Abbey Gateway is a registered Charity that supports over 150 adults with learning disabilities/difficulties from North Devon for over 30 years. We have seen many changes in that time and strive to provide the best opportunities for our members as possible.

We are affiliated to Mencap and hold Role-Model status with them.

Our regular club night meetings take place on Friday evenings at the local college, 6.45 – 8.45pm. We provide opportunities for Learning disabled adults to meet with their peers, in a safe environment and enjoy a variety of activities, these include:- music and dancing, arts and crafts, games and sports, drama, learning/sharing skills.

On average we have around 60-70 people attend our club night meetings.

We also use facilities in the community for special events, such as annual parties, galas, league games, fundays and theatre performances. As well as weekly meetings we offer coach/train trips to places of interests.

We are a voluntary organisation and as such, rely heavily on the generosity of our volunteers, some of whom have been with us for over 15 years. We recognise and celebrate the achievements of our volunteers, this year one volunteers was given volunteer of the year award at the local awards ceremony. We have an excellent track record of spring-boarding volunteers into employment within the care industry and welcome new volunteers to join the team, if you would like to find out more about volunteering with us, please get in touch.

We employ a club coordinator to manage the day to day running of the club. We have a management committee who oversee all major decisions and are governed by a board of Trustees.

Club members are actively involved in all aspects of the club as well as decision making and delivery of activities. Each year members elect representatives and a club leader to promote the advancement of the club.

Amanda Barrud

Club Co-ordinator

Amanda was born and raised in the West Country and moved to Canterbury to study Psychology at the University of Kent.
On graduating, Amanda was employed as a residential Social Worker for Kent County Council and also worked at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, before returning to the West Country to raise her own family. Amanda has 4 children, 1 grandchild and is also employed as an Adult Education Tutor for Devon County Council.
Amanda has been involved with the club since 2002. From 2002 until 2013 she worked as a freelance artist delivering art and craft-based activities and projects for the club members. In 2013 Amanda became Abbey Gateway Club coordinator and as such is responsible for programme planning and organizing all events and trips. She also supports and coordinates the volunteer team and champions for the rights of adults with a learning disability.

We welcome adults with a range of learning difficulties including:

  • ADHD
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Chromosomal disorders
  • Down syndrome
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Hearing impairment
  • Language Processing Disorder
  • Mental health difficulty
  • Moderate learning difficulty
  • Neurological disorder
  • Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
  • Profound complex disabilities
  • Severe learning disability
  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Speech, language and communication needs
  • Visual impairment