Willow Learning for Life, a Croydon-based community interest company, has launched an appeal to give hope to adults with learning disabilities devastated by cuts in support, discrimination, and lack of opportunities
“Together We Can Soar” is a project designed and led by people with learning disabilities. It allows them to explore ideas, create opportunities, make friends and help others. They need £2,300 to put their work online so they can reach more people.
Adults with learning disabilities experience a shocking level of discrimination and lack of opportunities and have a much higher risk of mental health problems than non-disabled people because of the way they are treated rather than the disabilities themselves.
Together We Can Soar supports people with learning disabilities to gain confidence, skills, and opportunities to contribute to society and be valued. “We support them to voice their ideas, recognise and build on their strengths, work as a team, and gain qualifications,” says Tanya Rhodes, managing director at Willow earning Foor Life.
“They have done some incredible work, teaching citizenship in schools, training social workers and healthcare staff how to treat them well, assessing the best places in Croydon for people with disabilities to go out and feel welcome, and help businesses do better. They are proud of their work and want to put it online so that more people can benefit from it.”
Working, being respected and valued makes a huge difference to the mental health of people with learning disabilities.
Chrysom Prince Martin, a team member and football coach, said, “Willow has given me a voice, I can share the things I had hidden inside my heart. I used to cry in a corner, I felt like I was in a prison, but now my mind is free.”
Together We can Soar will have a huge impact on people in Croydon with a learning disability, by combating mental illness caused by discrimination, neglect and lack of opportunities. It gives hope and purpose enabling individuals to lead fulfilling happy lives.
To find out more about the work of Willow Learning For Life, contact Tanya Rhodes by email firstname.lastname@example.org
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