A disabled man was given the chance to celebrate Notting Hill Carnival for the first time thanks to the help of a charity.

Brendan Chivasa, a 25-year-old from Harrow with cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and who now requires a wheelchair, is still reminiscing about his first time at Notting Hill Carnival this year.

Mr Chivasa was fortunate to attend as a volunteer alongside nine other members of Harrow Mencap, a charity which supports people with learning disabilities and autism in Harrow and surrounding areas.

Last February, Mr Chivasa was unfortunately verbally attacked by a group of teenage boys inside St George’s Shopping Centre, before security helped scare off the teenagers. This year, he instead was able to celebrate life with cheerful and lively crowds seen at Carnival.

Mr Chivasa, who loves music and thoroughly enjoyed his first Carnival, said: “Attending the Carnival was the highlight of my year, today is a new beginning, I hope there will be more disabled people coming to Carnival.”

Harrow Mencap partnered with MaKING Carnival Mass Band, allowing attendees with learning disabilities, families and friends to take part in Europe’s biggest street festival.

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As part of the Carnival experience, the Harrow Mencap members were encouraged to design and make their own carnival gear and accessories to match the vibrant and intriguing designs seen across various dancers and floats.

Deven Pillay, CEO of Harrow Mencap, said: “Carnival is an iconic, high-profile and internationally acclaimed event which has real potential to make a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities and change the way they are perceived by the public.

“We all know there is plenty of work to be done on making our society more inclusive. Exclusion, non-participation and a resulting lack of visibility has created negative and inaccurate stereotypes around those who have a learning disability with truly detrimental results.”