Eastbourne & District Mencap is at the forefront for providing services for people with learning disabilities, however, despite our strong commitment and hard work to succeed, one of the main issues we have is recruitment.

The adult social care sector currently faces significant challenges with both the recruitment and retention of staff. Eastbourne Mencap, like many other providers find that it is difficult to recruit and retain staff due to the pressure on staff costs, such as payment of a living wage, training and support for career progression.

The greater use of agency staff has consequently increased the demand and cost significantly to an unsustainable level. We feel there needs to be some recognition by the Government as major changes are needed to increase pay across the social care sector.

Eastbourne Mencap is a small charity that has been providing a service to people with learning disabilities for over 70 years. We now need to evolve as an organisation and change our approach in order to continue to provide our service users with high standards of care. This will involve diversifying and introducing new revenue streams.

This will be challenging, as this situation means providers have to think outside the box to be able to survive in this sector. Unfortunately, the last two years with the Covid-19 pandemic has set us back considerably with our business plan to generate increased income and sustain the overall costs to run our charity.

We are fortunate to have been chosen as one of Eastbourne Mayor’s charities this year, so we are looking forward to working with The Mayor and Eastbourne Foodbank to raise awareness for our charities and much needed funds through various events during the year. These will be promoted on our website and social media profiles and our website also contains information about current vacancies, volunteering and all our news.

Marketing, fundraising, and advertising, together with project and social media management are now becoming part of the running of Eastbourne Mencap, placing the adult social care providers in a competitive gear in order to survive and do well.

Eastbourne Mencap is already involved with a Social Enterprise programme, ‘New Leaf Café’, working in partnership with Our Neighbourhood with funding from Devonshire West Big Local. Through this project we are able to generate an income and improve provisions in the local community. This gives our service users opportunities to learn new skills and service the general public and we hope to be involved with more projects like this.