Scheme by Portsmouth council aim to improve daily lives of adults with learning disabilities

Adults with learning difficulties have been given the chance to work at the Lily and Lime cafe in the Central Library, Portsmouth (from left) Matthew Rimmer, Michael Lingley, Daniel Donovan, Lena Eldridge, Sarah White, Kevin Skilton and Louisa Edwards.' Picture by Ian Hargreaves
Adults with learning difficulties have been given the chance to work at the Lily and Lime cafe in the Central Library, Portsmouth (from left) Matthew Rimmer, Michael Lingley, Daniel Donovan, Lena Eldridge, Sarah White, Kevin Skilton and Louisa Edwards.' Picture by Ian Hargreaves
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A NUMBER of schemes are aiming to improve the everyday lives of people with learning disabilities.

Portsmouth City Council and organisations in the city are working together to ensure adults with learning difficulties have the best possible outcomes.

It is important they feel like they are achieving and are in a workplace like everyone else.

Anita Godson

This includes making access to services easier, giving them the chance to work or volunteer and running social activities so they can interact with others.

Mark Stables, service manager of the Integrated Learning Disability Service at the council, said: ‘We want to help adults with learning disabilities to achieve basic outcomes. They might have difficulties but in every other way, they want the same things everyone else wants.

‘Our key areas for them are around health, work, learning and being in relationships. Everything we do is built on that.’

One example of the council’s schemes is their contract with Lily and Lime LD.

The company run cafes in the city which are staffed by adults with learning difficulties.

The employees are put on traineeship courses and some are given the chance to be taken on as apprentices.

Anita Godson, chief executive, said: ‘I am passionate about changing these young people’s lives. All of the people I have taken on to run the cafe exceed expectations and do really well.

‘It is important they feel like they are achieving and are in a workplace like everyone else. We don’t want them to feel different.’

Anita said the support from Portsmouth City Council was important in giving these young people an opportunity.

And the council is working on other schemes to provide similar outcomes for other parts of the adults’ lives.

Mark added: ‘One part is around housing and giving these people their independence back. We have a lot of people moving into supported living which means they can care for themselves but have assistance if needed.

‘The council also looked at the day services being offered and if there could be new ways of delivering it.

‘Rather than running a day centre, we asked what they wanted to do with their time. Our work is trying to be more about what individuals want and giving them the choice.’