Over the past 4 years, people with learning disabilities in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion have worked together to develop a Charter – a simple list of things they expect, and need, to live fulfilling lives.
The Charter was formally launched by Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care, on Tuesday 13th August, in the Community Zone of the Pembrokeshire County Show.
James Dash, Co-Chair of the Learning Disability Programme Group, explains:
“The West Wales LD Charter brings together our rights, our needs, and our wants, in a simple document aimed at everyone in our community.
It covers crucial areas like support, health and relationships, and brings them all together in a document anyone can – and should – sign up to.
I wasn’t sure about using the words “we demand” – but we do! It’s only fair that we demand to be treated like everyone else, to have a social life, to do things that fulfil us, and to be treated with dignity and respect.”
The West Wales LD Charter has been developed with support from the Welsh Government’s Intermediate Care Fund, the West Wales Care Partnership, and Pembrokeshire College. It is supported by the County Councils of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, and the Hywel Dda University Health Board.
In the coming months, the project will be rolled out across the region. Carys James, Co-Chair of the Learning Disability Programme Group and Director of Social Services for Ceredigion explains:
“This is not a project led by professionals, or social services, or even charities. In the coming months, it will be turned over entirely to The Dream Team, a group of people with learning disabilities who advise us on what really matters and hold us absolutely to account. They will be visiting businesses and organisations to get them to sign up and checking that they really do follow through on their commitments.
We’re doing things differently in West Wales. And we’re very proud of the Dream Team and committed to measuring everything we do against the Charter’s demands.
And of course, signing the Charter is just the beginning. It’s not enough to sign – organisations and individuals have to act on what they pledge, and the Dream Team will make sure that they do.”
Sign the LD Charter!
Participants of the Learning Disability Programme group use the services of Pembrokeshire People First. Learn more about them below…
This story is part of the Life Seeker newspaper