Self-advocacy in North Lincolnshire

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Cloverleaf Advocacy’s project to set up learning disability self-advocacy groups in North Lincolnshire began in Summer 2009 and runs to March 31st 2016.

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Our aim is to empower people in North Lincolnshire by ensuring that their voices are heard.

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Self- advocacy encourages services users to:

  • talk about their experiences,
  • find out about their rights,
  • find solutions to their problems
  • and support each other to take control of their lives by speaking up

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Cloverleaf have worked with a learning disability self advocacy group called Time for Action based in Scunthorpe.

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We supported them to participate in North Lincolnshire Learning Disability Partnership Board which they have recently co-chaired.

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Time for Action has brought problems faced by people with learning disability to the Partnership Board. At the meeting the problems are discussed and the Partnership Board try to sort them out.

Members of Time for Action have given their views on a range of issues, including adult education.

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Time for Action represents the views of people with learning disability in Scunthorpe but the Partnership Board have recognised that the rest of North Lincolnshire is not represented.

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Cloverleaf are working towards creating a number of self-advocacy groups throughout North Lincolnshire to better represent the whole area and the range of needs.

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With the help of some service users we came up with the name ‘Talking Lincs’ to represent the network of individual self advocacy groups.

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Cloverleaf are currently doing a series of road shows visiting day centres and residential homes. We are telling people about the Talking Lincs network and asking people if they want to set up groups in their area. Each group will name itself.

Time for Action is part of the Talking Lincs network.

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Talking Lincs groups will send representatives to the Learning Disability Partnership Boards. Cloverleaf will support the representatives at the meeting.

The Partnership Board discuss and makes decisions which affect the lives of people throughout North Lincolnshire. 

It is important that service users attend the meeting so that they can take control of their own lives and help speak for other people with learning disability

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People that are members of self advocacy groups often say that speaking up for themselves and others makes them feel more confident and empowered.