Tag Archives: learning disabilities


Advocacy – What is it?

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.

Project Rugby Coming to Salisbury

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 

Continued Indecision #StopSleepInCrisis

“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.

Sign the petition

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.

Special School Provision – Salisbury Session on Friday 1st December

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

Music Group Carol Service

Join us at Amesbury Methodist Church on Thursday 21 December for our annual carol service with performances by the South Wilts Mencap Music Group. The service starts at 10.30am.

Light refreshments are served afterwards. It is a wonderful occasion during the Christmas festivities to which everyone is welcome.

Find out more about our music group.

Pluss Employment Services in Salisbury

Pluss provides Work Choice throughout Wiltshire as a subcontractor to Working Links. Work Choice is designed to support jobseekers with disabilities and long-term health conditions who face significant barriers when it comes to looking for and keeping work. It helps people who wish to work at least 16 hours a week.

Referrals to Work Choice are made by

  • Disability Employment Advisers at your local Job Centre Plus
  • A range of Specialist Referral Organations (SROs). Please contact the Salisbury office for details of SRO organisations in your local area.

Pluss also deliver employability workshops on behalf of Wiltshire County Council through the ‘Steps2Strides’ programme. This is a DWP Future Support Fund contract for people who are considered furthest from the labour market.

Office: Cross Keys House, Suite 5, 2nd Floor, 22 Queen Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 1EG
Telephone: 07407 733804

Work Choice is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) specialist disabilty
employment programme.Work Choice is designed to support jobseekers with disabilities and long-term health conditions who face
significant barriers when it comes to looking for and keeping work.It is a flexible programme that is individually tailored to each individuals needs. It will help individuals to
reach their full potential so they can move into independent, unsupported employment.

Work Choice is part-financed by the European Social Fund for customers referred to the programme prior to 25th April 2017.

Visit their website for more information.

The Waving not drowning network

If you’re caring for a disabled child, you may find yourself going down a different life path than the one you had planned, so remaining in paid work can be quite challenging. Knowing your rights can help you combine paid work and caring for your child. Working Families has set up ‘Waving not drowning’ – a dedicated network and advice service for parents of disabled children who work or wish to work.

The Waving not drowning network is run by Janet Mearns. You can sign up to receive newsletters and e-bulletins for parents and carers of disabled children.

The dedicated helpline for questions about work and caring is 020 7017 0072. Visit their website.

Zone Club in Salisbury

Zone Club is a music and film-making club for young adults aged 16 and over with learning disabilities. Activities are participant-led and past sessions have seen the creation of a musical kung fu film and road movie about a car that runs on funk music! 

Zone Club takes place at Salisbury Arts Centre, Bedwin Street, SP1 3UT and usually happens on the last Saturday of every month from 10:00am – 2:30pm, and costs just £18 per person.

Zone Club dates are:
Saturday 25 November

For more details, including how to book a place, please contact Melanie on 01722 321744 or email melanie@salisburyarts.co.uk Zone Club website.

Swindon Dance – October holiday course


Swindon Dance will be running a 2 day holiday course on Monday and Tuesday 23rd/24th October from 10.30am-3pm.

Open to all children (boys and girls) aged 7-12 years old who have learning/ cognitive disabilities, the two days will be filled with movement, games and dance creation – no previous dance experience is needed.

Cost: £25 for both day. Venue: Swindon Dance, Regent Circus, Swindon, SN1 1QF

Led by The Swindon Dance Salto! Juniors team. Lots of fun and a live musician – Kieran Pocock

Supported by BBC Children in Need

MORE INFO/BOOKING: Email or Tel: Swindon Dance on 01793 601700 or visit their website