Knowsley Disability Concern (KDC) launched The BIG Pathway project in December 2016.
The BIG Pathway is a programme of learning and development activities for adults with learning disabilities delivered in short sessions in seven community settings across Knowsley.
The project aimed to support 30 participants but in actual fact, 47 people completed the programme successfully. These people are some of the most vulnerable in our community, typically with zero or low achievement levels in basic education, who generally have a negative self-image and no aspirations for the future. Learning plans are tailored to the intellectual abilities of individuals and groups progress at a pace that suits them. The average age of the participants was 36.
All participants have already reported that their self-confidence and self-esteem has been boosted. Many have been able to talk more openly about what they want for their future and how their care and support should be arranged.
One gentleman said he has stopped apologising all the time to his care staff and another is being helped to move out of supported accommodation to live independently in his own flat.
Many have completed up to Stage 4 Maths and English. The programme enables people to identify their skills and what they could offer to the community and 18 participants have moved into new volunteering roles.
Six are working together towards securing paid jobs with ongoing support from the project facilitator to write CVs, find suitable vacancies, register and apply for jobs and learn interview techniques.
The programme has helped people to make new friends and get information about other community groups that they can join as well as be better at funding the services they need. As a result of The BIG Pathway, we are excited to report that a small group of people with learning disabilities are now looking to set up a small social enterprise aimed at providing training workshops for health and social care staff in producing accessible ‘Easy Read’ information.
Certificates will be awarded and each group is celebrating by having a ‘graduation’ party in October.
We have 41 people on a waiting list for the next programme, funding for which KDC hopes to secure through grant aid, community fundraising and via other paid-for services.