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Speak Out's Spring newsletter

March 2022


Welcome to our Spring newsletter.

I hope you enjoy hearing updates about our work as we continue to open up our face to face services including gathering Covid stories from people with learning disabilities, training Occupational Health students, supporting young people to understand healthy relationships and more. We’re doing a lot of work to reconnect with people with learning disabilities we lost contact with during the pandemic so please get in touch with us if you want to know more about the groups and drop-ins we run across the city.

All the best


Director of Speak Out

50 Year of Speaking Up in England - Towards an Important History

This year marks 50 year of Speaking Up in England - Towards an Important History.

Speak Out’s Learning Disability Voices Network project worker, Danielle Garratt, has been working with Jan Walmsley from the Open University and Ian Davies from Northampton People First on this project. They have created an article in which they interview some leaders of the self-advocacy movement and some people who were allies and supporters.

Watch this space for more information in the future.


Covid stories from the Learning Disability Community 

Have you been isolated during Covid and haven’t been able to attend any of Speak Out's groups that have been online?

The Covid stories group would like to ​hear about what life has been like for you during the pandemic and record your story, either by video, by voice recording or writing down your story​.

If you would like to be involved please contact Emily on 01273 421 921 or by email on [email protected]

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Learning Disability Training

Thumbs Up trainer Danielle delivered our online learning disability awareness training to 38 Occupational Therapy students from the University of Sussex in January.

We got great feedback.

“I wish every health professional had your training! So important for equal opportunities for everyone”

“A really enlightening and informative session”

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For more information, take a look at the awareness training page on our website

Health For All

Speak Out are starting a new project called Health For All. We will be setting up a health advocacy group which will be held monthly in the west of Brighton at St Richard's community centre. We will be looking for people to come along and take part, so look out for further information coming soon.

This project is funded by The Trust for Developing Communities (TDC) and Speak Out will be working with The Hangleton and Knoll Project and the Benfield Valley Healthcare Hub.


Transitions - Supporting Young People

In January Speak out ran a workshop with Amaze on the subject of Healthy Relationships. Participants learned about the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships. To help bring the ideas to life Speak Out arranged for a young person to share their experience of an unhealthy relationship, which the participants discussed, and were able to see where this was either similar or different to their own experiences.

Participants shared their own experiences of the difficulties of relationships, and the workshop was a place where people could support each other and give their views. A range of relationships were covered, from family and friends to support workers, and even online dating. Speak Out gave advice around steps to take if participants notice that something is not right a relationship.

Participants said that they “really enjoyed the workshop” that they “liked moving around the room to make choices” and a number commented that “I know more about keeping my personal information safe online”.

Speak Out will be running another session with Amaze in March, this time about getting into work. At this workshop participants will have the opportunity to find out more about what it’s like to have a job, with exercises, questions and other young people sharing their own experience of work.



Information signInformation about Speak Out's services


Speak Out Helpline 

Speak Out Drop-In Sessions

Speak Out Information Hub and Chat Group


Our helpline continues to support anyone with a learning disability who needs to contact us for help.  Telephone helpline01273 421921 Monday-Friday, 9-5pm

We are listening to what people have to say about the support they get. Maybe you would like to tell us about how things are for you.

Take a look at the survey here.

For a friendly chat and more information, you can contact Emma [email protected]  01273 421 921.

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Speak Out's Face to Face Drop-In Sessions

Most of our drop-in sessions are now face to face, but we are cautiously returning to this way of working and will keep an eye on the number of Covid cases in the city. Please keep looking at our website and Facebook page for details.

New Wednesday Drop-In Time 10am - 12pm

Speak Out East

On 17th February we were lucky to have Carolyn from Albion in the Community, visit Speak Out East. In lockdown we met Carolyn on Zoom. At that time she spoke about how to protect our skin from harmful sun rays. We were very pleased to welcome Carolyn in person at our usual meeting place, St.George’s Church café.

Cancer can be difficult and frightening to talk about, but Carolyn helped us to understand how we can lead healthy lives to help reduce a risk of cancer. As a group we looked at the types of healthy food that we can eat – lots of fruit and vegetables and proteins, and which foods we should limit - those with a lot of sugar and a lot of fat. We also spoke about the risks of smoking and drinking too much alcohol.

We learned that if cancer is found early, treatments are much more successful. We talked about the signs we can look out for and about the NHS screening programmes. These are usually simple tests that aren’t painful. Carolyn reminded us that if we have symptoms that are unusual and last for a long time, or if we find any lumps by examining ourselves, that we should make an appointment with our GP straight away.

The message we all got was if in doubt see your doctor, not to be afraid of tests and if cancer is caught early, the outcome is likely to be much better.

Thank you Caroline.


Volunteering at Speak Out 

Are you looking for a new volunteering opportunity?
Would you like to support people with learning disabilities in Brighton and Hove by being a Drop-In Facilitator at our weekly drop-in sessions?
Sounds just what you are looking for?
Head on over to our website for more information:
Contact Sarah: [email protected] or ring 01273 421921
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Thank you to our recent new funders for their support:

  • Hendy Foundation
  • Boshier-Hinton Foundation
  • Barchester's Charitable Foundation
  • Vegware Community Fund

Become a Co-op member and support Speak Out for free!


Did you know can shop in a Co-op anywhere in the UK and still support Speak Out? All you need to do is become a Co-op member and choose Brighton and Hove Speak Out. Every time you shop, you are raising vital funds to help support our helpline for people with learning disabilities. #itswhatwedo

Brighton Marathon, BM10K and BM Ride 2023

Would you like to run and raise vital funds for a local charity?

Do you already have your own place and would like to support the learning disabled community? Do you know anyone looking for a running or cycling challenge?

Why not take part in the Brighton Marathon Weekend for Speak Out!

To find out more here

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How you can support Speak Out for FREE!

Please remember you can support Speak Out by using @easyuk when you do your online shopping.

From booking staycations and getaways to tickets for concerts or other fun activities, remember to use #easyfundraising to raise FREE donations for Brighton and Hove Speak Out as things start to return to normal.

Plus, don't forget you can keep making a difference to our fundraising during these difficult times whenever you do ANY of your online shopping via the easyfundraising website or App!

If you're not supporting us on easyfundraising yet, please sign up today - it takes two minutes:

Please support us and sign up today at: Speak Out Easy Fundraising OR scan the QR code in the picture below.


You can also support Speak Out by donating to our JustGiving page and by texting SPEAKOUT£10 or £3 or £20 to 70085.


We hope that you found this newsletter helpful and interesting, if you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected] or call us on 01273 421921