A ‘Big Day’ for Learning Disability in Somerset

More than 100 people took part in an event organised by Somerset’s Learning Disability Partnership Board this week encouraging people to champion the rights of people with learning disabilities.

The ‘Big Day’ event was supported by Somerset County Council and the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and attracted people with learning disabilities, carers, service providers and other organisations that have an interest in supporting people with learning disabilities.

They were able to find out more about the Learning Disabilities Partnership Board, what the Board is planning and how they can get involved. Talks covered key issues for people with learning disabilities such as keeping safe, staying healthy and living well. Attendees also had a chance to browse stalls about local support services, activity groups, health advice and employment opportunities.

Councillor William Wallace, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “The ‘Big Day’ event was a great chance for people to find out what the Board is planning, ask questions and have their say. It was also an opportunity to find information on local services and celebrate the great work that is going on in our communities to support people with learning disabilities.”

The Board is coordinated by Somerset Advocacy and jointly chaired by a person with learning disabilities and a carer. It talks to councils, the NHS, service providers and other groups to make things better for people with learning disabilities.

Christopher Granadous attended the event with his carer, he said: “I came to the event to find out about social activities, volunteering and job opportunities. I’ve got lots of information and leaflets. I like to feel involved and hear about what is going on.”

Jennifer Corte attended the event with her husband and her daughter who has down syndrome, she said: “My husband volunteers with the partnership and regularly gives feedback on policies and documents. We like to be in the know and involved in developments. We have found out about some helpful services today including the NHS health checks and advice from the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.”

Paul Duffett is a tutor at Cambian Lufton College in Yeovil. He attended the event with three students from the college, he said: “The students I am with today are interested in services that help them transition from children’s to adults services. The ‘Big Day’ event has expanded the student’s knowledge of the services that are available in the area and they are keen to talk about issues and find solutions. They have also been interested in finding out about volunteering, work experience and sports events.”

Somerset County Council and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group supported the Learning Disabilities Partnership Board to organise the ‘Big Day’ event.