A new West Wales Learning Disabilities Charter created by people living with learning disabilities from Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion was launched by the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services Julie Morgan at this year’s Pembrokeshire Show.
The charter includes a list of things people expect and need to live fulfilling lives. It outlines the support people want and how they would like to be treated. It has been developed with support from the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund, the West Wales Care Partnership, and Pembrokeshire College. It is also supported by the County Councils of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, and the Hywel Dda University Health Board.
In the coming months, the project will be rolled out across the region. Carys James, Co-Chair of the Learning Disability Programme Group and Director of Social Services for Ceredigion explains:
“This is not a project led by professionals, or social services – or even charities. In the coming months, it will be turned over entirely to The Dream Team, a group of people with learning disabilities who advise us on what really matters and hold us absolutely to account. They will be visiting businesses and organisations to get them to sign up – and checking that they really do follow through on their commitments.
“We’re doing things differently in West Wales. And we’re very proud of the Dream Team and committed to measuring everything we do against the Charter’s demands.
“Signing the Charter is just the beginning. It’s not enough to sign – organisations and individuals have to act on what they pledge, and the Dream Team will make sure that they do.”
James Dash, Co-Chair of the Learning Disability Programme Group, explains:
“The West Wales Learning Disability Charter brings together our rights, our needs, and our wants, in a simple document aimed at everyone in our community.
“It covers crucial areas like support, health and relationships, and brings them all together in a document anyone can – and should – sign up to.
“I wasn’t sure about using the words “we demand” – but we do! It’s only fair that we demand to be treated like everyone else, to have a social life, to do things that fulfil us, and to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, said: “I’m delighted to not only launch but also sign the West Wales Learning Disability Charter. I will support it within my role as Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services.
“I would like to thank everyone who has inputted into the charter and those who will continue to play a vital role in overseeing work going forward.
“The charter complements the Welsh Governments Learning Disability: Improving Lives programme which aims to improve the lives of all people with a learning disability in Wales.”
You can hear more about the Charter by watching the video at https://vimeo.com/337960189