Adults with learning disabilities join NHS in Sandwell and West Birmingham for the week to celebrate Mencap Learning Disability Awareness Week

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Seven adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities were welcomed to work at NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group as part of last week’s Mencap Learning Disability Awareness Week, and the Treat Me Well campaign.

SWB LD Week group photoPicture: Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG staff are joined by the candidates at a celebration event to recognise their work as part of their placement during Mencap Learning Disability Awareness Week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CCG originally advertised for four places, but the quality of applicants was so high the CCG instead offered seven candidates the chance to join them for the week.

The candidates enjoyed a variety of roles, from HR support through to engagement, in addition to new learning and development opportunities.

The CCG is responsible for buying and planning learning disability services in the area, and offered the placements to help the candidates gain confidence and experience in the workplace, with the hopes of securing future employment. Any employers interested in offering opportunities to adults with learning disabilities can find out more here http://bit.ly/2yaXKk3

Dr Nick Harding, Chair at NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:

“A key part of our work is to support people with learning disabilities and by providing a work experience opportunity for people with a learning disability we can better understand any needs, and help those joining us to improve their confidence in pursuing roles in employment.

“It really has been a delight to have seven people with learning disabilities working with us this week and we do hope that it will be of great benefit to them personally.” Mencap works with organisations to improve the employment prospects of people with a learning disability by offering a range of activities. A wide range of resources for employers are available at http://bit.ly/2yaXKk3

As part of the week, a few of the candidates joining the CCG have been giving their own accounts of the week.

Nick said: “It’s been really good, I love working here, I feel a part of the engagement team. Everyone has made me feel very welcome and I hope it leads somewhere.”

Chris said: “I’ve been learning how to scan documents to email addresses, and work on Powerpoint. I’ve enjoyed meeting more people through the week and getting more confident.”

Louise said: “It’s been really fun, I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve been working on some of the NHS70 plans and the tea party event on July 5.”

Jodie said: “I was nervous to start with, but I’ve really enjoyed the placement. It’s been really good to meet new people, and learn new skills, such as filing and scanning.” 

A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. Around 1.5m people in the UK have one. A learning disability can be mild, moderate or severe. Some people with a mild learning disability can talk easily and look after themselves, but take a bit longer than usual to learn new skills. Others may not be able to communicate at all and have more than one disability. A learning disability isn't the same as a learning difficulty or mental illness.

For more information about Learning Disability Awareness Week and the Treat Me Well campaign, visit http://bit.ly/2sPHMXh