Mencap:Affinity is still strong

Your article on affinity cards (MW August 14), while timely and important, misses key points and is inaccurate on a number of others.

The article states that the scheme “is a very bad example of a partnership between the voluntary sector and the corporate world”. On the contrary – this relationship has been running to the benefit of both Mencap and the Halifax for the past nine years. Only since demutualisation have unforseeable problems arisen.

Your editorial implies that Mencap is awash with cash. This is not the case. Ninety-five per cent of our income comes from direct payments from local government and health authorities for services. These services range from supported employment schemes through to homes for people with learning disabilities in this country, many of whom are not receiving the care and support they need. Last year, we launched an appeal to enable us to reach more of these families.

I am pleased to say that many companies have supported this appeal, including leading retailers such as Tesco and Dixons. We enjoy mutually beneficial relationships with these and other companies. However, we are still in need of the support of companies and the public alike.

We are still in discussions with the Halifax.

David Scott-Ralphs

Director of fundraising

Mencap

London EC1

“A very bad example of a partnership…” The article states no such thing: it is the quoted opinion of Paul Aagaard, a specialist. The editorial in fact implies that Mencap is in a better position to take up a point of principle than some other charities. Nothing more, Ed.

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