Ben is a man in his 50’s with a mild learning disability. He is a member of a self advocacy group that meets every fortnight at Speak Out. Members talk about issues in their lives and develop the confidence and skills to speak up for themselves. The group has been talking about city life and their experience of using leisure facilities.
Speak Out was approached by the council who were developing some of the parks in Brighton and Hove. They wanted to consult with people with learning disabilities about their experiences and ideas for improving local parks. The advocacy group said they would like to get involved.
During the consultation, the group also talked about difficulties they had around rubbish collection and recycling. Ben had a particular interest in visiting the recycling centre and so the group arranged to visit and have a guided tour.
Ben was so inspired by the recycling workers that he asked for a job. Speak Out supported Ben to liaise with his support worker and the council to get paid work experience on the vehicles collecting the recycling. Ben is very proud to be working as part of the team in one of the city’s front line services
‘It’s nice to be in a group and tell your problems and what you want to do. You can join in and speak your mind in the group and not be afraid of what you want to say. That’s what we come here for. I used to be afraid, look at me now, I come out of my shell and now I’ve got a job its great!.’