City of Chelmsford Mencap's lifelong learning service, The Outreach Academy, runs a variety of 6 to 16 week long courses which help develop social, work and life skills and maximise wellbeing and independence. All courses are fully supported and inclusive.

Latest Courses


Our lifelong learning service is running online during the coronavirus pandemic.  Some courses and times are subject to change.  New students are welcome to enrol at any time, subject to the availability of places.


To find out more, please


Tuesdays, 10.30am-12.30pm

Wednesdays, AM and PM

Learn how to make food exciting, experiment with new flavours and develop key cooking skills with the help of award-winning tutors.  Students make delicious dishes at every session and build their own recipe book.




AM and PM

Our music sessions are tutored by experienced tutor Helena Nussey.  Our choir, Awesome Beats Collective, performs regularly at a number of venues in Chelmsford and also participate in our Celebration of Caring and Carol concert.  The course also teaches students about the different parts of the orchestra, with special guest tutors. They  also have opportunities to attend a number of concerts. Come along and enjoy a range of musical genres, from classical to jazz and pop!

Active in the community and environment (ACE)

Thursdays, 9am-4pm

Active in the community and environment students participate in a range of projects, including arranging monthly Community Lunches at Mencap Centre and maintaining several community gardens and their own allotment.

Social enterprise




Our Social enterprise, Independent Designs, designs and produces a range of beautiful gift and household items. Students have opportunities to learn a variety of craft skills, from woodwork to ceramic painting.  Students also develop key employment and business skills as they market and sell their products.

Seated Dance




Part of our Discover Health programme, this session features two hours of gentle seated exercise, and is suitable for complete beginners and those seeking to regain fitness.  Come along and enjoy a range of music and dance styles and the opportunity to meet new friends.  Suitable for all ages and abilities.


Discover Seated Dance is tutored by experienced dance instructor Jean Hunter. 


Functional skills




This Summer's Functional skills course focuses on STEAM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts&Heritage and Maths.

Students will research well-known professionals in each field and find out the skills and knowledge they needed to be successful.  They'll also conduct a series of experiments and projects to develop their own STEAM skills!

This course is run by qualified teacher Pam Groveham.


Express yourself!




Our Express yourself! course is run by experienced tutor Dawn Clark.  The course includes workshops in lots of different expressive and creative arts including singing, percussion, role play, movement and problem-solving challenges.

Each term students focus on a different theme -  this Summer we're exploring the natural world.


Working out

Various days and times

Working out is our latest initiative and offers long-term, fully supported work experience placements in a variety of settings.

Placements include working in community-led local libraries and organising Community Teatimes in local venues.

We currently have vacancies for trainees on Wednesday afternoons.  Please contact Grace on 01245 268 303 for more information.