18 Jan 2011

A new voice for people with learning disabilities

I am helping get a group established as a social enterprise - at the moment I am one of the Directors (unpaid) of this new venture but I hope to be able to step down when the group is able to take over the reins....it is a very exciting project and I am delighted to be able to help make this happen.

In other areas groups like this have been running successfully for years, it is great that Gloucestershire is now able to develop this voice. Anyway here below is some of what got sent out to local press - a job advert is also out with a closing date fairly soon - so if interested do look it out!

On 14th January, Gloucestershire Voices held its first official Board meeting in Gloucester City centre. Its Directors were elected just before Christmas in a poll of over seventy people with learning disabilities from across Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire Voices is a group of people with learning disabilities who will speak and act for all people with learning disabilities living and working in Gloucestershire. Gloucestershire Voices is the first independent voice for people with learning disabilities in the County run by people with learning disabilities for themselves. The organisation is a Social Enterprise governed by and for people with learning disabilities and will focus on seeking and representing people with learning disabilities, helping people to speak up for themselves, and taking part in consultation and campaigning. Gloucestershire Voices is a not-for-private-profit registered company.

Director Tammy Flook, who lives in Stroud said: “It gives people with special needs a voice.”

The Board’s first decision was to begin the process of recruiting a Development Worker to support the new organisation. Funding is in place for the first year and Directors will be looking to appoint in February.

Ben Willis, from Cheltenham, maintains that “…this will help people with learning disabilities fight for their rights” whilst Stroud-based fellow Director Terri-Ann Clarke said: “Being a Director helps to give us confidence.”

One of the first projects Gloucestershire Voices hopes to establish will be a quality checking service, monitoring the quality of services provided to people with learning disabilities by a range of private and statutory bodies.

More information: Max Comfort – 07973 635868 or contact me.

Gloucestershire Voices Limited is a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England No. 7475239.

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