PRESS RELEASE Issued: (14th May 2013)

Tackling Mate Crime: the second challenge

The Association for Real Change has today launched the second in a series of challenges for the organisation, their members and providers of services in the learning disability sector. The Real Change Challenge: Mate Crime: a challenge for providers concentrates on making providers aware of mate crime and sets a standard for services in tackling mate crime.

The Real Change Challenge launch event takes place today Learning Disability Today Exhibition at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield  and is attended by many people working in learning disability services, representatives of Sheffield City Council, and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, 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 the Association for Real Change hopes to raise awareness of the challenge and reach as many people as possible so they can ‘sign up’ to it.

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 ARC works and to demonstrate the Association for REAL CHANGE is really that – an association of change. Association for Real Change 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 and will be based on tackling pertinent issues within the learning disability sector.

The Association for Real Change will be presenting the draft version of the Mate Crime: a challenge for providers today for delegates to read and consider what they need to do to meet it. The main theme of Learning Disability Today’s exhibition is Mate Crime and Rod Landman, South West Regional Development Officer, (Project Officer Safety Net) Association for Real Change will be chairing a workshop and presenting a seminar on Mate Crime. He will be joined by Michael and Sarah; two people with learning disabilities who trained as trainers and worked on the Safety Net project in Calderdale. The Association for Real Change has been working tirelessly on raising awareness of Mate Crime through the original Safety Net project, which gained more funding in 2012 to enable people with learning disabilities to become trainers and train others to look out for mate crime, tackling mate crime, keeping safe and more.

The draft 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.

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

“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.”


Notes to editors

Key Information:

  • Association for Real Change (ARC) is a UK-wide membership organisation, which supports providers of services to people with a learning disability.
  • We provide a range of services such as high quality information, networking opportunities, publications, and Disclosure checks.
  • The Association for Real Change’s Training Services (ATS) team are able to offer learning disability service providers assistance and support to review their staff training plans and implement quality supervision and best practice relating to issues such as positive behaviour support, handling medication and advocacy.
  • The Association for Real Change is committed to promoting best practice within the learning disability sector and we work with others such as the Department of Health, Skills for Care, and Big Lottery Fund through a range of projects.
  • The Association for Real Change works in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Association for Real Change (ARC)
ARC House, Marsden Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S40 1JY. Tel: 01246 555 043 Fax: 01246 555 045 Email: Web: