Each week I send out to all CMG users, good examples of social inclusion that are happening in and around the organisation. I feel very strongly about the importance of promoting equality of opportunities. People can be excluded from society for many reasons, not only people with learning disabilities. It could be due to financial hardship, being unemployed, youth, old age, poor education the list is endless. In the world we live in it seems ridiculous to still have that kind of discrimination amongst us. When people don’t fit in the mould that is deemed as ‘normal’ they can be overlooked. This is completely wrong. Every person should feel valued and important and have the right to employment, adequate housing, health care, education and training.
When I first started working in this sector around 30 years ago, I came across a piece of research that has stayed with me. It’s as powerful now as it was when I read it all those years ago. John O’Brien marked out a framework for what makes a good quality of life.
These are the five areas that he proposed were essential to support people to fulfil their needs:
- Sharing ordinary places
- Making Choices
- Developing abilities
- Being treated with respect and having a valued social role
- Growing in relationships
This framework is ever relevant, and reflects what is required to promote and achieve social inclusion. People must be supported to access the wider community and public services, to have real meaningful relationships, to increase people’s choice and control over their lives and to develop people’s abilities and skills. This will in turn increase people’s independence, self-worth and confidence and eliminate discrimination.
Below are some excellent examples of social inclusion from this month at CMG:
- One person at Upper Selsdon Road is doing a work placement in a high street shop in Croydon. He will get a level 1 qualification in retail at the end of the placement.
- One person at Valley Road does voluntary work helping homeless people.
- One person at 111 Masons Hill Road in Bromley has two paid jobs: he works as an office administrator and also stacks shelves at Waitrose.
- One person at The Ridgeway has got a paid job with Mencap carrying out telephone surveys.
- One person at Ty Nyddfa House does voluntary work at a greyhound charity shop. She has received a nomination for her efforts and has been invited to an awards ceremony.
- People at Hillcrest 2 regularly pack boxes of food and toiletries and give them out to homeless people.
- A person at Hersham Gardens has a job as a receptionist. She has also joined the local Slimming World club and has lost 11 pounds in 3 weeks.
- Following the Care Home Open Day, neighbours of our Little Orchard service in the New Forest have started visiting the people who live there. They are also giving up their time to help implement improvements to the garden. This includes building a raised bed that will enable people in wheelchairs to get actively involved in gardening.
- A person at Pineleigh has a paid internship at Deutchebank in Canary Wharf
- Two people at Catherine House attend a mainstream jujitsu club.
If you would like to know more on how you can help promote social inclusion please get in touch with our inclusion and wellbeing officer Elmi.Terjavjainena@cmg.co.uk
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