Let’s Talk about Growing Older



By Christine Towers, Director at Together Matters

In the course of their everyday life, most people who are ‘feeling their age’ talk to their friends, family or work colleagues about their experience of getting older: their aches and pains, forgetfulness and tiredness. They may also share their joys: perhaps feeling more contented or less rushed.

Yet many people with learning disabilities miss out on these conversations because they are less likely to have a network of friends or have had a working life, both of which can provide this much needed peer-support. Also, people who organise support are sometimes more focused on a person’s learning disability rather than the more general course of their life.

Read more  “Let’s Talk about Growing Older”

Living Life to the Fullest




Speakup and Dan Goodley of Sheffield University want to share his research called  ‘Living Life to the Fullest’.

This exciting research project worked in partnership with disabled children and young people labelled with life-limiting or life-threatening impairments and their allies. The Living Life to the Fullest project aimed to explore the lives, hopes, desires and contributions of disabled children and young people.

Read more  “Living Life to the Fullest”

Doing what it takes to make the best of a bad situation


By Scott Watkin, LDE Rep Body Member

What is happening with this virus is meaning changes for all of us and many of us are scared or unsure of the future.

For some of us though it is harder or more difficult to cope with this. I am worried disabled people and their supporters are getting forgotten in the plans or on TV and radio.

I think that front line support workers and what they do is much more important than I hear people saying.

Read more  “Doing what it takes to make the best of a bad situation”

Information on the Coronavirus

We know that people are looking for information that is easy to understand on the virus and wanting to share ideas or resources

To help connect people, ideas and information we have set up 3 web pages with information, easy read information and ways people are connecting

You can find them all on the Keeping in touch and informed pages here

Read more  “Information on the Coronavirus”

Self Advocacy Convention

The National Self-Advocacy Convention


There was 320 people who attended a very full national self -advocacy convention last month that ran through from the 24th-27th February.



It has been run now as The National Self-advocacy convention for the last 2 years.

Before this it was the Northwest Self-advocacy Convention and has been held at Grand Hotel in Blackpool for 17 years.




It was very exciting for everyone who came and was 3 full days of fun. I must say it gets more interesting and fun every year.





The team who organised it were the Pathways / North West Development Team (NWDT).




The conference, you cannot fault, it was a chance for all groups to network. There was plenty of workshops and a chance to look at big issues and discuss important topics and our vision for 2030.



The conference opened with a lot of music as you approached the stage. Vicky Buckingham got people exercising in her Zumba class and then there was Dance Syndrome and Disco.



There was also a Gala night on Wednesday which had a magician doing tricks. The only negative thing I will say is I think we may be in need of a bigger venue for next year! It would be great to see the convention grow even bigger than it already has.



Lasty, well done and thank you to everyone who worked on organising the conference, those who spoke or ran workshops and of course everyone who attended. Without you this brilliant event would not be able to happen every year.

By Gary Bourlet


Challenging Behaviour Foundation Trauma Survey

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation is currently working with Respond, the Tizard Centre and Three Cs to produce a report on the need for trauma support for the families of individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism.

The purpose of the project is to highlight trauma (an often hidden area) for families of children and adults with learning disabilities and/or autism; to understand what support, if any, family carers (e.g. parents, siblings, grandparents) are receiving, what their experiences are, and what they need. Read more  “Challenging Behaviour Foundation Trauma Survey”

Good Lives 2020 Self Advocates Workshop

Birmingham workshop 19th February 2020

By Gary Bourlet


We held our first self-advocacy workshop in Birmingham to start the work on Good Lives 2020. This was about bringing self-advocacy groups around the country together, not about new ideas, but about working together on how to put ideas into action. A lot of these have been talked about for at least 20 or 30 years, but a lot has been said and not been made happen.

It’s all a chance for these groups to network together as a lot of groups have been doing things separately. Each individual group would work on individual issues most important to them and network these with other groups, so its not about one group taking on everything.

Read more  “Good Lives 2020 Self Advocates Workshop”

Representative Body Elections

Learning Disability England is looking for 6 members who want to join the Representative Body

Between now and June 2020 there will be elections for 6 places on the Representative Body.

The Representative Body are people elected by Learning Disability England members to speak up for them and help make sure Learning Disability England is doing a good job

Read more  “Representative Body Elections”

Legal action on Human Rights

Today the Equality and Human Rights Commission has written to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock starting a legal challenge over the failure to protect the Human Rights of people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

As an organisation and a membership, we are pleased to see the rights of people with learning disabilities and autistic people being championed through this legal challenge.

Read more  “Legal action on Human Rights”