Mencap makes it easy to understand the term advocacy and how to go about using it when needed.
Advocacy is a fancy word for helping people to speak for themselves.
Advocates don’t speak on behalf of people with a learning disability – they make sure a person’s own voice is heard.
Advocates support people to develop the skills, confidence and knowledge they need to voice their concerns and make sure they are being treated right.
Read more on the Mencap website about advocacy.
Wiltshire Council’s advocacy service provider is Rethink.
Image and content thanks to Mencap.
As the days draw in and temperatures drop, you may be tempted to hang up your exercise gear and hibernate.
Don’t! Stay active throughout autumn and winter to beat those seasonal blues and feel on top of the world.
If you’re short on ideas for getting active, try the NHS’s popular Couch to 5K running plan and Strength and Flex exercise plan, which are ideal for beginners.
And if you’re not keen on exercising outdoors, check out:
If you’re looking for something less energetic, these strength, balance, flexibility and sitting exercises are ideal if you want to improve your health, lift your mood and remain independent.
Don’t worry if you’ve not done much for a while, these exercises are gentle, easy to follow and can also be done indoors.
For more advice on how to Stay Well this winter, check out the NHS website.
Come down to the Christmas Market in Salisbury on the 1st December to meet with members of the Safer Salisbury Community Group and see the work they have been doing this year. In particular, the group will be launching a new guide for people with dementia on where to go for advice and services in Salisbury.
There will also be information on the Safe Places scheme which many businesses are signed up to in the city, ensuring that any person requiring extra support and care when out and about can access it.
For more information, contact Karen Linaker on 01722 434697 or email
The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) facilitated a series of consultation sessions with parent carers of children and young people with SEND during June 2017 to consider the Short Breaks Scheme and help inform decisions about next year’s Scheme.
The purpose of the sessions was to give parent carers:-
- The opportunity to help review the current Wiltshire Short Breaks Scheme
- To understand the increasing pressures and demands on the Scheme
- Encourage open, honest and informed dialogue to enable parent carers to suggest different ways to shape the Scheme to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND aged 0-25 years in Wiltshire, in recognition of the growing pressures on the Scheme.
As in previous years, we are asking as many parent carers as possible to inform the decision making process by taking part in this year’s Short Breaks Scheme survey. This is an important opportunity to have your say; your feedback helps to make sure the Scheme continues to meet the needs of those who need it most and to make sure it remains affordable.
The survey has been written to consider the topics, conversations, discussions and the suggestions made by parent carers who attended our face to face consultation sessions in June 2017.
As always, we are really grateful for your responses to help inform the Short Breaks Scheme for the 2018/19 period and as a THANK YOU for taking part in the survey, when you get to the end there is an invitation to take part in a FREE PRIZE DRAW – you could win a £50 voucher.
A copy of the consultation report from the face to face sessions can be found on the WPCC Website
This survey will close at 5pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017.
England Rugby have worked closely with Premiership Rugby to create a 12 week, school rugby programme aimed at engaging young people who are 16 years old and above with special educational needs. The aim of the programme is for more young adults with special educational needs playing rugby regularly by being part of mixed ability rugby teams.
Bath Rugby Foundation is working hard to develop opportunities for disabled people to engage in various forms of the game with the above project being a FREE opportunity. The project is aimed at local groups who engage with a post 16 audience with Bath Rugby looking to attend a block of already existing sessions to raise interest.
The main aim of the Project Rugby sessions is for young adults aged 16+ years to transition across to the new Mixed Ability Rugby team Bath Rugby are looking to set-up in this area.
This is a great opportunity to try a new activity within the Salisbury area.
Anyone interested in finding out more information should contact Becks Toan at Bath Rugby Foundation directly by email
In May, the Local Dining Out Group selected South Wilts Mencap as their chosen charity to support.
Local Dining Out Events are organised on a voluntary basis and all organising and work undertaken is unpaid. Anyone can join and have the opportunity to dine out on a monthly basis. The group travels by coach to the nominated restaurant in and around Salisbury and have a thoroughly enjoyable time. Local Dining Out Group also organises a raffle for their chosen charity every time they dine.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Local Dining Out Group for their generous donation of £70.26 and hope they continue to have lots more delicious meals with their dining out friends.
You can visit their website to find out more about their group.
“We are dismayed by the Government’s continued indecision around funding for back pay.” Mencap
The Government recently issued an update regarding the sleep-in crisis. They have decided to delay the decision on funding of overnight sleep-in care back pay liabilities for at least another 12 months.
This decision in no way helps provide long-term reassurance to people with a learning disability that their care and homes are secure. You can read more information and Mencap’s response in Mencap’s official press release.
The changes to ‘sleep-in’ payments are putting at risk vital support from thousands of disabled people which allows them to live a safe and independent life. The £400 million bill for the care sector could mean the end of social care as we know it. Mencap’s petition aims to #StopSleepInCrisis by calling on the Government to fix the problem that they have caused.
PS. If you’ve already signed the petition, thank you! You can still help by sharing the campaign with your friends and family and encouraging them to sign the petition too.
Exeter House, St Mark’s Junior and Wyndham Park Infants’ Schools are running groups where parents and carers can come along to chat with each other, to share information, for support, to hear guest speakers and to get help and advice with SEN issues.
From November 24th all sessions will now take place at The Hub, St Mark’s CE Junior school, Somerset Road, Salisbury SB1 3BL
All sessions run from 9.00am – 10.30am and refreshments will be available.
Please contact George Cooper, Parent Support Advisor Exeter House for more details on 01722 334168 or email
Other dates: 12th January, 9th February, 9th March, 20th April, 18th May, 22nd June and 20th July
The WPCC is organising a series of sessions for parent carers to talk about planning for developing and expanding special school provision in Wiltshire.
The local authority has identified that by 2026 there will be a need for 220 extra special school places. There are a lot of issues involved in deciding how to create these new places, while at the same time making sure that provision for all children and young people with SEND continually improves. Click here for the flyer.
Who is this for?
These sessions are for parent carers only
We would like to invite you to join us at one of our sessions so that you can join the discussion, talk to the local authority and consider together how you think these issues might be addressed. We would like the sessions to consider a range of discussion topics that will inform future council decision making.
By getting involved now, you will be more informed and be better prepared to contribute to final decision making.
All sessions to run from 10am to 2pm
Arrive from 10am to sign in and grab a tea or coffee (refreshments provided)
Sessions start at 10:15am
Lunch at 1:00pm (lunch is provided)
Friday 1st December 2017 Salisbury City Hall, Malthouse Lane, Salisbury SP2 7TU
BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL You can book online
Alternatively call WPCC on 01225 764647 or email
Booking closes on Tuesday 28th November 2017