Independent Gateway Award

The Independent Gateway Award is for members who don’t have access to social care funding and are therefore not able to access the day service. You will have a 1:1 meeting every one to two months with the Personal Development Mentor who will help you to find activities, courses and volunteering in your local community. This is for people who are quite independent or are looking for something to do with friends, a support worker or PA.

The Gateway Award encourages people to gain new skills and experiences, become more independent, make friends, be active in the community and to have better health and wellbeing.

Benefits include: an increase in confidence, making new friends, improving fitness as well as many more. Participants have a great time on the award and look forward to coming in to complete their activities.

They achieve the award by taking part in fun and healthy activities that contribute to their personal development in the areas of…

Activities- these are just examples, you can do any activity that you enjoy.
Timescale for Bronze Award
Arts & crafts (e.g. drawing, model making, cooking, photography, pottery, textiles), Collections (e.g. badges, comics, or coins) Recreation (e.g. music, dance, gardening, DIY, fishing)
12 hours over at least 3 months
Choose TWO new fitness activities. These could be at the gym but do not have to be e.g. swimming, cycling, walking, boccia, dancing, football
12 hours over at least 3 months
Choose TWO lifestyle topics including wellbeing, confidence, cooking, safety and communication (e.g. healthy eating, first aid, money, independence). There are many courses run by Wirral Mencap and Lifelong Learning.
12 hours over at least 3 months
Choose an activity to benefit the community. Volunteer for a charity if possible.
12 hours over at least 3 months
Gateway challenge
This can be personal (try a new activity that you haven’t done before and that you’re not sure about) or work as a group to complete a project or adventure challenge (eg. Visit a new place, stay overnight, do an outdoors projects.
2 days planning and 1 days on the activity or project.

The award is broken down into three different levels, bronze, silver and gold. When each level is finished, participants will be presented with a certificate to show their achievement.

The award is designed to suit the participant’s needs and be as flexible as possible. They will be supported to identify activity opportunities. Participants will be given folders to complete along the way, where they can keep a record of their achievements including certificates and photos of the activities they have done.

The award does require a level of commitment from participants in order to complete it, with the bronze award taking approximately six months to complete, followed by a further year each for the silver and gold awards.

The success of the award depends on the full commitment of the people participating, the Wirral Mencap staff and also support workers, parents and carers/agencies.

It is free of charge to do the Gateway Award, however, there may be a small charge for some activities, particularly those done individually such as gym membership.

Further information about the Gateway Award can be found at:

Case Study - Anita

Anita Independent Gateway min

Hi I’m Anita. I’ve been a member of Wirral Mencap for a long time, I’ve got a lot of friends who are members and I’ve encouraged other people to join.  I have attended the Wirral Mencap AGM, several Christmas parties, One Wirral, the Karaoke evening and the Ferry Party. 

I have completed my Bronze and Silver Gateway Awards with Julie and I’m now working on my Gold Award.

My favourite hobby is the drumming that I have done with Rhythm Reaction and the Phab hub. It has changed my life – I love it!  I also perform regularly with the Hands and Voices choir in Hoylake and Riversign.

For my fitness section I have tried to walk more and I play badminton and basketball I did a Sponsored bike ride last year and raised £90 for Options.

For my Lifestyle section I have done loads of courses including English and Maths, bill management, BSL and a retail workshop.   

I do lots of volunteering but my main placement is at the Phab shop.   I am part of several groups and committees – I am a member of Voices R Us where we meet every 3 months and discuss things and I’m also involved in the Wirral Hertitage Project where I interviewed the person in charge of Fort Perch Rock.

Doing the Gateway Award has allowed me to get recognition for the things that I do. I am more motivated to stick with things. I wasn’t sure that I could get through it but I’m very proud of myself that I have.  I’ve attended every appointment and completed every section of my award. My challenges  have included two sponsored silences,  one to raise money for Rhythm Reaction and the Phab Club as a thank you for letting  me be part of the group and the other for Hands and Voices.  It was really hard but I’m glad I did it.   I have performed at an open mic night and the Options Oscars, delivered presentations, run a meeting for Voices R Us and I have also taken on more responsibility with Rhythm Reaction  and now help to teach other people, including several Gateway groups.      

I have more confidence now – I know that I can do things.  I feel part of something and I have the motivation to do the next stage.

I would definitely recommend the Gateway Award to people  because it  helps you to learn stuff.  I have introduced other people already.

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