Stoke-on-Trent City Council and partners have launched the “Living My Best Life’: A lifecourse strategy for people with a learning disability in Stoke-on-Trent 2021 – 2026’ during the national awareness week, Learning Disability Week 2021.
Co-produced by the city council with Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group and Stoke-on-Trent Learning Disabilities Partnership Forum Board, along with other partners and people living with a learning disability, the strategy sets out the five outcomes that children, young people and adults with a learning disability, their carers and their families said were important in supporting them to reach their full potential. These outcomes are:
- ‘I feel safe’
- ‘I am healthy’
- ‘I achieve my goals’
- ‘I love where I live’
- ‘I enjoy my life’
Over the next two weeks, the city council and partners and groups including Parent Engagement Group in Stoke (PEGIS), Reach, Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the NHS will be putting on a number of virtual events and activities to promote the Learning Disability Week (14 – 18) and Learning Disability Pride (21 – 25 June) and the “Living My Best Life” Strategy. As part of this, they will be sharing people’s stories on their social media channels to celebrate Learning Disability Week’s theme of ‘arts and creativity.’ These will include videos and blogs from adults and children with a learning disability organised by PEGIS and Reach.
The city council and the CCG will be hosting virtual workshops to explore how partners can support the delivery of the strategy. Support services will be sharing vlogs on their channels to promote their services and how these will help achieve the strategy’s outcomes.
Councillor Ally Simcock, cabinet member for adult social care and health care said: “The Living My Best Life” Strategy is about aiming to ensure that people with a learning disability can live their best lives, no matter what age they are. There is no better time to launch the strategy than during Learning Disability Week and Learning Disability Pride. We hope that working with our partners to organise events and activities during these national awareness weeks will maximise our opportunity to reach out to our learning disability groups and services and promote how we can work with them to help people with a learning disability to live their best lives.
“We want every single person living with a learning disability in Stoke-on-Trent to be supported to meet each of the five outcomes. We are committed to making this happen by listening to and working alongside people with lived experience of a learning disability and their support networks to ensure that at each stage of their lives, they are helped to make their own choices and that these are respected.”
Councillor Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people said: “The theme of this year’s Learning Disability Week is art and creativity helping us to keep positive and stay connected with others. This past year has been difficult for us all, and many of us have had to get creative – whether it’s to entertain ourselves and each other, or to adapt to our circumstances. I am looking forward to seeing the different activities that are being put on with our partners to help celebrate Learning Disability Week and Learning Disability Pride, and we are pleased to be launching our “Living My Best Life” Strategy in line with these awareness weeks.
“We strongly believe that everybody in Stoke-on-Trent should be able to reach their full potential and live as independently as possible. This strategy will ensure that people with learning disabilities, no matter what age they are, have access to the same opportunities as people without a learning disability have.”
Dr Waheed Abbasi, Clinical Director of Mental Health and Specialist Groups for NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We are pleased to support Learning Disability Awareness Week and Learning Disability Pride and continue our partnership approach and commitment to delivering the LD strategy. Health services are not just about improving health outcomes, but also the other outcomes that people with lived experience of learning disability told us were important to them. GP’s and health services all have a role to play.”
Margaret Mason, co-chair of the Stoke-on-Trent Learning Disability Partnership Board, said: “I think this strategy will make a big difference and really help people because it's about what people with a learning disability said they needed and because it's for everybody with a learning disability all through their life."
To view “Living My Best Life’: A lifecourse strategy for people with a learning disability in Stoke-on-Trent 2021 – 2026,’ please go to https://www.stoke.gov.uk/downloads/download/891/learning_disabilities_strategy