Members of Keighley disability group forge links with other bodies

People First members, from left, Kane Whatmuff, Katie Matthew, Simon Waggett, Katie Shackleton and Jagtar Bahra, who are working with a collection of new partners

People First members, from left, Kane Whatmuff, Katie Matthew, Simon Waggett, Katie Shackleton and Jagtar Bahra, who are working with a collection of new partners

First published in Keighley

Members of a Keighley disability group are representing the interests of disabled people across the district by joining a variety of organisations.

People First Keighley and Craven members and support workers are sitting on various health, crime and safeguarding bodies.

Members, who have learning disabilities and receive guidance from support workers, are also delivering training to professional workers.

These activities are in addition to the members’ ongoing campaign work on issues affecting disabled people.

Members serve on several anti-hate crime bodies, including the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s advisory group.

During the past three months, they have also delivered awareness sessions to 200 people in eight organisations about how hate crimes affect people with learning disabilities.

A People First member has been co-opted as a non-voting member of Bradford Council’s overview and scrutiny committee for health and social care. Other members attend Patient Participation Groups.

A spokesman said: “We are working closely in Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven to ensure the views of our members are heard. We have forged strong links with Airedale Hospital to ensure people with learning disabilities are supported and helped so that going into hospital is a less frightening experience.”

Members also sit on the Healthier Lives sub-group of the district’s Learning Disabilities Partnership Board.

They serve on the Safeguarding Voice Group, which helps people who receive community care services protect themselves from abuse or neglect.

A member of People First’s support staff has become a lay person on Bradford Children’s Safeguarding Board. E-mail peoplefirst@live.co.uk or call 01535 607222 to get involved with the group.

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