Tenth birthday is charity celebration
ACHARITY which helps adults with disabilities to be part of wider society is celebrating its 10th anniversary
Speaking Up Speaking Out is a self advocacy group set up in 2005 and is run by and for adults with disabilities.
It means that members have more of a say, more choice and more control over their lives.
And thanks to a Big Lottery Grant in 2012, it has grown to include a drop in centre known as ‘Parachute’, which offers more services and social activities for its ‘dropper inners’.
Karen Keen, who man- ages and help set up the project, said: “In the first six years more than 40 adults with learning disabilities were involved in running their organisation and were enabled to develop skills, have a say in important issues that affect them, become more involved in the local community, get out and about and most importantly make friends.
“In 2012 we were awarded a grant of £172,000 by the Big Lottery, and our drop-in, Parachute, was launched.
“This meant we could extend the hours we opened and the services we offered – and since then over 170 adults with learning disabilities have dropped in to Parachute or taken part in our social activities.”
Over the years the group has enjoyed guest speakers, fundraising, workshops, social events and days out. They have also spent time learning about health, money, first aid and assertiveness training.
Clare Roberts, project co-ordinator for Parachute, said: “I have been involved for two years and its heart-warming to hear people talking about the great times they’ve had at Speaking Up Speaking Out, people have so much pride in what they have achieved.
“A lot of its success can be attributed to Karen Keen who has been involved from the very beginning – listening and supporting people to say and do what they want to. Karen has battled to secure funding since the very beginning and has kept the organisation going and growing. It’s a great achievement to reach 10 years.”
The charity now eagerly awaits news of its latest Big Lottery grant application, which would enable the charity to continue.
If you would like any information about Speaking Up Speaking Out and the drop-in Parachute go to 25-27 Old Park Lane Monday to Thursday 10.30am-3.45pm, call 01625 424717 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
●● Helen Jones and Jane Naden, blowing out the birthday candles, are original members
●● Supporters of Speaking up Speaking Out celebrate its 10th anniversary