Speak Out Newsletter - September 2021
Speak Out's Autumn newsletter
Welcome to our September newsletter where you will find updates and stories about our work enabling people with learning disabilities to have a voice and speak out about issues that are important.
As that the Covid rates in Brighton and Hove continue to come down we have decided to cautiously start running some groups and drop-ins face to face in the community again. We will contact members about the face to face plans and put information about this or any changes on our website.
There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes planning how we will best support the advocacy needs of people with learning disabilities in the future and I’ll be in a position to update you on these plans in the next newsletter.
All the best
Self-Advocates - We Need You!
Do you have a learning disability? Are you interested in becoming a self-advocate in Brighton and Hove?
Find out more here: Seeking Self-Advocates
Most of our drop-in sessions are now returning to face to face meetings, 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 for details.
Face to face drop-ins will be by invite only to keep the numbers low, but you are welcome to join our online drop-in on a Friday 6.30pm - 8pm. Zoom Chat
2pm - 4pm
The Tuesday drop-in sessions continue to be based on a weekly theme. The themes are set by people who take part in the drop-in.
The weekly drop ins continue to be a place for people to come along to meet others, share ideas and concerns and receive support where needed.
One attendee said ‘even if we’re still having a hard time we know the drop in service is still available’.
Another person said ‘we still get to see our friends and socialise with people. I look forward to the drop ins every week’.
You can still take a look at the online exhibition has been created to show some of the artwork from the past year created by the Tuesday Drop-In members – watch here.
Speak Out East Lunch Club is on every:
Sarah Coombes (Group Leader), lets us know what's been happening at Speak Out East.
'Really good to be seeing regulars and newcomers at Speak Out East at our Zoom meetings on a Thursday. Everyone has a lot to talk about. We have discussed local and national news and talked about how people are coping as restrictions have lifted. People have also continued to share their artwork with one another and talk about how to travel, visit places and feel safe'.
On August 5th, Patient Engagement workers Lydia and Anna came to Speak Out East to talk about Cervical Cancer screening. It was a very useful session with many questions from those who attended and lots of useful information. If anyone wants to know more, please contact Sarah or Liz 01273 421921
Carolyn Phelps from Albion in the Community, came to Speak Out East on 12th August. She delivered a brilliant session on how to enjoy the sun whilst protecting your skin. It was a session full of lots of interesting questions and helpful answers.
Please take a look at the Sun Safety presentation if you want to find out more. Carolyn will be visiting us again to talk about how we can get help with other health issues that affect all of us.
Speak Out East have linked in with Belltree Music. Belltree are running a Musical Pathways project to support people with their emotional wellbeing. This is to help people feel better if they have had a difficult time coping with the pandemic. Find out more here.
Take a look at Belltree Music website or contact them 01273 776454 or talk to Sarah Coombes at Speak Out on 01273 421921
More Speak Out Drop In Sessions
Transitions - Supporting Young People
As part of the Transitions Project, Speak Out has been supporting young people to move into more independent accommodation. In one case we supported a young person who is non-verbal. The team built up a working relationship with them over time, spoke to the people who knew them well, and used pictures and diagrams to help the young person to say what they wanted in their future. Throughout the process of finding a new place to live, Speak Out was there to help the young person understand what was happening and to express their views. When they did finally move, Speak Out continued to meet with them to make sure the move went well and that they were getting the right support from their new home. The young person has now settled in, is happy with their new routine and is enjoying getting to know the staff and exploring the local area.
The Power Group
The Power Group is a self- advocacy group for young people aged 16 – 25.
The Power Group will return on 15th September after it’s summer break. We look forward to getting back to together to talk about what people have been doing, and to talk about the group’s aims for the year to come. The Power Group is run in conjunction with Amaze, and is a space for young people to talk about the important issues in their life, and to get support from staff and peers alike.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Power Group please contact Chris on [email protected]
Advocacy for Parents with a Learning Disability
We are really delighted to say that our Parents’ Group will run from January 2022. The group is open to mothers with a learning disability who are currently involved or have been involved in Child Protection Proceedings. The focus of the group is to offer a safe space for mothers to meet others and share experiences whilst engaging in craft activities – it’s a chance to chat.
If you are interested, please call Nicola Johnson or Jeanette Goodman on 01273 421921.
Take a look at the good practice guidance in working with parents with a learning disability.
At the last Learning Disability Partnership Board we talked about the lifting of Covid restrictions. People with learning disabilities told us about all the things that are worrying them at this time.
One of the biggest worries people told us about was travelling on the bus. People are worried it will be too crowded and people will not wear masks.
Brighton and Hove buses were concerned and wanted to help. They gave some advice about bus travel and we put it into an easy read leaflet.
We will carry on working with the bus company so that travel is less stressful for people with learning disabilities.
For more information in the Learning Disability Partnership Board, please contact Emma: [email protected] or on 01273 284451
Members of Speak Out's Link Group have been helping Brighton and Hove City Council make their learning disability web page clearer.
They told the council why it is important for people with learning disabilities to find clear information. They also gave them advice about how to set the page out with pictures and clear writing.
Here is Shannon talking about her involvement in the Brighton and Hove City Councils new easy read web pages on their website.
You can now find easy read information on the Brighton & Hove City Council website about how to contact us, health, Covid-19 and other council services. www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/easy-read
Having a Vaccine at Brighton Racecource
Brighton and Hove Learning Disability Health Facilitators have created an easy read leaflet about having a vaccination at the Brighton Racecourse.
Thank you to our recent funders for their support:
- Brighton and Hove Bus Company
- David Solomons Charitable Trust
- Arnold Clark Community Fund
- The Friarsgate Trust
Thank you Brian
Brighton Marathon, BM10K and BM Ride 2022
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
How you can support Speak Out for FREE!
Please remember you can support Speak Out by using @easyuk when you do your online shopping.
Over 4,300 shops and sites will donate to Brighton and Hove Speak Out for FREE. This means you can raise donations when you buy gifts, toys, jewellery, tech, experiences or anything else!
You can also support Speak Out by donating to our JustGiving page and by texting SPEAKOUT£10 or £3 or £20 to 70085.