Our Ambassadors

Iris Anderson – Honorary President

My original connection to Andover and District Mencap was 22 years ago with a member of my family who had learning difficulties and also developed epilepsy. I needed support from people that understood my family member and their needs, whilst delivering support to improve their self-esteem and confidence. 

I developed great knowledge of all the different support services available through Andover and District Mencap. This made me more interested in Andover and District Mencap and wanting to support the work they do to support, equip and empower everyone with a learning disability to do more and be more. I had the greatest experience in meeting Liz Hall and Marion Grundy who helped me and so many people over the years. My family, until recently, still accessed support from Andover and District Mencap as my grandson, who has autism, attended the Afterschool Club. 

Over the years I have been involved in supporting people. This has included 25 of the greatest years working at Andover Hospital. I have been involved in many charities (11 Years on the Carnival Committee, Chair of Friends of Andover Hospital and a Test Valley Borough Councillor since 2011). I was honoured to be Mayor of Test Valley from 2015-16. I was also very proud of promoting the borough for North and South, meeting different people. 

I am proud to be the Honorary President of Andover and District Mencap and will support the charity in any way possible. 

Elizabeth Hall MBE – Ambassador and Honorary Vice President 

My original connection to Mencap was 55 years ago when I set up both Oxford Mencap and Buckingham Mencap whilst my first son Jonathan was growing up. Jonathan was born with Down’s Syndrome and a severe heart condition. He unfortunately passed away aged 23 years old. As a professional I was a Psychiatric Social Worker and worked in the Child Guidance Service for Hampshire for 25 years. 

In 1964, I founded Andover and District Mencap and chaired this developing organisation run entirely by volunteers and parents for 16 years. I continue to support the organisation as Ambassador to this day. I continue to fight for better services for people with learning disabilities and ensure I am in a position to make a difference. Previously, I held Governor roles for: The Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, a Special Educational Needs forum for 5 schools and was a board member of the local Sure Start program. 

I was also a Trustee for Hampshire Carers Together and the Local Implementation Group representative on the Hampshire Partnership Board for Learning Disabilities. Throughout the years I have worked hard to support, equip and empower people with learning disabilities and in 1997 I was awarded the MBE for my commitment and dedication.

Victoria Cheshire

I have mild Cerebral Palsy and uncontrolled Epilepsy. My original connection to Andover and District Mencap was in 2008 when I first started to volunteer in the office on a regular basis. I am a very determined person and continue to volunteer in the office for a few hours each week supporting the Learning and Development Team. It is one of the highlights of my week. When Andover and District Mencap (ADM) have fundraising events in the community I support the team by helping to run the stalls. I have gained so much from volunteering with ADM. My confidence has grown and my social skills have got better. I still tell jokes that I think are funny (others tell me they are awful). 

My hobbies involve horse riding with the Riding for the Disabled Association. I have been horse riding since 1988 and ride dressage and take part in show jumping. I gained my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award when I was 21 years old which is held at The Wellington Centre. I also completed the Queens Guide award when I was 21 years old.

I am very proud and honoured to become an Ambassador or Andover and District Mencap. I will do my best to improve people’s thoughts and perceptions of people with learning disabilities. I always try and look at life like the glass is half full and not the glass is half empty!