20th Anniversary Event- Closing the Gaps for Those with Learning Disabilities and Mental Ill-HealthRoyal College of Nursing – 13th June 2017

Press Release 30.6.17
On Tuesday 13th June, 80 invited guests gathered at the Royal College of Nursing for a day of celebration of the work of the Judith Trust on its 20th anniversary. This lunch and seminar celebrated research, advocacy, training and education undertaken by the Trust during the last two decades to increase knowledge and awareness of the gaps in provision and the barriers faced by children and adults with both learning disabilities and mental-ill health.  Many participating had been integral to the JT’s development. Through this event the Trust also sought to increase partner involvement on all its projects until 2021 when it is envisaged that the Trust will then close. Guests who have contributed or are contributing to the work were invited and included CEO’s or Strategic Leads for like-minded charities in this field, academics, rabbis, psychologists specialising in learning disability, representatives from Government Departments, Grant making bodies, family members including Judith, and both women and men with learning disabilities.

The Trust was delighted to have Professor Sheila the Baroness Hollins and Rabbi Baroness Neuberger as co- chairs of the event, with Hazel Watson, Head of Mental Health and Learning Disability- NHS England as keynote speaker. She addressed some the successes and challenges within the NHS for those with both a learning disability and mental ill-health. Guests also heard from participants from  “Women Wise” in Northern Ireland, a project born out of research commissioned by the Judith Trust. A video celebrating the Trusts’ achievements was shown and there was an impactful forum theatre piece from Mind the Gap Theatre Company.

The Trusts founder and chair, Annette Lawson spoke about the work of the Trust over the past 20 years and how it focuses its agenda:

‘As Judith’s sister, I knew we had to recognise the emotional and social impact and experiences of these issues on families, siblings, carers and others, including the person themselves. We are not interested in number crunching alone but in the meaning of need, experience, care, development, mental ill-health, environment, opportunity for participation and decision making, the enabling, ‘good enough environment’.


The Judith Trust is a family foundation set up in 1997, in the name of Annette Lawson and Peter LeVay Lawrence’s younger sister, Judith Lawrence, who has struggled with both learning disability and chronic, serious mental ill-health virtually all her life. The Trust focuses on closing the gaps for all those with learning disabilities and mental ill-health and gives research grants and runs projects seeking to ensure inclusion of this group of people – especially in the Jewish Community but not only there. We seek to ‘close the gaps’ in legislation and implementation, in social policy and practice for women and men, boys and girls with both these issues. We seek to understand the needs of this group and advocate possible solutions based on the results and outcomes of the research we fund.
For more information please contact Emma Gray, emma@judithtrust.org.uk or 07870213581