Learning Disability Festival in Harlow a great success

Charity / Mon 24th Jun 2024 at 09:14am

A LEARNING Disability Festival took place in Harlow at the weekend.

Our good friend, Dave Hobbs has sent us this contribution.

Things R Changing.

CHANGE takes longer than we might like but Fridays event in Harlow Town
Park was a big statement on a big issue.

The Learning Disability Partnership Team organised the day long event which
was attended by over 40 organisations including Harlow Council, local NHS
teams and statutory and voluntary groups all involved with supporting those
with learning disabilities to have positive possibilities in their lives.

DJ’s Vince and David from Local Linked Support kept the tunes and moves
flowing in between performances from eight different groups on the
Bandstand that has seen Thin Lizzy and the Bay City Rollers in its past.

Photos courtesy of Maybury Open Door

The Big Issue gave over its weekly edition to the Learning Disability Awareness
Week to people with learning disabilities who worked with the editing team to
produce a fabulous source of information around this area, some of it quite
shocking, including the proportion of the general public who have never
spoken to someone with a learning disability.

Harlow is blessed with a Queen’s Award winning drama group Razed Roof and
we are seeing growing opportunities in the town for cultural expression for
similar groups with ASL first up on stage supported by Bridget’s Café.

Amongst a plethora of local organisations Maybury Open Door is going from
strength to strength in its new home in the Harvey Centre and Accurro Services
are often seen out in the evenings supporting a night out.

The Police are playing a crucial part both in protecting the vulnerable but also
teaming up with Phoenix Futures to provide early interventions to prevent
behavioural issues turning into criminality.

Essex County Council of course provides a host of services and the TECC team
has some fabulous technology to keep people safe both at home and out in
the community.

Interviewing attendees for VoiceAbility gave some great insight into local
initiatives and concerns including of course the ticking political hot potato
that is Health and Social Care.

It included some positive news about longer term funding initiatives to allow
for better strategy and continuity of service provision and increased
partnership working between local organisations making more of the
resources available.

One attendee commented on the day “It’s a great way to let people know
what’s out there, people don’t know about a lot of great services.”
Harlow Frontline and Harlow Hive are working on this issue matching people
To existing services means not reinventing the wheel or throwing the baby out
with the bath water – making better use of the services available through
better communication and promotion – this can be an absolute god send and
money saver too.

Harlow can look back on it’s history with connections to Florence Nightingale
through it’s origins as a new town after the Second World War to its current
support Of Ukrainian families and forward to its upcoming regeneration of an
artistic and cultural quarter outside Harlow Playhouse.

Change takes time and the clock is ticking but this was a day to celebrate
Harlow’s caring community some who have played their part over many years
and others like my colleague Amy and the apprentice at Local Linked Support
who are just starting their pathways to making a difference.

Quotes from the day.
Jemma Sandy – Police Officer
“I think this event is amazing.”

Gemma Dennis – Asda Community Champion
“The whole Learning Disability Week is amazing – look how many people are here.”

Dave – Job Coach Essex Cares Limited.
“I think this is a fantastic event and lovely to see so many young people involved. I feel lucky to be here.”

Samantha – Community Nurse
“Thanks to Essex Social Care – they’ve been brilliant.”

Rowen Saunders – Plant Pots and Wellies
“Things they are a changing.”

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1 Comment for Learning Disability Festival in Harlow a great success:

2024-06-24 20:57:03

A brilliant day at the Town Park.

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