8. Wider benefit
The National Involvement Network is a loose group of people with learning disabilities who are supported by different organisations across Scotland.
What group members have in common is that they want to have more say over the services they use.
One of the biggest achievements they have made is a publication called the Charter for Involvement. This book shows clearly what kind of involvement people who use services want.
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.
My name is Edward Stanton. I am the Chairperson of People First in Glasgow. I am 72 now, and was born in Glasgow, in Kinning Park. I have lived in Glasgow all my life. Glasgow has got a lot better for disabled people over the years. It's a lot better now than when I was young.
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.
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.
The work of Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers represents an excellent example of several of the principles of Citizen Leadership.
The children and young people and the staff work tirelessly together to raise awareness of young carers among services and to ensure that these services can work with young carers to support them effectively.
They are a dynamic group who have made an incredible difference to how young carers are regarded and supported.
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.
The Scottish Dementia Working Group (SDWG) is an independent group that was set up by people with dementia. We are a friendly group run by, and for, people with dementia or a related condition. We meet to support each other and find ways to improve services and attitudes.
(Photo 1) The Working Group campaigns to improve services for people with dementia and to improve attitudes towards people with dementia.
We do lots of things to improve services. We participate in forums, committees and conferences to change policy. We campaign to make dementia a high priority.
Aman is a young man who lives in Edinburgh. He has made a big impact on the people who have seen him and heard him.
Aman is a citizen leader. He is passionate about giving other people the chance to achieve their potential.
This is what Aman does, in his own words:
I change mindsets
I get involved
I educate professionals
I challenge systems and processes
I work for real partnership
In the last few years Aman has