A national forum set up 15 years ago to involve pe

first_imgA national forum set up 15 years ago to involve people with learning difficulties in developing government policy is set to lose its Department of Health (DH) funding.Inclusion North, the disability organisation that is paid by DH to run the National Forum of People with Learning Disabilities (NFPLD), has been told there are “currently no plans to extend, renew or re-tender” its two-year contract when it expires on 31 March.Over the last two years, Inclusion North has received £419,000 to “facilitate and host” NFPLD and the National Valuing Families Forum, whose members are carers of people with learning difficulties and their allies.When it was set up as a result of Labour’s ground-breaking Valuing People learning difficulties white paper in 2001, the government said NFPLD would “involve people with learning disabilities in policy development” and “contribute to monitoring the impact of Valuing People”.But Inclusion North has now been told by DH to come up with an “exit plan”, including new ways of funding the forums.A petition set up to call on ministers to reverse their decision has so far been signed by nearly 1,800 people, while a social media campaign has featured self-advocates pictured with their hands over their mouths to demonstrate the #NoVoice social media hashtag.The petition says: “We work closely with the Government and national organisations at a high level to ensure that the voices of people with learning disabilities are heard when decisions are made that impact upon our lives.“However we have now been informed by the Department of Health that our funding is to be completely cut in March 2017.“We think that this decision is very wrong. It will be another way of taking away our voice.”Ian Davies, a former member of the national forum and currently a coordinator of the East Midlands regional forum – but speaking to Disability News Service as an individual – said he felt “frustrated” by the government’s decision.He said: “It’s a big loss. When you think about Valuing People when it started out in 2001 and what the government was trying to do, to set up a platform where people with learning difficulties could express their feelings to government, that’s going to be all taken away.“They are not going to have that platform. Exactly what we think about what’s going on, that will not be there.“How else are they going to hear those things from people themselves?” He added: “We know it has a lot to do with cuts. It’s cuts here, cuts there, cuts everywhere.“Who gets it first? It’s people with learning difficulties.“I can’t still understand why they want to drag that away from people when there is a lot of really good valuable work done on behalf of it.“It’s done some really good, strong work in the past and now it’s going to end up with no funding.”There are nine regional forums that feed into NFPLD, with two representatives from each of them elected by their own members to sit on the national forum.Two members of the national forum attend the government’s National Learning Disability Programme Board.Among the national forum’s achievements is Staying Strong, a guide it published five years ago to help other self-advocacy groups threatened by government funding cuts. It has also spoken out strongly in the wake of the Winterbourne View abuse scandal, and about the safety of care facilities following the death of Connor Sparrowhawk and subsequent revelations that an NHS trust failed to investigate hundreds of unexpected deaths of people with learning difficulties and mental health problems.A DH spokeswoman said: “The contract included a requirement for Inclusion North to work with the National Forum of People with Learning Disabilities and the National Valuing Families Forum to look at options for both organisations to become self-sustaining from 1 April 2017.“The end of the contract doesn’t prevent the forums from seeking other sources of support.”She added: “We highly value the contributions people with learning difficulties make in informing policy, and the forums are not the only way we currently engage with representatives.“The contract between the Department of Health and Inclusion North was to support people with learning disabilities and family carers to contribute to policy-making, planning and oversight of services on learning disabilities.“The Department of Health wants to ensure that these people, and their family and carers, continue to be closely involved in co-producing and informing policies.“We are considering how best to ensure continued engagement with people with learning disabilities and family carers in the future.”Inclusion North has so far failed to respond to a request to comment on losing the DH funding, and to a request to speak to someone from the forum.last_img read more

Read More »

First Team Match

first_imgJames Roby, Mark Percival, Zeb Taia and Alex Walmsley were all forced to miss out so Justin Holbrook was enforced to make four changes with Aaron Smith, Jack Welsby, James Bentley and Kyle Amor coming in.The changes didn’t seem to make much difference early on mind as Saints got off to a flyer as Dom Peyroux was set loose by Theo Fages and he dropped the shoulder past the full back to give Lachlan Coote the simplest of finishes for the opener. Coote tagging on the extras for an early 6-0 lead!Saints were over again in a matter of minutes. This time after great handling from right to left resulted in Fages providing the cut-out pass for Jack Welsby who went over in the corner for his first senior try on only his second senior appearance.Luke Thompson then made it 16-0 after the England international latched onto an excellent short ball from Morgan Knowles. Coote converted the extras.Theo Fages added to Saints absentees 20 minutes in as he was forced off through injury and Hull KR, to their credit capitalised scoring three tries in 16 minutes. First Kane Linnett went over in the corner, before winger Will Oakes powered over two minutes later and Linnett sent Rovers into the break ahead after Ryan Shaw kicked all three conversions.Within the opening five minutes of the second half Saints won a penalty right in front of the sticks and Coote levelled the game at 18-18.But the dogged Rovers came right back at Saints and after a neat kick through from Josh Drinkwater, Lunt pounced on the ball to give them a shock 18-24 lead.An end to end game saw Saints march up the other end and this time it was Amor who crashed over from close range levelling the score at 24-24. Coote adding the extras.A few big hits from Saints forwards got the Totally Wicked crowd rocking and on the hour mark Saints stepped up the pressure with Coote’s kicking game forcing repeat sets.Our momentum told in the 62nd minute when Smith managed to sneak over from dummy half for his first Saints try of the season and we now lead 30-24.Saints then looked in control and put the game to bed with 10 minutes to go as direct from the scrum, the ball was fed from left to right and Grace went in at the corner for the easiest of finishes.Saints march on!Match Summary:Saints:Tries:  Coote (5), Welsby (14), Thompson (19), Amor (58), Smith (62), Grace (74).Goals: Coote (6 from 8)Starting 13: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Jack Welsby, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Matthew Lees, Aaron Smith, Luke Thompson, James Bentley, Dom Peyroux, Morgan Knowles.Interchanges: Joseph Paulo, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Kyle Amor, Jack Ashworth.Hull KR:Tries: Linnett (24,37), Oakes (27), Lunt (50).Goals: Shaw (4 from 4)Starting 13: Craig Hall, Ryan Shaw, Jimmy Keinhorst, Ben Crooks, Will Oakes, Josh Drinkwater, Chris Atkin, Mose Masoe, Tommy Lee, George Lawler, Joel Tomkins , Kane Linnett, Weller Hauraki .Interchanges: Mitch Garbutt , Taioalo Vaivai , Danny Addy, Shaun Lunt.HT: 16-18 FT: 36-24REF: T.GrantATT: 10,003last_img read more

Read More »

Two grievously injured in fourcar crash

first_img SharePrint Photo: Archives Photo: Archives A 21-year-old female driver from Swieqi and a 16-year-old Italian female passenger, who resides in San Ġwann and was in a different vehicle, were grievously injured early on Saturday morning when four cars collided, a police spokesperson told Newsbook.com.mt. Ten persons were hospitalised following the incident which took place at around 4am on St Andrew’s Road.Five individuals were found to be suffering from slight injuries. These are 42-year-old male driver from Senglea, a 33-year-old Italian national residing in Paola and his passenger, a 17-year-old Italian female teenager residing in Għargħur and a 23-year-old female driver and her passenger, a 16-year-old Italian male teenager who resides in Birkirkara.Three youths suffered no injuries and have already been discharged from hospital. These are a 17-year-old girl residing in Buġibba, a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old Italian man residing in Mosta.WhatsApp <a href=’https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2023/IMG11088.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more

Read More »