Celebrating the rich contribution that people with learning disabilities make to society
Graeme recently visited the Hope Organic Garden and SAPALD to highlight Learning Disability Week.
The event is organised every year by the learning disability charity, Mencap. It aims to improve the quality of life for individuals with learning disabilities by raising awareness about important issues, fighting stigma and discrimination, and raising funds for outreach and support programs.
HOPE is a charitable trust established in 1994 by Cedric de Voil, a local GP, who saw the benefits of gardening for people with learning disabilities. For more than 25 years, the garden has grown organically, thanks to support from the local community. HOPE continues to welcome trainees every year offering individuals support and mentoring. HOPE activities include all aspects of growing fruit and vegetables organically, from sowing to harvesting and selling to the community. Their trainees enjoy working in a safe environment supported by staff and volunteers and, circumstances permitting, they attend the garden one or two mornings per week where they work either individually or in small groups. Some trainees even have their own personal garden area.
Mr Dey visited Hope Organic Garden, where he spoke with Project Development Manager Caroline Gray and some of the Trainees about the support offered by the organisation. He then met with several Trustees of South Angus Parents of Adults with Learning Disabilities (SAPALD) for a planning session to support the charity’s expansion across Angus. SAPALD are a registered charity that was formed by a group of parents to ensure that their adults with learning disabilities are provided with suitable locally supported residential housing, local residential respite short break facilities, and social events. A positive and worthwhile session concluded with the agreement that SAPALD would continue working with both the Angus Health and Social Care Partnership, Angus Carers Centre, and other local organisations to help identify the parent carers of adults with learning disabilities, and support their introduction to the support to which they are entitled.