Grants, bursary, charitable funding for accredited ... - Mencap


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Grants, bursary, charitable funding for accredited performing arts course for LD son

Library-girl profile image

Hi wondering if anyone can help, my son is 20 has Down syndrome and is desperate to work as an actor. He is very disillusioned about having to attend “generic” “ life skills” “functional skills” college courses which I quote “I’ve done all this in high school!!!” I have located a company which runs an accredited performing arts course for students with LD which is not in our immediate area but is commutable with support. However my local social services will not assist with funding for either the fees (£65 per day / 2 days a week) or funding for a PA for the support commuting (despite my son not accessing funding for anything else AT ALL via social services!!) they have suggested I look at grants / charity support for this - is anyone able to point me in the direction of any organisations which may be willing/able to help with this - I am desperate and both my son and I are very disillusioned with it all - he is passionate about performing arts and has/does (pre-pandemic) attend clubs and classes both for people with additional needs only and “main stream” but he really wants to achieve a qualification in performing arts so he can be taken seriously in performing arts - just like any “average functioning” young person would be allowed to attend college to study and achieve a performing arts qualification. By the way I have already investigated the possibility of him attending a “standard” course at local colleges and this is not available as they can’t accommodate him at the academic level he is working. Any assistance / suggestions gratefully received


9 Replies

Why don’t you ring the company where they do this course and ask them if they know any organisations ask the Down’s syndrome association and contact your local community voluntary services they’re an amazing organisation and they have access to charities and grants etc etc they helped me so much years ago. I will always be grateful for what they did for me when I was setting up my charity and required funding and then charity status.

Hi Jofisher thanks I have spoken to the company they advised that they don’t get involved with funding ( probably get loads of enquiries- I think) but did say they were aware that students paid by personal budget. I will contact DSA and look for contacts on local voluntary organisations thanks

You welcome have you heard of an organisation called chicken shed I think it’s called if not it might be of interest to you and your son

I’ll take a look thanks

Have you considered an education and health care plan available up to the age of 25? If you found a suitable college even a residential college this could be the funding answer ?

Hi Eeviee he has an EHCP apparently social services were contacting them - I’ll query what happened with that thanks

Sarah_Mencap profile image

Hello Library-girl

I can understand your son's (and your) frustration here. Please do call Mencap's helpline to see if they can help (

I also found these links:

> Disability rights website -

> Turn 2 Us grants search -

Another thought, does your son take part in any local drama groups/ drama for people with a learning disability in his spare time? I know it's not the same as studying it, but perhaps it could help him fulfill his goal of acting.

Best wishes


Hi Sarah thanks for this I’ll take a look. Yes he does do drama groups and has taken part in many performances but he’s at the point where he needs coaches/tutors who are used to teaching and can get the best out of Students with a learning disability and understand exactly what he is capable of rather than being “included” (for,to some degree) for inclusions sake

Thanks again

I am thinking your son is still under the age of education. Therefore education should help your son achieve that. There are Chatitys who he’ll with grants. I wonder if you can Google it ? And also write to your education authority and ask them. Good luck.

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