Dear Friends and Supporters,
I’m writing this during Learning Disability Week 2023 and thinking about the theme this year, which is ‘myth busting’. I’m lucky to work closely with some amazing people with learning disabilities who are great self-advocates, artists, workers, parents and much more.
We spend a lot of time fighting for the rights of people with learning disabilities, both individually through our 1-2-1 advocates and as a group, through our People’s Parliament. While there are still many inequalities to tackle, it is good to remember all the positive things that happen in people’s lives too.
We are well and truly settled into our new office at the Leemore Centre and enjoying being close to the heart of the borough. Like many small charities, funding is a constant challenge for us and we’re working hard to bring in extra money to support people with learning disabilities in Lewisham.
Our recent collection at Cannon Street Station and Lewisham Shopping Centre raised over £700. We’d like to thank everyone who donated to our work.
Thanks also to our trustees and for their hard work collecting on the day.
READ ON for news on what self-advocates have been up to and some success stories from our 121 advocacy services. Do make a note of the date of our next People’s Parliament on Health on 14th July at the Catford Civic Suite. All people with learning disabilities are welcome to join us on the day.
News from our People's Parliament
The People’s Parliament reps went to watch Mayor’s Question time at London City Hall. We were invited by Len Duvall who is the Assembly Member for Lewisham and Greenwich.
During a break the reps got to meet the Mayor Sadiq Khan and we chatted with Len after the question time was over. The reps spoke to Len about the lack of housing choices for people with learning disabilities living in Lewisham.
In April we held our People’s Parliament on Employment. The report is now available to read on our website at https://lsup.org.uk/news/2023/lewisham-peoples-parliament-on-employment/
The feedback for the Parliament will help to develop Lewisham Council’s new SEN employment plan.
Our next People’s Parliament will be on the subject of Health. It will be at the Catford Civic Suite on Friday 14th July from 10.30 – 3.00.
The reps are also starting a new project with the NHS.
They will be testing out something called a ‘reasonable adjustment flag’.
The ‘flag’ means they will have a note on their NHS records which says if they need any extra support.
This could be things like a longer appointment, an easy read letter or a quiet place to wait. The reps will go to some appointments and see if having the ‘flag’ makes any difference.
Groups in Lambeth and Southwark are also doing the same project in their areas.
“It’s a good place. We find out about speaking up meetings, activities in the community and give each other support. We talk about important things. I made new friends.”
“…a warm and friendly place. It makes me feel part of something. I feel I’ve made a lot of friends”
Our Money Management Advocacy Service continues to be very busy and successful at the same time.
Since April we have successfully supported 3 participants to apply and be accepted for PIP.
“I was over the moon, one of the best things that has happened to me!”
“Michelle did a really good job and we worked as a team to get it for me”
Shop Online and Raise Funds for LSU!
You can now shop online and at the same time raise some funds for us.
Just sign on to Easyfundraising, choose Lewisham Speaking Up as your charity of choice, and you’re set to start shopping through this platform.
We are very grateful for every penny we get to help us advocate for people with learning disabilities in the London borough of Lewisham.
You can still donate at Caf Donate.