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First Published Friday, 5th September, 2008.

United Response: ‘Getta life gotta life’ – Gloucestershire summit to highlight the extraordinary achievements of people with learning disabilities


Wednesday, 03 Sep 2008 17:41

On 12th September, a unique event will be held at Hatherley Manor in Gloucestershire to prove that when people with learning disabilities are listened to, great things can happen. The day will be hosted by people with learning disabilities, representatives from the local council and NHS trust, as well as several partner organisations working in the area. The event will involve people with learning disabilities talking about their achievements in life, whether planning their wedding or moving into their first home, and will include theatre and film.
The event is designed for commissioners of support services, those working for organisations such as United Response, and parents and families. It is free to attend.
William Kinch, who will be speaking on the day, said; “I am really looking forward to telling my story. It is one that demonstrates hope and the fact that things can work out for people with autistic spectrum disorders.”
Tim Jones is a director of United Response, a national organisation supporting people with learning disabilities. He said, “The messages from the conference will be truly powerful, because they will be delivered by those on the receiving end of support services, as well as their families. It’ll be their experiences of what it was like when they weren’t listened to and the overwhelming sense of having things done for them, not with them. They will then show what a difference it makes when their feelings and views are listened to and acted upon.”
Alice Stanworth will kick the day off at 9.30 am and give closing remarks at 4pm, discussing her own experiences of living in registered care in the past, before finding the right support and moving into her own home. She is currently planning her wedding. Other speakers will include Jenny Pannel, the mother of a young woman with a learning disability, and Kevin Haigh, a team manager at South Gloucestershire Community Learning Disabilities Team. They will discuss how a person-centred approach to supporting people, one which is truly responsive to people’s needs, can help people live full, engaged and active lives.
The event is supported by Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust, Gloucestershire County Council and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. Organisations involved include United Response, Brandon Trust and HFT. For more information, or if you would like to attend, please contact Sandra on (01249) 765509
Ends
United Response is a national charity working with people with learning disabilities or mental health needs – including some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
We provide everything from 24 hour care to a few hours of support a week. United Response is community based, working in many localities across England and Wales.
Our mission is to support people with learning disabilities or mental health needs to take control of their lives. We design our care and support around each person and work with them to achieve real inclusion, independence and citizenship for all. We support people across the whole spectrum of learning disability and mental health and have developed a range of specialisms in working with people with the most complex needs, particularly person-centred active support.
We are working towards a society where people with learning disabilities or mental health needs are equal participants and have access to the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
We have won several awards for our pioneering work and for being a top employer. In 2007 alone, we were highly commended by the Charity Awards for our “Good To Great” approach to providing support, while the Charity Times named us one of the best six charities to work for in the UK. We are experts in the development of accessible communications.
United Response was founded in 1973 by chief executive Su Sayer. We are a top 100 charity, supporting more than 1,500 people throughout the UK at any one time and employing more than 2,000 staff. To find out more go to www.unitedresponse.org.uk

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