About the Living Link

The Origins of The Living Link

The Living Link is a non-profit organisation that supports the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities into society and facilitates their transition from school to work to independent living.

Livng Link Founders

Founders of The Living Link – Julia Wilkinson and Ingrid Menzel, with Nadine Wilkinson, who was the inspiration for the organisation

The organisation was founded in 2000 by Julia and Ingrid, sister and mother to Nadine who has an intellectual disability. In a society that provided limited services and support for such adults, it was through dedication and perseverance that they themselves taught Nadine essential living and social skills. Their input has contributed to Nadine’s phenomenal level of independence and intellectual growth. Nadine now works and lives independently and is proud to be an actively integrated member of the community.

They were inspired to share their knowledge and allow other such adults to become more valuable members of society…and so The Living Link Centre was established to provide these very special people with the opportunity that they deserve.

Our success in empowering our young adults in our Johannesburg center presented us with the opportunity of continuing this work in Cape Town, where research has shown us there is a huge need for the work that The Living Link does. Thus we recently opened our Living Link training center in Cape Town.

Students at The Living Link complete an Adult Integration Programme – aimed at integrating them into society, both in the workplace and in the community. The programme is life-skills based and focuses on practical components of daily living that are essential.

After students have graduated from the program, The Living Link, when possible, assists to place their members into suitable positions in the open labour market and supports both the member and the employer in a way that is mutually beneficial.

Based on the idea of full inclusion, The Living Link also encourages and facilitates the transition of their members into supported independent living. With structured intervention members move out of home and into the community where they are assisted with managing their own lives and households.


  • At The Living Link we promise to continuously develop and enhance the potential of intellectually disabled adults.
  • Our aim is to allow them the opportunity for full integration and equal participation in the mainstream of our society so as to improve the quality of their lives.
  • We strive to facilitate growth and change by empowering our members, their support network and the community by creating an environment of understanding, acceptance and possibility.

Our Values


Courage does not always roar. Sometimes Courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow” [Mary Anne Radmacher]


At The Living Link we are passionate about enhancing the lives of intellectually disabled young adults through life skill development and the potential opportunity of working in mainstream society.


Together acting as a family we will grow and achieve more than many give us credit for.


Knowledge is power as Sir Francis Bacon once said. The knowledge gained through the adult life skill training programme empowers intellectually disabled adults to realise opportunities and achieve their hopes and dreams.

Honesty and Integrity

At The Living Link we will engage with each other, the parents and young adults honestly and with integrity to ensure an environment of trust and respect is always maintained.