A group for people with learning disabilities in Bradford is recruiting volunteers for a project boosted by more than £200,000 of Lottery cash.
Bradford People First’s Citizens Project is aiming to change the view that the group believes the public has of those with learning disabilities – that they are often seen as taking from society and not contributing.
The project will include people with a learning disability developing a training package about citizenship and self-advocacy for others with a learning disability. Also, three people with a learning disability have been employed by Bradford People First to support and work on the project.
Gillian Carlin, of the project, said: “People with learning disabilities are often seen as taking from society and not contributing.
“Our new project aims to change this by new volunteers creating a year-long accredited training course about citizenship and self-advocacy for people with learning disabilities.
“They will then go on to teach other people to become valued and active members of their local community. New volunteers would also go out and meet other people with learning disabilities to make sure they have a say and control about things that are important to them in their lives.
“New volunteers would also be a part of taking action on issues that are raised.
“We now need volunteers to join us. There are some great volunteering opportunities here for people with a learning disability. I think this project will make a difference.
“We received £217,500 from the Big Lottery Fund for our project. I got one of the paid peer support jobs and it means that I will get to meet new people and get new skills.
“I wanted to be part of this project to make a change to the community about how they see people with a learning disability.”
Bradford People First was started in 1993 and now has about 25 members in the office and 60 in the community.
Martin, Craig and Surekha are volunteers at the group.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time being here and made lots of new friends,” said Martin.
Craig added: “Since I’ve come here I have come out of my shell and made lots of friends. I enjoy coming here.”
And Surekha said: “I feel confident since I’ve come here. I love working here! I know I am making a difference for people with a learning disability in Bradford.”
If you are interested in volunteering, call (01274) 744151 or e-mail citizens@BradfordPeopleFirst.org.uk.