Changing Hearts and Minds

Peter Beard, Senior Commissioning Officer for learning disabilities and carers in West London CCG, reflects on the impact of Changing Our Lives focus on ordinary lives.

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Director praises ‘powerful’ paper

Meredith Teasdale is the Director of Education in Wolverhampton and she was keen to share her thoughts on the city’s young people led strategic ‘Challenge Board’s’ first piece of work.

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Improving people’s understanding of mental health

Working with the Muslim community in Palfrey in Walsall, our Beyond the Stigma project, resulted in people having conversations about mental health and challenging preconceptions. For the majority of people, this was the first time they had spoken about mental health:

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The impact of the mental health people's parliament

On 15th June 2017 at a Mental Health People’s Parliament we asked a range of stakeholders why the People’s Parliament was important and why it needed to be led by people with recent lived experience of mental health difficulties. People overwhelming acknowledged the impact of the Parliament and the importance of it being led by and controlled by people with recent lived experience:

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Employment for disabled people and people with experience of mental health difficulties

After training and developing a team of 8 people, 3 with learning disabilities and 5 with experience of mental health difficulties, and supporting them into paid work as Quality Checkers, here is what they had to say:

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The impact of person centred planning

After person centred planning with 28 individuals in institutionalised care, we received the following feedback:

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Enabling disabled young people to design their own support

In Wolverhampton we have worked with young disabled people and their families, supporting them to design their own individualised support, around their strengths and preferences. We worked alongside Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure funding was available to support these individual packages.

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Developing a quality checking team made up of people with learning disabilities

Changing Our Lives worked with Camphill Village Trust (CVT) to develop a quality checking team made up of people with learning disabilities that CVT supports. Part of the training focused on every disabled person’s right to an ‘ordinary life’ as equal citizens. Philip Gibson, Co-production project manager at CVT reflects on the impact of Changing Our Lives’ work:

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The power of poetry

We use poetry to enable people to express themselves and challenge injustice. Here is feedback from ‘Express Yourself!’ and ‘Poet’s First!’, two poetry projects:

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Young disabled people challenge traditional models of ‘care’

Young disabled people tell us everyday that their dreams and aspirations are no different from their peers who don’t have disabilities. They, like us all, want a good income from their chosen career path, their own home, a relationship, friends and good health, not to mention a lot of fun along the way!

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Opening the door for young people in leadership roles

Enabling young disabled people to ‘take over’ leadership roles as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Take Over day is a very powerful way to expose young people to leadership experiences. After working alongside Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group on a programme to raise awareness of young disabled people’s voices and needs, which included a ‘take over’ day experience, here are reflections of the senior leadership team:

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Young people's leadership creates a stir!

Following on from the launch of a young people led white paper on ‘An Ordinary life’ in Wolverhampton, which set out young people’s aspirations for the future, Lucy Harris manager of Wolverhampton Information, Advice and Support Service gave feedback:

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