project was designed to fill a gap in services for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), a very vulnerable group which face many barriers and social isolation. The Carousel Project aims to improve the health status of this population by providing a range of community based activities in the Lambeth area of London, and since 20012 has supported 68 people with PMLD.

The evaluation report, carried out over the three year project by the University of Northampton’s Annie Fergusson,  Senior Lecturer SEN and Inclusion, found that the Carousel Project’s specialist group activities – such as swimming and sensory storytelling – have reduced social isolation and led to health benefits for service users. These benefits include improvements in posture and mobility, communication, engagement and emotional wellbeing. The report praises the Carousel Project for raising the profile of people with PMLD, as well as delivering additional benefits for the carers and health professionals who support them.

Annie Fergusson, author of the report, said: “Stakeholders involved in Lambeth Mencap’s Carousel Project were unanimous in their acknowledgement of the improvements and positive impact on people with PMLD. These positive differences ranged from the emergence of very small and subtle changes through to transformative and life changing breakthroughs, where one individual was enabled to meaningfully and enjoyably participate in a group opportunity, for the first time in their life.

“It is vital that the innovation afforded by this unique and effective project is acknowledged for its leading-edge model and approaches. The Carousel Project offers an inspirational model of delivery and I hope that it not only survives but thrives, and leads to more services such as this to be developed in the future.” Annie is involved with the Carousel Project team in disseminating the principles and outcomes of this work.

Boz Borowy, Director at Lambeth Mencap said: “At Lambeth Mencap we know how wonderful the Carousel Project is but it’s a real boost to get academic recognition of the impact of our work.” The Carousel Project has already been nominated for a number of national awards.

Find out more about the Carousel Project by watching this short video: