This year’s Learning Disability Week (18 – 24 June 2012) was very special to us at ARC because the topic for 2012 was hate and mate crime and we’ve been campaigning against mate crime for over three years with our project Safety Net.

What is Mate Crime?

Many people with learning disabilities have so-called friends who go on to abuse them. This has led to people losing their independence, financial, physical and sexual abuse, exploitation and even murder. The Safety Net project created awareness of these topics for people with a learning disability, carers, professionals and the wider community. The Safety Net Project workers achieved this by delivering Friend or Fake training, producing an Easy Read Guidance Booklet and a Friend or Fake Trainer’s CD on hate and mate crime. During Learning Disability Week last year they also marched to take a stand against hate and mate crime.

Image: Safety Net PCC PetitionWhat did ARC do this Learning Disability Week?

This year, Safety Net Project Officer, Rod Landman, and volunteers Patrick and Will staffed a stand in Green Lanes Shopping Centre, North Devon on Tuesday 19 June to collect signatures for a petition aimed at PCC candidates. By lunchtime the team already had over 400 signatures which comfortably beat their target! By the end of the day they had collected over 600 signatures.

Yvonne Furze, ARC’s Membership and Information Manager met with Cally Ward, and Lesley Barcham from BILD to discuss a forthcoming report from ARC about the current state of services for older people who have a learning disability, and to explore how we can work with BILD on the project they are about to undertake on this topic.

ARC’s Here To Stay project delivered a presentation at the Facts Beyond Figures Communi-care for Migrants conference (21-23 June) at the Bocconi University, Milan, run by the European Public Health Authority. This conference aimed to “compare scientific results and foster best practices to counteract possible disadvantages of migrants and foreign citizens as to their health conditions and access to health services.” Dr Olga Kozlowska made the presentation on behalf of the project.


Christine Rose and Janet Fairley delivered an Active Support Introduction Day in Leicester and facilitated a presentation and discussion on Active Support in Scotland.

Gill Shaw, ARC Training Services Qualifications and Quality Assurance Co-ordinator, delivered First Steps training at Camphill, The Croft Community in Malton, North Yorkshire. The day went extremely well and Gill received positive feedback about the training. The training at Camphill in Malton is continuing for the next few weeks.

Shirley Potter and James Churchill went on a trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia, where they delivered the Getting the Basics Right training.

Image: ARC NI Sponsored WalkIn Northern Ireland:

ARC’s new CEO, Jacqueline Bell, joined some of the ARC NI team on a sponsored walk around Stormont in Northern Ireland to raise money for the Telling it Like It Is Muckamore project.

ARC Northern Ireland launched their latest resource – the Lost For Words Toolkit and DVD.

Mariead Magill and the ARC NI team celebrated the first year of the Get A Life Project.

In Milan:

Here to Stay, a research project run by ARC and the University of Wolverhampton, was represented at the international conference on Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health in Europe organised by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and the University Bocconi and hosted in Milan from 21 to 23 June 2012. The conference motto was ‘Facts Beyond Figures’ to emphasise that there are always human beings, beyond the statistical data on migration, that need to be cared for.

Out of 160 presentations about the health status of migrants in the European countries only ours reflected on the status of migrants with learning disabilities. The project team discussed whether the registers of people with learning disabilities held in England mirror the real number of migrants with learning disabilities and whether these migrants access all the services they need.

And in the Chesterfield Office…

We kept you updated on the events of the week via ARC’s Facebook page and Twitter Account. We hope you enjoyed our Tweets! The next big Tweet-a-thon from us will be the 2012 Paralympics.

We want to hear all about what you got up to for Learning Disability week 2012 so let us know by email or you can Tweet us, or call 01246 555 043.