Organised and facilitated by local charity the Elfrida Society and Islington Council’s Learning and Development team, the event held at Lift Islington on the 26 March, brought together over 100 people.
Islington Council Business and Employment Support Team (BEST) and the Community Access Project (CAP) provide practical help and support to local people with learning disabilities to get them into work. Team members work with both the employee and work place to ensure that the environment is suitable for the candidate and the organisation. Last year saw 17 candidates successfully fill posts.
As well as an award ceremony the event included different stalls which offered services and advice. Hosted by Mencap-ISIS (Islington Social Inclusion Service), Centre 404, The Elfrida Society, and Islington Council’s Housing, Personal Budgets, Making it Real, and Shared Lives Short Breaks services.
Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council's deputy leader and executive member for health and wellbeing said:“I thoroughly enjoyed the event and it was fantastic to see people with learning difficulties getting the recognition they deserved for their hard work and achievements.
“The event was a wonderful celebration of the comittment everyone has put in to improving the lives of the members of our community who need our support."
The idea to hold the celebration event came from a group of 10 adults with learning disabilities employed by Elfrida known as ‘the Power and Control Group.’ It is their job to speak up for the wishes and needs of people with learning disabilities in Islington about the design and delivery of local services. People from the Power and Control Group helped facilitate and compered the day.
Vincent Bottomley, consultation project manager for Elfrida said: “There is always so much emphasis on what people can’t do and it’s true, we all need to help one another in life. Today was a fantastic opportunity for people with learning disabilities to show their gifts, their talents, their passions – what they can do and what they’ve done, and be celebrated.”