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Mencap Opens up the World of Carnival

18 March 2011

'Doing… carnival' is a new title in Mencap’s 'Doing… arts' series of guides. The aim of the new guide is to support people with a learning disability to become fully involved in carnival ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.   

The guide has been written by carnival company, Strange Cargo, in partnership with Mencap’s national arts development manager, Gus Garside. The guide outlines how to choose themes, design and make costumes and how to take part in parades.  

Gus Garside said: “Carnival projects have seen an astonishing growth in the UK. The Cultural Olympiad, leading up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, will see a further increase. We’re keen to enable people with a learning disability to be part of the fun.”  

'Doing… carnival' has been awarded the London 2012 Inspire mark – a badge that recognises exceptional and innovative projects inspired by the 2012 Games.  

The guide is part of the Accentuate programme and is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to create a cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK. Other funding bodies include SEEDA and the regional cultural agencies, including Arts Council England.  

Mencap also worked closely with INAS-FID, the International Sports Federation with the responsibility of representing athletes with a learning disability, to campaign for athletes with a learning disability to be re-included in the Paralympic Games.   

Copies of Doing… carnival can be ordered by emailing or calling 01444 449 089, or they can be downloaded from