Don’t Shut Me Out! is a three-year project funded by Comic Relief under the fairer society theme. CHANGE will partner with four organisations, working across the areas and issues of housing and homelessness, mental health, LGBTQ and BME issues.
Our first partner is Shelter www.shelter.org.uk, the housing and homelessness charity. Together we are working to bring the housing issues faced by people with learning disabilities into the spotlight.
CHANGE and Shelter have brought together people with learning disabilities from across the country by hosting focus groups, events and developing a National Steering Group, supporting people with learning disabilities to learn how to campaign about housing issues that affect them. We would like to continue the partnership to make sure that people with learning disabilities are included in the mainstream housing agenda.
We hope to continue promoting inclusive and accessible ways of campaigning with other third sector organisations. We want to promote good practice and train professionals about the rights, experiences, stories and needs of people with learning disabilities
Our second partner is Richmond Fellowship http://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk/, one of the largest voluntary sector providers of mental health support in England. CHANGE has been working with Richmond Fellowship since July 2016. We have completed an audit of accessibility and inclusion of people with learning disabilities by reviewing leaflets and the Richmond Fellowship website with our volunteers. We have also visited Richmond Fellowship services in Havering and Leicestershire to see how accessible they are and to find out how people with learning disabilities can be included more in services.
As a result of this first stage there are some exciting developments;
1. Several Richmond Fellowship leaflets will be produced in Easy Read and will be available for teams across the country to use.
2. We will make a checklist which will help frontline staff create more accessible posters and leaflets in the services.
3. An eLearning package is being produced about learning disability awareness and how to support people with learning disabilities, this will be available for all staff.
The second part of the project will look at strategic and policy level change within Richmond Fellowship, Recovery Focus and wider in the mental health sector. We will suggest and try ways to include people with learning disabilities in mental health services, this could be through better information, and sitting on forums internally and externally to raise awareness.
For more information about this project and to see if CHANGE can help your organisation be more accessible, please contact us.