Learning Disability Week 2014

Plymouth is celebrating Learning Disability Week this week with a range of events and encouraging people to come forward if they experience discrimination.

Plymouth City Council is supporting Blue Light Day on Tuesday 17 June at Plympton Fire Station from 11am, along with Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and Plymouth People First (a self-advocacy organisation for adults with a learning disability).

We are also encouraging people with learning disabilities and advocates to report ‘mate and hate crime or incidents’. This is where people befriend those with learning disabilities in order to take advantage of them, whether this is for financial gain, physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

Councillor Ian Tuffin, Plymouth City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Learning Disability Week is an opportunity for us to celebrate the contribution people with learning disabilities make to the city of Plymouth, raise awareness of support available for those with learning disabilities, and to combat discrimination.

“Events throughout the week will help bring the local community together, while we also want to use the week to promote reporting of what is known as ‘mate and hate crime’.

“We are committed to eliminating discrimination from all aspects of our work and to ensuring we contribute to making Plymouth a safer place for our diverse communities. If anyone has experienced or witnessed an incident we want to hear about it.”

This can include assault, violence, anti-social behaviour, harassment, bullying, damage to property, name calling or graffiti.

In addition to the Blue Light Day, other events include Ambulance Awareness Day with South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust on Wednesday 18 June and the launch of Plymouth People First’s Dental Ambassador Scheme on 19 June with the Peninsula Dental School as part of their national Smile Week celebrations.

Jill Singh, Self-Advocacy Project Officer for Plymouth People First (part of the Plymouth Highbury Trust), said: “I am thrilled that the Blue Light Day grows from strength to strength each year. The event is an excellent example of what partner agencies can achieve when working closely together to provide clear and accessible safety information to adults with a learning disability.”

Use the hashtag #LDWeek14 to follow Learning Disability Week on twitter.

For more information on Plymouth People First call 01752 753713 or email ppf@plymouthhighburytrust.org.uk

To find out more about reporting mate and hate crime or incidents, go to our website at: http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/homepage/communityandliving/socialinclusion/hatecrime.htm