Dear Friends and Supporters,
We hope everyone had a good break and ready to face the challenges that a new year brings. Although facing a few changes in 2023, we are positive that it will be another successful year at Lewisham Speaking Up.
We held our AGM on 30th November and were pleased to see so many people with learning disabilities, friends and supporters there.
Lloyd Page, a long standing self-advocate and supporter of LSU, opened the AGM for the second year running. Big thanks to Lloyd! Thank you also to our Chair, Michelle Stanistreet, and other Trustees for being there and telling people about the importance of our work.
As well as our yearly report, we enjoyed a slide show of photos from previous years – serving as a great reminder of the great advocacy work we have done over the years.
Move to new premises
We will be leaving our long established base at The Albany, Deptford in February. This is because, like many charities in this current climate, we need to make savings. If all goes to plan we will be moving to the Leemore Centre in Lewisham. We will keep you updated about this on our website and social media.
We launched a Crowdfunder Appeal at our AGM to save the People’s Parliament. Many of you will know we are in need of funds to secure the future of the Parliament. I am pleased to say we have raised over £3,000, but we need to raise more. To make a donation, please use the link below:
Parents Advocacy Project
We are very disappointed that funding for our Parents Advocacy project has ended, meaning it has to close. We are committed to working hard to secure funding for this much needed project in the future.
Our thanks goes out to Gemma Hughes who has coordinated the project since January 2022, and to others who have supported it.
News from our People’s Parliament
On 15th December we held a Lewisham People’s Parliament on the cost of living. This was the first time we had held a parliament meeting in the Council Chamber for nearly three years!
Even with ice and train strikes, we had 36 people with learning disabilities join us to talk about the cost of living crisis.
Watch out for a report about the Parliament meeting in the New Year!
We also asked people with learning disabilities about the future of the People’s Parliament as our funding is a bit uncertain at the moment. Here are some of the things they said:
‘We need people with disabilities to have a voice. They deserve a voice and it’s important to be represented in society and life.’
‘It is giving people a place to talk about things.’
‘If we did not have a People’s Parliament it would be difficult to get our voices heard.’