Speak Out started in 2002 after we learned about some work ENABLE were doing in schools in Glasgow. Our first meeting was at the Engine Shed in Edinburgh and we have been meeting at least every 3 weeks ever since. Edinburgh Development Group and People First support our group. We go into schools and do presentations to teach children about bullying and harassment and about learning difficulties. We also work with Lothian and Borders Police, the Local Authority (and sometimes other organisations and groups).
People First (Scotland) is the national self-advocacy organisation of people with learning difficulties. People First (Scotland) became a company in 1989 and we now have around 1000 members from across Scotland. We support local People First groups in the different areas of Scotland from the Borders up to the Highlands. People First is run by a Board of Directors elected from the members in the different areas, all of whom have learning difficulties. Members support each other in the groups to speak up, to gain confidence and to stand up for our rights.
The Moray Carers Project received funding to record on film the stories of some of the carers they supported. The purpose of this project is to raise the awareness of the issues that face carers. It also gives carers in Moray a chance to get to know each other and combat the isolation that can come from being a carer in a rural community. Why is this an example of Citizen Leadership? Firstly, in this project the carers are encouraged to creatively direct their own films, so they are really telling their own story.
Ceartas is an independent advocacy organisation in East Dunbartonshire. Still Game is a project that encourages people who have had an advocate develop their leadership skills so that they can play a part in how the organisation runs.
Still Game started because Ceartas are keen to get real people involved at the heart of the organisation. Ceartas want to hear what they really think about the services they use. It is also about helping individuals take control over their lives, speak up and influence the social care services they use.
When Dundee City Council decided it was important to get the views of people who used their learning disability services, they adopted a Citizen Leadership approach. They funded Advocating Together to employ five people with learning disabilities to consult with other people with learning disabilities, and find out what was most important to people, and what services would help them most. Advocating Together provided training for these five ‘SAY reps’, to give them the skills and information to do the job well.
Rachel is a young carer who cares for her mother who has bi-polar disorder. She has cared for her Mum since she was 10 and describes how this affected her life when she was younger.
Now, Rachel is at University but still caring for her mum, but through support from the Dundee Project she has developed confidence and is now much more capable of coping with her caring role and still achieving all of her own goals.
V.I.P.s is a citizen leadership project committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people with learning disability and autism spectrum disorder by encouraging them to speak up for themselves and others.
My name is Lorraine – I am a Peer Support Graduate, Artist and Poet who has lived experience of mental illness. I am passionate about making sure that people hear and understand the message of recovery.
I was keen to get involved in this project so that I could raise the profile of the reality of recovery from mental illness, even the most severe. I want to illustrate by example what people in recovery can and do achieve by way of making a meaningful contribution to a wider society.