The Talking group was launched on the 6th March 2017 as an outcome from a new group programme called Standing Up For Myself (STORM), piloted by University College London.
Research has shown that people with a learning disability, despite changes in policy, service provision and social views still need to manage the negative effects due to the stigma related to having a learning disability. Those with learning disabilities are required to face negative attitudes and discrimination in their daily life and not enough is being done to support those affected.
Through finding ways of encouraging inner-strength, coping mechanisms and the confidence to stand up to stigma, STORM feels that a significant impact on those affected can be demonstrated through a positive impact on; mental health, well-being and social interactions.
Two of the participants from STORM wanted to find out more about self- advocacy and questioned the possibility of running their own group, a place in which they can talk about anything relating to them and a place where they can support each other and get advice, the talking group was formed as a result.
Believe in the rights of people with learning disabilities to make choices
To be recognised as individuals
That those with learning disabilities matter equally no matter what.
- Enable and empower people to speak freely about the things that matter to them.
- To share their own experiences with others in a safe confidential environment.
- To sign post people to appropriate information
- To work in partnership with other community leaders such as the local M.P or police.
- To reach out to the wider learning disability community
The group meets the first Tuesday of every month for 1.5 hours. The group is led by the people attending with a member of staff acting as the facilitator, directing questions to help the flow of conversation or seeking information out that is requested.