Learning Disability Conference - 20th June 2022 transcript

Good morning, everybody. Can you hear me?

Ohh, I am just overwhelmed. What a wonderful sight this room is. All of us here together. It's wonderful. Today we are going to do 4 things.

We're going to look back to the unhappy past of this building and the brave people who lived here. We're going to take stock of where we are today, how far we've come.

What's good about today?

But what needs to get better?

Earlier story that we've found today. It's 400 years ago and if you go into the into the networking room, you'll be able to see the story of John Huxley, who was born in the 1700s.

So at Congleton Warehouse in 1881.

Nearly 100 and.

150 years I can't do the math.

The people that we can identify who had learning disability.


Apart from William, who was 9.

And one other person everybody had It was listed as having a trade.

David Lewis Centre was opened in 1902 for people with epilepsy, founded by the estate of David Lewis who built his fortune through shops in Liverpool. A large site that holds the edge was purchased by the David Lewis Trust, founded in 1893 and the building of a purpose built colony for people with epilepsy began providing homes for 130 men, 130 women and 36 children. So for the people that I worked with it was a huge change to come out of living in a hospital and going and living in a small house with just a few people. One of the main changes is just like the sleeping arrangements.

Hospital as you know, people sleep.

Quite a number of people in the room and there's not really anywhere to put personal things.

So the, the, the, the, this picture shows you like the beds set up in the hospital. And when these people came out of hospital into the houses, they had their own bedroom. Part of moving into the community too was that people could learn new skills. So people haven't been used to doing cooking for themselves. They didn't do housework, They didn't know how to use the washing machine, lots of pictures on there. So people were learning new skills. So they were, you know, there were lots of things to do. You see that, you know, somebody using a bus, somebody going swimming with some support and somebody going shopping and these were the kinds of things that.

That I was doing with people and.

It was a really exciting time because people have been used to being in hospital. So it was a totally new world for people. You know, we could say what do you fancy doing today? And somebody might say we want to go out for coffee or want to go swimming. And so we've planned those things, you know, so that people have more fulfilled lives.

Network Rail will see some amazing photographs of learning disabled individuals who actually went off to fight in the First World War. I don't think their names appear on any memorial anywhere. So we were the same as the the plaque. We felt like a plaque should be displayed here to show the history of the building. You know, because that's.

And then also our local museums acknowledging the history aren't areas in this in this respect. Andrew Suggestion in museum at Quarry Bank Mill.

But with the hospital, is that right? Would like the hospital, you'd like a hospital?

We were looking at very similar ones on this table, but also perhaps to look at the Barony site in Nantwich, which was one of the old workhouses. And we know that that's got a very similar history. Thank you. Thank you. We need to make it more accessible to the general public how people with disabilities were treated in the past and we need a website or some book.

So basically David Lewis was a merchant who was a businessman and that made money in shops. So you may or may not have heard of Lewis's of Liverpool, which is a department store. Well, that was actually David Lewis. When people, when I when I told people I was coming to work at David Lewis, they said oh, is that John Lewis said no. He said was it David Lloyd? I said no, it's David Lewis. So people really don't know that David Lewis existed but but he was a man who was probably ahead of his time and we think he had a relative who had epilepsy and he gave 200th. Well he gave some money and there was an appeal and that appeal.

In effect generated 200,000 pounds, which is what created David Lewis a number of years ago. So in terms of who we are now, so that's a little bit about our past. We were originally set up to support people with epilepsy. Moving forward 100 and odd years, we support people with epilepsy, learning disabilities, autism and other complex support needs. We operate from our main site at Warford and it's really important to me that that we keep reminding people of that. We have the main site at Warford, but we've also got a number of community sites. So we've got a number of houses in the community where we operate from, where we provide residential care that we have our day services provision and we have a really, really.

Amazing farm and conservation area and all our young people and adults who come up to the day services provision have meaningful tasks based learning and opportunities to grow and achieve. We have a school and a college, so our school is 11 to 19 and our college is 19 to 25. And our main focus for the young people who attend is around communication, supporting them to make their needs and wants known and also to increase their independence.

All the opportunities that I've had, OK, he's got some disabilities.

But he deserves to have a proper one.

And I think the challenge is to all of us as as a community, it's a challenge to society.

Say can we do more?

Let's not isolate people who've got a disability. Let's welcome them in and include them. And maybe we need some more education in schools to get a better understanding as people grow up about what it's like and what they can do to help.

So it's about acceptance and understanding.

The changing society's behaviour manage Shivam. I'm I'm a parent of Bradley.

Having fun that and remember visiting the day with Lewis Centre and from the minute I drove onto the drive it was stunning. Ohh.

I needed to.

No, he'd be valued and and he certainly is. I needed to know that Bradley would be comfortable and happy and he is, and and he transformed him from a very anxious and extremely worried young man to.

From sitting on the edge of groups to a valued member of his team, he made friends.

My son and friends, he and and he cared for them and he considered his actions before he did things and he helped. He has to learn signing so he could talk to his friends and Bradley listened. Bradley learned by example and he was picking up from staff actions their kindness and their patience.

And I began to relax and and then COVID here. And we had no routine, no structure. Everyday the questions started to come in. When can I see my friends? When can I go back? I miss my job. The reopening date came and his anxiety returned. The worries, the what is Bradley was the red and I wasn't even sure he'd make his first full day. However, as they, as expected of David Lewis and JD's didn't let him down. They opened slowly, small groups. They talked Bradley and his.

They reassured Bradley and his friends and they've helped him find his way back and I asked him what he wants to say, if he could say anything, and he said to me before JD's if at me, and Sam looked in the mirror.

With other people behind us, we'd be grey. Sam wouldn't have a mouth and I wouldn't have a smile.

Now if we look in the mirror at JD's, we're all pink. We smile. Sam's got a smile mouth and I'm laughing with my friends and staff. We'd all be smiling and happy and we'd be seen.

We can achieve for the future, which is I would like everybody to be able to have what I might describe as an ordinary life, a home.

Friends, families, a job. So I know I have an ordinary life and I would hope that everybody else is able to have the same sort of life. We were able to discuss your opinion that although there's some really really good services out there, I think that there needs to be. We thought that there needs to be more services with more and individualistic approach, more options held more on a regular basis. Sort of like a an example that we had that in one area this sort of like in a disco or a service that can be can attend every two weeks and although sometimes routines really good probably.

It needs to be more open opportunities more often, which will take more funding, just as we were talking and thinking about the concept here, I I don't know if you can.

Came back to if anybody comes from education with the every child matters the five outcomes some of you are nodding you know participation enjoy and achieve A achieve economic well-being. It's something occurred to me we're talking that we haven't the concepts behind that the every child matters should be applied to adults. Every adult matters. Every adult should be able to participate and every every adult should be able to enjoy and achieve have a healthy body healthy and every adult should achieve economic independence if that's able to. This is David who's who's recently moved into a residential.

And he wants to just tell us about his experiences, OK?

It's good. It is.

Have been given more medication now.



Thank you.

And travel training. Yeah, yeah. And you could ask. You enjoy anything. I am.

You've been doing.

The global pandemic happened and meant that Springfield Choir could not sing anymore. But then Sarah said a few weeks ago, we're having an event. Would you like to come? So we have reformed the choir just for you today and.



I'm not stranger to the dark.

Hide away. Be safe. Because we don't want your broken parts. I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars. Run away. Be safe. No one love you as you are. But I won't let them break me down to dust. I know that there's a place for Rose. Well, we'll go.

Cut me down.


No worries.

This is me.

Nobody lives without getting anything.



Yeah and yeah. So I'm Darren Hanley, Campaigns Coordinator for for Stay Up Late. Daniel, my colleague and one of our ambassadors is gonna be doing most of the talking today. So I'm just the the warmer pact Before COVID we were like a double act doing loads of conferences and seminars and workshops and things like that. And then it all went over to zoom in talking into little boxes. So this is our first real life conference presentation that that we've done.

My name's Dale. I'm gonna choose to start late and I'm also an ambassador for the charity work. Charity was over 10 years ago to speak up for people with those people piece. If you're staying up, it's like staying Our Lady is going to be going to gigs. It's about no bedtimes. It's about making our own decisions. Next slide, please.

Our charity called the game of Life of punk band called Henry Load. The charity emerged out. The campaign emerged out of the band did it. There's not many charities. There's not many lady disability charities, not many charities, many type. Isn't Daniel that have come out of a punk band? No, definitely not. No, they can they just ask you a couple of questions about how long have you been involved in Indeed Brothers Now as as a gig buddy.

This is the air few years suddenly few years and what sort of things have you done? What sort of activities have you done as a as as a gig buddy? We've been to things like pantos, we've been to Wales, Slade, Slade OS, Slade, other shows. So we got an award from someone quite important recently. Tell people about that. Yeah, as a child you got nominated for the Queens award and we found out on the 2nd of.

Did you mean that we got the Queens Award?

You have to have tea, didn't we, with the High Sheriff? And make sure we are our best behaviour. And the Lord left Tennant. Make sure we didn't make any mistakes or say anything stupid, didn't we? We we got through it, didn't we? We weird cake and whiskies.

Where's the Where's the savoury 70s? There we go.

Hashtag no bedtimes campaign. Hopefully sort of more threats and support our so people can start late. When we go to gigs we want to stay for the whole thing not leave when the case it's time to go. What we do, we lobby to reform social care. We always support for support providers, we talk for staff and managers, we work with several social groups and we work with local councils. This was actually taken at our last physical event for our ambassadors from all over the all over the country in Brighton. This is just before COVID hit but actually one of the great things that one of the few good things that we were able to do during the pandemic.

Was actually switch over to doing Zoom meetings and we've actually from a dozen ambassadors there, we actually expanded it by the end of the lockdown period of the by the end of the two year. We've extended it to 45 haven't we. So we've really increased our our campaigning presence across the country.

And about the supported internship programme, because I'm sure there's some people in this room that maybe haven't heard of a supported internship. So just to give you sort of an overview of what the programme is and how it can support young people. And then once I've done that, I'm going to hand over to the wonderful Jamie who can talk a little bit about his journey and what the supported internships meant to him. We've now got 8 providers running supported internships, which is fantastic. So just really to tell you a little bit more about that. So first of all, I supported internship is available to young people between the age of 16 to 24 and they must have an education, healthcare plan in order to go into that programme. But.

Most important thing that anybody coming onto this supported internship is that you want to work. Now if somebody could finish education and move straight into employment, there's no need for a supported internship. However, if somebody wants to work but they need that little bit of extra support and guidance to help them progress and develop their skills and confidence. Supported internship is a brilliant, brilliant programme. Now this work placement, it's not just work experience, it's about finding, it's about developing real skills for a real job. So it's not. It's very different to work experience and the biggest part of the programme.

Which maybe not mentioned is that when that workplace has been identified.

Every young person who comes on to the programme will have a job coach with them. So that job coach will go into the workplace first of all and breakdown that job. And then the job coach will train the intern how to do that job to a standard where they will get paid work. So they are learning the skills to move into paid work. And as their skills develop and their confidence grows, that job coach support fades until they're working, working completely independently and they're moving into paid work. So Jamie, where did you do your supported internship and when?

I started being the spitting image in 2019. I did it at Springfield Hall and and then I've been all all doing basements.

Starting with sports and then going into shops.

Can you know if I'm without you know all this?

Okay pointed me by Jimmy Englishman content themselves and then.

He town.

OK, I've been arrived. I knew what to do and how it can be done.

And Jamie, can you tell us what happened?

About two months before you were offered paid work, if you can remember.

Yeah. So I started again in December 2828.

You know, you know.

I was born in the employment forward.

My hardware and communications job.

Did everybody hear that employee of the month?

Well, what what I did during lockdown is I make my own cocktails. I just make it all go along.

And then watch telly and then we can't be anyone outside to you today when videos calls, well which could be one or two, but I have Team Zoom, FaceTime, Messenger and WhatsApp.

And also.

I did cycling and there were a lot of people need cycling. I did over 4900 and.

31 miles in one year.

Hello, my name is Claire Hopkinson.

I am a self advocate. I am here to talk about my disability.

Which I like to call them. Do you think he's syndrome?

Actually it's called left frontal and this secretive syndrome. I think that's what it's called.

Well, let me take you to when I was 25. So we got an appointment to go to Macclesfield Hospital. I went with my mum.

So the cycle physicist asked my mum some questions about me growing up and got told to wait outside while I had some tests done to me.

They were they paper based test like testing my memory. I have to look at the picture and try to remember it. At the end of the test I try to remember it but I couldn't.

So finally we've got a call in and the cycle, the physios. Me and my mum both sat down. She said I've got to wear disability, never heard of it.

So that is how I found I got a disability. I couldn't have done this speech in a million years.

When I was younger.

I have no confidence at all.

Now that's my past. Let's talk about the present.

I followed her as a receptionist for care force, is that right? Careful. Yes. I wasn't sure about that. Cheshire East Council? Where's Miss Centre Handful? And before this I also do the receptionist role at Dean Well for many years. I'm also a self advocate on a Learning Disability Partnership board. I enjoy this role representing the disability community.

We are looking for more people and S Africans to join and give us their views. If any of you are interested just let me know. I would like to thank the Learning Disability team.

And the lovely social workers.

As well. And lastly, my mum and dad.

And you're listening to me and my story. Thank you.


Page last reviewed: 12 June 2023

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