Workshops to help give a voice to adults

Councillor Luke Stubbs
Councillor Luke Stubbs

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ADULTS with learning disabilities will be given a bigger voice thanks to a new group.

Portsmouth City Council has started the initiative which will support residents with learning disabilities to develop skills and speak for themselves.

A series of workshops will be held to boost their confidence and teach them about making decisions for themselves.

Councillor Luke Stubbs, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and public health, welcomed the scheme and the work it will do.

‘This self-advocacy group can help make a real and meaningful difference in the lives of the people involved,’ he said.

‘It will help people with a learning disability living in Portsmouth keep themselves safe and have greater control over their own lives.’

Brought in this year, the group will be based around a series of workshops from the national self-advocacy scheme, People First.

Since starting in 1984, the organisation helps people take control of their own lives and gives them the chance to have their say. It also campaigns for their rights.

Someone with a learning disability will be employed to lead the group.

Cllr Stubbs added: ‘This is the latest development in our programme working towards integrating health and care services.

‘It is about making a difference to people’s lives by improving the way services are delivered in our city.’

The council said it decided to set up the initiative because ‘the ability to speak up for ourselves is something that can be taken for granted’.

It added that the lives of people who have a learning disability can often involve other people speaking for them without being asked their own views.

It is hoped the scheme will also help people who are vulnerable to teach them how to say no and say when they are unhappy.

For more information on the project contact the council’s adult learning disability team on email at aldduty@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or (023) 9268 4600.