This week is Learning Disability Week across the UK. In Torbay, a number of coordinated events will be taking place from Monday 21 to Saturday 26 June to link in with the national celebrations.

The events will be open to everyone in the learning disability community and will include activities such as; gardening workshops, drama performances, music sessions and much more. The events are the collaborative efforts of a number of community and voluntary organisations across the Bay, along with Torbay Council and the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.

Leader of the Torbay Council, Councillor Steve Darling said; 'Learning Disability week is about raising awareness of the issues faced by those with a learning disability as well as celebrating the work and the services we provide to support people with a learning difficulty within our communities. The programme of events that have been coordinated as part of the week, is a tremendous example of people coming together to provide fun and engaging activities, which are accessible to all.'

Sharon O’Reilly, Interim Deputy Director of Adult Social Services, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'Learning Disability Week is such an important calendar date and this year is no exception. It is a week where many activities and celebrations take place and where people with learning disabilities, their families and those who support and work with them, come together to meet or make new connections.

Many of us have had to face social isolation during the National and Local responses to the pandemic and this has been felt particularly by people with a learning disability and their loved ones and carers. We already know that people with a learning disability are up to twice as likely as the general population to experience mental health problems, this is often linked to factors such as discrimination and social isolation.'

Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, Councillor Jackie Stockman said; 'This week is for us all to celebrate and have fun; activities and events where people can get out, enjoy themselves and meet up with friends they may not have seen for quite a while.

It’s been a difficult year for everyone, but we know that people with Learning Disabilities and their carers have had a particularly tough time.'

Following the government's announcement to delay the easing of lockdown on Monday, some of Torbay's planned events for the week, have had to be postponed. Discussions are already taking place on when these events can safely be rescheduled, and more information will follow soon.

Sharon O'Reilly added; 'It was with sadness following the Government announcement yesterday that we needed to curtail some of the activities which had been planned to celebrate this week but there is much still happening, and we are working together to make sure that we can provide some shared activities later in the year, so watch this space! Everyone involved is still excited about the programme of celebrations that are able to still take place".

Event details can be seen below. Further details on rescheduled events will be announced in due course.

Torbay Learning Disability Week Event Calendar

Community Gardening Workshop

Cricket Field Community Garden, Torquay
Date: Wednesday 23 June
Time: 10am to 1pm

Take a tour of the Community garden whilst learning about various plant species and having a go at planting yourself. Find out about growing fruits and vegetables, creating wildlife habitats and how to maintain your garden.

Free event. Open to everyone from the LD community, friends and families. Please book in advance.

To book: Please call Dan Best 07905 765 263 / or email

LD Community Drama Workshop – Final Performance 

St Mary Magdalene Church, Torquay
Date: Wednesday 23 June
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm

An Interactive drama workshop run and devised by adults with learning disabilities for adults with learning disabilities exploring themes of friendship. This is the final performance after a 4-week workshop.

Free event. Open to everyone from the LD community, friends and families. Please book in advance.

To book: Please contact Marjory Smith on 07861685210.

Our Space - outside wellbeing sessions with the Forest School 

Acorn Centre, Torquay
Date: Friday 25 June
Time: 1pm to 4pm

This is a session open to anyone who enjoys being outside and around a campfire, or for those who feel that being outside would benefit them. Try your hand at a number of activities including: fire lighting, campfire cooking, gardening and wood work.

Free event. Open to everyone from the LD community, friends and families. Pease book in advance.

To book: Please call Dan Best 07905 765 263 / or email

Local Mencap Torbay's Virtual Picnic 

Date: Saturday 26 June
Time: 12pm to 2:30pm

This online virtual picnic organised by the Torbay local Mencap committee is the finale of the week's events and an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate. Enjoy conversation and live entertainment in the safety of your own outdoor space or indoors, if weather is wet. To participate you will need to provide an email address to the local Mencap team, you will then be sent a link and passcode prior to the event.

Free event. Open to everyone from the LD community, friends and families. Please book in advance.

To book: Please email

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