Our History - How things have changed
Our charity dates back to 1952; notably to help people whom today are diagnosed as having a learning disability. Historical terms used to represent this diagnosis have changed significantly, as a charity we have followed this journey. In 1952, the ‘Halifax, Brighouse and District Association of Parents of Backward Children’ was founded by a local parent support group.
Following the Second World War a number of similar groups throughout the country came together, primarily to lobby parliament to try and improve facilities for people who were then labelled as being ‘mentally handicapped’. This much larger group the Royal Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults, now known as MENCAP was formed.
"The work The Mayfield Trust carries out is fantastic and really heart warming and so selfless "
— Claire Pilcher, Volunteer
The Mayfield Trust was affiliated with MENCAP until 2005; known then as Calderdale MENCAP. We are led by the changing needs and wishes of the people we support and a significant number no longer wanted to maintain this affiliation. As a result, we changed our name, although we remain true to our aims and values in common with those of MENCAP and other charities who support people with a learning disability.
Going back to the days before 1946, there were no community based services for people with learning disabilities. The vast majority of families were left to cope on their own; most families took the only support option available, this being committing their children to mental institutions where they were sadly forgotten by society.
In the 1950’s and 60’s things were beginning to improve with the formation of parents support groups, but life was still extremely difficult for most people. There were no ‘special schools’, therefore options were; stay at home without support, or be confined in specially designed long stay hospitals. These hospital’s had strict routines, people were not considered as individuals and their rights as citizens ignored.