Lewisham Speaking Up

News Archive

Lewisham Speaking Up’s statement regarding BBC Panorama’s investigative documentary into abuse of people with learning disabilities at Whorlton Hall

Whorlton Hall Hospital

On behalf of our beneficiaries, our board, staff, and volunteers we would like to issue a statement regarding the appalling abuse of adults with learning disabilities at Whorlton Hall hospital uncovered by BBC Panorama, broadcast on 22 May.

We are saddened and angry to see the abhorrent treatment of vulnerable people by support workers who appear to be void of empathy and compassion. We were shocked to see support workers antagonising, intimidating, taunting, mocking, and physically harming people they were supposed to be caring for. We are deeply concerned that facilities such as this say they offer ‘specialist care’.

We do not understand why, after the Winterbourne View scandal eight years ago, people with learning disabilities are still being let down and abused so badly. Regrettably, this is in addition to the premature deaths recently revealed in the Leder report. Much more has to be done to make sure this really does not happen again: the human rights of people with a learning disability must be protected.

Lewisham Speaking Up will not tolerate any form of abuse against a person with a learning disability and we are committed to keeping people safe from harm.

We will be holding a special Big Group about this in June where people with learning disabilities in Lewisham will be invited to have their say and tell us what they think needs to be done. When people tell us what they want we will work with them, represent their views, and work with others to do our best to end this cruel treatment of people with learning disabilities.

Man using laptop for Zoom call
We had an event on Zoom to raise awareness of Hate Crime – over 30 people joined in.
Hate Crime Event
On Wednesday 26th June we held our Hate Crime Hero event. It was in the Theatre at the Albany and was really fancy. My favourite bits were the Hate Crime trainers giving out awards (cute glowing hearts) and following the dramatic story of Tash as she reported a Hate Crime.
Hate Crime Event
At the end of the event Sara spoke about people with learning disabilites being hate crime heroes because they have the strength every day and she encouraged everyone to stand up to Hate Crime and report it. Then everyone was given an award and came up to the stage to accept it. 'Living in the hall of fame' played on the sound system and Flutterfetti (that is large confetti) came down from the ceiling!
Photo of event
I am very proud that we have worked so hard for 3 years. We have had 8 amazing trainers and over 1000 Children, 600 Staff and almost 400 people with learning disabilities were trained in Hate Crime awareness. We will be continuing for another three years, so contact us if you want to be part of the Hate Crime Heroes too!
BLF Logo
We are delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund will be grant funding Lewisham Speaking Up for three years.

Thank you!
Woman holding up both thumbs and smiling
National Volunteers Week

We would like to take the opportunity to say a HUGE thank you to those who give up their time to help Lewisham Speaking Up. Our volunteers make a big difference.

Thank you to our Trustees, volunteer advocates, and to volunteers who help with our groups and events.

We would like to thank especially all the volunteers who have helped people with learning disabilities during the lockdown through making phone calls and providing advocacy.
Learning Disabily Week Logo
Learning Disability Week (15th – 21st June).
Social Media
During Disability Week, we shared people’s experiences of friendship during the lockdown on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.