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Occupational and Leisure Services


Occupational Opportunities Service


Our Aims and Objectives

Harpenden Mencap’s Occupational Opportunities service was established to offer people with a learning disability the opportunity to:
  • gain new skills
  • further develop existing skills
  • gain work experience
  • socialise with other members of the community
  • contribute to their local community.

Roundabout Training

Harpenden Mencap run a charity shop in the Southdown area of Harpenden called Roundabout. The shop is a way for the Society to raise funds to support the Occupational Opportunities programme.
Louise Thrift, who is the team leader for the Occupational Opportunities scheme, works closely with all members of the local community to provide a service that is accessible for people with a learning disability aged 16 or over to become a part of. This can be for a short-term taster period, such as work experience, or part of a longer-term plan, and Louise works closely with some of the local schools and colleges to ensure that the service is accessed.
Within the shop, support workers work alongside people with a learning disability, empowering those with a disability to learn the wide range of skills needed to become a volunteer within the shop, or in the case of those people who not yet ready to work with an employment agency (such as Employment Direct), to help equip them with the skills to think about working towards paid or voluntary work with other employers.
Trainees work within all aspects of the shop role.
If you would like more information in relation to the training opportunities available at the Roundabout shop, of if you would like to find out more about any of the Occupational Opportunity services run by Harpenden Mencap, then please contact:
Louise Thrift
Contact address: c/o 19 Douglas Road, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2EN
Telephone: (01582) 460055 extension 8
Alternatively, please drop into the shop – situated at 4, Grove Road, Southdown, Harpenden – on a Wednesday or a Thursday.

Leisure Opportunities


The Britannia Club is a self-run group for adults with a learning disability. The group meets every fortnight on a Thursday evening between 7pm and 10pm. The majority of club members live independently within the communities of Harpenden and St Albans and either are working towards living as independently as possible or already have the skills to do so.
The club provides an environment where there are opportunities to meet friends, share experiences and to participate in group activities or individual pursuits. Although supported by staff, the members of the club are encouraged and offered the opportunity to decide what they want to do. This can range from craft activities and talks from visitors to pub visits, bowling and more adventurous excursions.
Anybody living in the Harpenden / St Albans area who has a learning disability is welcome to become a member of the Britannia Club, and volunteers are always welcome to assist activities.
If you would like more information about the Britannia Club, please contact:
Louise Thrift
Contact address: c/o 19 Douglas Road, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2EN
Telephone: (01582) 460055 extension 8


The Harpenden Gateway Club is the leisure arm of Mencap and our local Gateway Club.  Formed in 1980, it is still going strong with an active calendar of events each year.  

2014 sees the club settling into a new home in Southdown and the club's volunteers and members would like to welcome new members to their Wednesday evening sessions.  Join in the fun and make new friends, or rekindle old friendships.   

The club meets from 7.30pm until 9.30pm each Wednesday evening during term time.


Interested?  In the first instance please contact:

Natalie Chaston 
Telephone: (01582) 621007  
Email: natalie@chastons.biz

A warm welcome awaits you!


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Registered Charity No. 1035252
A Company Limited by Guarantee, No.2903642 Registered in England and Wales.
Address: "Stairways", 19 Douglas Road, Harpenden, Herts AL5 2EN
Telephone: (01582) 460055 Extn.8
Email: office@harpendenmencap.co.uk
Copyright © 2008 - 2015 Harpenden Mencap, All rights reserved