Council leaders are joining a national campaign that is celebrating living life with a learning disability.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is supporting Learning Disability Week (20-26 June), which aims to show how people with a learning disability are reconnecting with friends and their communities.
The week, organised by the charity Mencap, is about getting people talking about the issues many people still face after the end of COVID restrictions, such as with isolation or dealing with poor mental health and anxiety.
The council is collaborating with partners, by running a number of activities and making resources available to show how children, young people and adults are reconnecting with friends, family and community, as we move out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Partners and groups taking part in the activities include: Parent Engagement Group in Stoke (PEGIS), Reach, Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS.
Videos, pictures and real-life stories, quotes from children and poems for parents about ‘what’s it’s like to be a carer’ will be shared across social media channels throughout the week to celebrate Learning Disability Week, promoting awareness of learning disabilities and to share lived experiences.
Activities held throughout the week include a seminar and coffee morning held by NHS North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare. They have also launched their new annual Health Check video.
Last year the council along with the CCG, Stoke-on-Trent Learning Disabilities Partnership Forum Board and other partners and people with a learning disability, launched a five-year strategy to support people with a learning disability, called ‘living my best life’.
Councillor Ally Simcock, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Care said: “We know the pandemic was particularly difficult for our residents who live with a learning disability. We also know life has not returned to how it was pre-covid and, indeed, may never do so.
“We need to look at how we deliver our local strategy moving forward, so our residents with a learning disability can live their best lives. For instance, the council is setting up a new early support offer, to help adults with a learning disability to stay living in their own home and we are pleased to be working with Brighter Futures on this.
“We really value our partners in Stoke-on-Trent and the week’s events are a result of joint working with a number of stakeholders.”
The council has also collaborated with partners for Learning Disability Week to produce a tour video of Hazel Trees in Fenton, a multi-disciplinary centre which supports children under five and their families with learning disabilities on the Council’s social media channels.
Councillor Dave Evans, Cabinet Member for children and young people, said: “Post pandemic, it’s really important that we recognise some of the challenges people with learning disabilities face and how we can support them collectively to make sure that they can live their lives how we would want them.
“We are the friendliness city in the country and it’s only by looking at ourselves and our family business and making sure that everyone in our community can contribute and make a difference, that everyone in the city gets the chances that we want for them and facilities like these are really important.”
Look out for social media posts on ours and our partners' channels, as well as what’s happening during the week on our partners’ websites.
For more information on activities held by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare contact the Community Learning Disability Heath team on: 0300 123 1152
For more information about Learning Disability Week: www.mencap.org.uk.