Today we bring you the story of Samir and Frankie, who have both undertaken paid employment at Campaign 4 Change. Campaign 4 Change is comprised of a group of enthusiastic and passionate people with learning disabilities and autism who want to speak up for themselves and others, and make a positive change to the lives of everyone.
Team members at the two neighbouring homes in Brighton and Hove support Samir and Frankie to attend meetings at headquarters, and break down intricate information for them, making it more accessible.
Samir and Frankie 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. If a person with PMLD is out in the community and they need to use the toilet, staff would have to help them get changed using special tools which regular disabled toilets do not have. This means if they are out in public and need the toilet, they would have to cut their trip short.
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.
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 and Frankie’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 both of them have put into Campaign for Change, they recently won two awards. One was for the ‘Most inspirational group’ and the second was for ‘Making a difference’. They both 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!”
Well done to both Samir and Frankie, amazing work!