Time to Shine Learning Disability Community Development Project
Friday 1st December was the beginning of the countdown to the holiday season. It was also the day of the workshop to start the co-design of the service specification for the Time to Shine Learning Disability Community Development project. Over 20 people, a good mix of older learning disabled people, carers and service providers, gathered at the Unity Business Centre to thrash out what was most important to them and other older learning disabled people in having opportunities to socialise at different times and places across Leeds.
A lively discussion was facilitated by Kath Lindley from Tenfold and Rachel Koivunen from the Time to Shine team. Margaret Bell, a trustee at Leeds Older Peoples’ Forum and retired teacher of SEN pupils attended and shared her knowledge and experience with the group too.Some key themes have begun to emerge; older learning disabled people must take the lead and be supported to communicate their needs and wishes, as a city we have much to learn about where people are living, what they want and what the barriers might be to having choices in friends and relationships, partnership working would help the money stretch further, offer new opportunities and links to existing activities such as LEEP the Bridge, Luv2meetU, Good Life Leaders and Keeping in Touch. People left the workshop feeling positive and excited about the potential for the project and with some ideas as to how they might be involved. The funding for the project will be open to bids in February 2016.Anybody wanting to talk about what should be included in the service specification or who would be interested on being on the panel to assess the bids can contact Rachel Koivunen by email at [email protected] by Friday 15th January. She would love to hear from you about your ideas and experiences.”
Cake & Ceilidh
Cara project launch
Friday 27th November 2015 12-5pm
Victoria Hotel, 28 Great George Street, Leeds, LS1 3DL
Leeds Older People’s Forum was delighted to attend the launch of Leeds Irish Health & Homes’ Cara Friends.
There was Irish music with flute players, fiddlers and accordion, traditional games, and homemade fare including leek and potato soup, soda bread and the richest fruitcake you’ve ever tasted.
Everyone was made welcome, which is only fitting as Cara means ‘friend’ in Irish and the project aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness in the Irish community through friendship and support.
The new Irish Friendship Project service aims to help older Irish people who feel estranged from their community.
Cara will support and reconnect these people, through a network of befrienders and volunteers, and engage them in cultural and social activities such as provided by Leeds Irish Health and Homes.
Rachel Koivunen, Time to Shine Programme Manager, said:
“Leeds Older People’s Forum is pleased to be working with Leeds Irish Health and Homes as one of the first delivery partners on the Time to Shine programme. The panel, led by local older people, assessed the Cara project to be aspirational and change focused with a strong commitment to community development. Leeds Irish Health and Homes presented a compelling, well considered and grounded application for the funding, which we feel will have a very real, positive and sustainable impact on the lives of socially isolated older people within the Irish Community in Leeds.”
Originally established to support the large Irish community in Leeds LIHH now supports people from all communities in Leeds and offers services including housing support, social and support groups, and volunteering opportunities.
If you want to become a Cara Volunteer, or have a friend or family member who might benefit from the service, please visit: www.lihh.org
Jim Garside, Time to Shine Administration Officer
Photos © Mat Dale