An independent charity for people with learning disabilities

Summer Newsletter

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.

Trustees Michelle, Zelda & Ashley
Lloyd, Colin, Vincent, Aisha & Ife at Lewisham Shopping Centre

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.

Marsh smiles at the camera from behind his glasses. He has grey hair and a beard
Marsh Stitchman - Interim Director

Self-Advocacy Update

News from our People's Parliament

LSU Reps with Sadiq Khan and Len Duvall

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.

Lewisham People's Parliament on Employment

In April we held our People’s Parliament on Employment. The report is now available to read on our website at

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.

Wednesday Drop-In

Our weekly drop-in sessions for people with learning disabilities at Ignition Brewery Taproom has been very successful. Here are just a few comments from those attending. Thank you to Nick and Team for sharing your welcoming space!
Happy faces at the drop-in

“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”

“I can’t get online or use a computer so if I didn’t come to the Drop-In I wouldn’t see people or know what was happening. I’ve made friends and it’s good to share things.”
“I don’t like to be alone at home. I want to see people and talk to them. We sometimes play games at the Drop-In. Sometimes we listen to music and talk about important things. It feels good.”
“It gives us a chance to have a cup of tea, a chat, meet other people with learning disabilities, listen to music and share information. I don’t have anything like this in my life. If I didn’t come to the Drop-In I wouldn’t see people or know what’s going on. I hope there is always a drop-in for me to come to otherwise I’d be very lonely.”

1-2-1 Advocacy

Our Money Management Advocacy Service continues to be very busy and successful at the same time. 

People with learning disabilities have been asking for advocacy support to apply for their benefits and especially PIP, which is a disability benefit.

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” 

Michelle smiles at the camera, she has a bobbed mousey haircut
Call Michelle on 020 8692 1862
We feel it’s really important that people with learning disabilities are supported to apply for their PIP.
Get in touch if you have a learning disability and/or autism and need support with money and benefits.

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.


Get in Touch

Phone: 020 8692 1862

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