From 14 June until 20 June, it's Learning Disability Week. Our Progress Involvement Officer, Natalie, is working with our supported living tenants to mark the week and tells us why...

Learning Disability Week is a great way to raise awareness of the issues faced by people with a learning disability and their families.


It is also an opportunity to celebrate all the wonderful ways that people contribute in their communities, live their lives to the full and work together to achieve equality and better lives for themselves and for others with a learning disability.

Many organisations get involved in Learning Disability Week by running a wide range of community events such as a charity bake-off, accessible sporting events, talent contests, sponsored walks and LD Pride marches. This year, as many events continue to be hosted virtually, people can participate in different events from their homes.

Learning Disability Week and our supported living tenants

Learning disabilities affect approximately 1.5 million people in the UK, including many of our supported living customers and tenants.

We are one of the largest providers of supported living accommodation for people with a learning disability or autism in England. To achieve this, we have partnered with a huge range of local authority commissioners, health service trusts and support providers.

We are very proud of our record in helping individuals and families to live fulfilling and independent lives in their own homes, particularly given that many of our tenants were previously living in long-stay hospitals or inappropriate residential care settings. 

But, for every person, the experience is different. Some people with a mild learning disability may just need a little support with tasks like getting a job or budgeting. Others with profound and multiple learning disabilities are likely to need much more care and support.

This year's theme for Learning Disability week is Art and Creativity. Getting creative can help improve mental health, help people to express themselves and stay connected through activities like art and music.

Through our partnership with Artlink West Yorkshire and funding from the Group's Community Investment Fund (CIF), a group of our tenants have been taking part in the Artlink Creative Toolkits Project* from home. They have received packs of materials, with videos made by the artists to guide them through each activity. They have also had the opportunity to participate in Zoom sessions with the artists to share their work and meet other people taking part. 

Some of our tenants have also taken part in a community artwork project run by Progress, 'We All Fit Together'. The project takes the form of a giant jigsaw*, with everyone using their creativity and working together to create one big piece of artwork.

For more information and some great resources to get involved in Learning Disability Week, please visit the Mencap website by clicking this link: https://www.mencap.org.uk/get-involved/learning-disability-week-2021

 

*Photos of the work from the Artlink and the jigsaw projectswill be shared at the end of Learning Disability Week.