Posted 25.06.2021

Mencap NI, the learning disability charity, has appointed Gráinne Close as their new Director for Northern Ireland, to lead on all of the charities operations, activity and influencing in Northern Ireland.

Gráinne said, "I am delighted to have been appointed as the Director of Mencap NI. I’ve always aspired to be part of Mencap’s Leadership team and have viewed Mencap as a progressive organisation, sharing its vision and mission of a world where people with learning disabilities are valued equally, listened to and included.”

This announcement came during the charities Learning Disability Week, which this year celebrates art and creativity, highlighting all the incredible creative talent in the learning disability community.

Gráinne joins Mencap NI from Action Mental Health where for the last 18 months she’s been part of the leadership team, leading on the successful merger between Action Mental Health and New Life Counselling.

The new Mencap NI Director will focus on Mencap’s new Big Plan to improve community and local development to make the UK the best place to live if you have a learning disability.

Gráinne said, “Mencap’s Big Plan 2021 is bold and exciting, setting it apart from other learning disability providers. I share the same professional goals and am personally dedicated to reducing stigma, discrimination and promoting equality and the human rights of every individual.”

“I look forward to leading the Northern Ireland team and playing our part in achieving Mencap’s vision to be the best place in the world for people with a learning disability to live happy and healthy lives”.

Gráinne was also the Project Lead on a flagship multi-property resettlement project in collaboration with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, South-Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Inspire Wellbeing, Fairhome Group and En Circle Housing Association supporting the resettlement of people with complex needs moving from long-stay hospital into their own homes in the community.

For the last 17 years, Gráinne has held Executive and Senior Management positions and has a strong track record helping organisations innovate, grow and thrive through transformational change. She has extensive experience working as part of an Executive Leadership Team in large complex UK-wide organisation having been Assistant, then National, Director for Autism Initiatives NI.

Gráinne has dedicated her entire career to working in the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland, Ireland and USA, with communities who have had their needs overlooked too often.


For more information contact Brian Kennedy, Mencap NI Communications Manager on 0758 312 7944 or email [email protected]