On Wednesday 29th November, Speak Out held our Annual General Meeting (AGM) of 2023.
Opened by Councillor Bella Sankey, Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, the evening saw talks from our members and trustees discussing the impact that Speak Out has made this year, we welcomed new and existing trustees back onto the board, enjoyed delicious food and also had a go at some karaoke.
We also launched our ‘Big Focus’ campaign. Over the past few months, our Drop-in and Advocacy teams have been asking our members about the big issues that they feel are the most important to them. We narrowed these down to 3: housing, money/work and accessibility. During the evening, we asked our members to think about and vote for which of these 3 issues they would like Speak Out to campaign and focus on throughout the year.
And the results are in: Housing!
Increasing rent prices, increasing bills, rises in evictions from private rented accommodation, shortages of suitable housing, shortages of accessible spaces, what should be a basic right to every human being is becoming increasingly difficult, especially for adults with learning disabilities. Housing effects many other aspects of people’s lives: having an address is important when finding work and is crucial in maintaining independency, your health and your wellbeing.
While we will be focusing on housing for our Big Focus campaign in 2024, this doesn’t mean that we won’t support our members with other issues that they may be facing. Speak Out’s vision is to work towards a fairer world for people with learning disabilities. We want them to be listened to and to have the same rights and choice and control over their lives as everyone else. We will continue to advocate and help adults with learning disabilities in the city with any issue that they may be experiencing.
A huge thank you to everyone who came to the AGM this year and we hope you enjoyed the evening. We can’t wait to see what the next year brings.