14 May 2013

Mate Crime: A Challenge for Providers

Image: Real Change Challenge: Mate CrimeWe are pleased to announce that today marks the launch of the second in a series of challenges for the Association for Real Change, our members and providers of services in the learning disability sector. The Real Change Challenge – Mate Crime: A Challenge for Providers identifies the issues that people with learning disability face and what steps providers can take to address them.

The Real Change Challenge launch event took place today at the Learning Disability Today Exhibition at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield. The main theme of today’s exhibition is Mate Crime and we couldn’t miss this fantastic opportunity to launch our second Real Change Challenge. Rod Landman, South West Regional Development Officer, (Project Officer Safety Net) chaired a workshop and presented a seminar on Mate Crime and he was joined by Michael and Sarah; two people with learning disabilities who trained as trainers and worked on the Safety Net project in Calderdale. We’ve done a lot of work on Mate Crime through the original Safety Net project, which has since gained more funding to enable people with learning disabilities to become trainers and train others to look out for mate crime, what to do about mate crime, keeping safe and more.

The Learning Disability Today Exhibition in Sheffield was attended by representatives of Sheffield City Council, and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, who are also supporting the event, workers in the health and social care sector, and plenty of people with learning disabilities. By launching the second challenge at such a high profile event we hope to raise awareness of the challenge and reach as many people as possible so they can ‘sign up’ to it.

Jacqui Bell, Chief Executive of the Association for Real Change, said:

Image: Jacqueline Bell

“We are pleased to be launching the second challenge at Learning Disability Today. Raising awareness of mate crime and ensuring that people with learning disabilities are safe and confident to make the most of the same opportunities you and I have is something that is extremely important to us.

 “Friendships are a basic human need, but making good, genuine friendships is never easy and there are people out there who try to take advantage. Through the Mate Crime Real Change Challenge we’re asking the learning disability sector to step up and actively encourage the reporting of mate crime and enable the people they support to make friends safely.”

The Real Change Challenge: Mate Crime includes detailed outcome statements (or ‘I statements’), which are a precursor for learning disability providers to think about developing services to deliver these outcomes.

“Now is the time to make sure that respect, dignity, choice and control is open to everyone that providers support throughout their lives. We hope that through the Real Change Challenges we’ll be able to develop the skills of the workforce, improve the quality and diversity of services available and make a real impact on the lives of people with a learning disability.”

The Real Change Challenges’ main focus is to improve the quality of life for people with a learning disability or autism working towards ensuring equal opportunities in life. Integral to this focus is challenging the way the Association for Real Change works and to demonstrate the Association for REAL CHANGE is really that – an association of change. We will be asking the sector to challenge itself to make a change or to showcase positive changes that have already been made. The Challenges will be launched throughout 2013.

We hope you’ll be interested in finding out more about this challenge and forthcoming challenges over the next 12 months.

Additional information: