Samir, who has lived at 287 Dyke Road for 18 years, is a paid member of ‘Campaign for Change’ – a group of enthusiastic and passionate people with learning difficulties and autism spectrum conditions who want to speak up for themselves and others, and make a positive change to the lives of others.
Staff from Dyke Road support Samir to attend meetings at headquarters, and break down intricate information for him making it more accessible, so that he can understand. When asked for his input he always gives a great big smile to say he agrees!
Samir and Frankie (who lives at 290 Dyke Road) are currently working together to campaign for more accessible toilets and changing places. They meet regularly to discuss the campaign, and with the support of staff, they have emailed local facilities and venues such as Churchill Square shopping centre and the Marina leisure complex. Samir and Frankie are hoping to attend the next tenant meeting at the Marina to talk about the need for accessible changing places.
Campaign for change were asked to deliver a presentation at the ‘Unordinary Conference’, with a presentation called ‘Mind your language’ – which focused on the terminology that staff and others use when referring to the people we support and has lead to huge changes.
The group put together the presentation on a slide show, and Samir used his switch throughout the presentation to change slides. Prior to the conference, staff helped to increase Samir’s confidence by helping him to practice the slide show at home with his switch, so that he was prepared for the big day.
With all of the hard work that Samir has put into Campaign for Change, he recently won two awards. One was for the ‘Most inspirational group’ and the second was for ‘Making a difference’. He attended the awards evening and had a great time.
Laurie, service manager, said “Samir is amazing. Despite his health concerns, he never gives up. He loves to be involved and join in with everything, and always does so with a huge smile. He is an absolute joy to support!”