Messages of support
We’re getting lots of encouraging messages from self-advocates, families and allies:
People First Cumbria:
We are an organisation for people with learning difficulties. We believe that everyone should have a voice and we enable people to learn about their rights. We offer peer education which gives people with learning difficulties opportunities to learn how to teach other people with learning difficulties about range of issues that they have highlighted as important. We also have peer education that enables people to share their skills and interests with their peers. Our CKFriends social network is used by People First members in Scotland to communicate with each other and maintain friendships. We want to offer the same to People First members all over the UK.
Hi there everyone. I’ve worked with people with learning disabilities on and off since 1984, as a support worker, advocate, information worker, contract manager, commissioner. Self advocacy to me is giving people with learning disabilities the right support so they can speak out, and the space to speak. It is vital movement for people with learning disabilities as it challenges people like me to make sure services are as they should be. It is even more important today because of austerity and the ongoing cuts in social care and welfare. I believe People First England will be a powerful voice in telling politicians the terrible effects of their policies on people with learning disabiliities. Really pleased to see you up and running. In all my contract and commissioning jobs, I have made sure there is space for self advocacy, I’m a big fan! So well done and good luck!
I am the chair of Healthwatch Luton, as well as a disability campaigner. I would say I’m an advocate/supporter, and passionate aboute creating the space and process that enables people to be listened to worked with and above all recognised for their knowledge and expertise. Putting my money where my mouth is as such, I aim to make sure in luton we have champions who peer review services aimed at them, aswell as other services making them responsive. so there you go. anyone in Luton give me a shout.
Thanks for opening your conversation to me! I see self advocacy as the voice of people…to support and promote their views that are unique and individual to them, a voice that supports self determination, choice and empowerment. I do not think self advocacy is the use of people’s voices to advance another persons agenda. Self advocacy, to me, is non judgemental and supportive of alliances!
Eric E-Rock Ward:
I have Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy. I feel that Self Advocacy is an individual that doesn’t let people take advantage of others as we have rights and have a right to live our lives like a non disabled individual. Non self advocacy is an individual that allows others to take advantage of them. I was a Vice President in a People First Chapter in California. Disability Rights is a very important thing that people with disabilities need to achieve their lifestyle goals.
Hello, I have Aspergers Syndrome and comorbidities are dyspraxia, attention deficit hyperactive disorder and dyscalculia. I do talks to the police and to the different care homes and the NHS and the police. The problem is many of us on the autistic spectrum needs an advocate as self advocacy is not easy as we are often in fear of people.
Gary B. Rubin:
Thanks Gary. I am a proud friend of People First and grew up immersed in the disability rights movement. I am currently a community worker fighting for a paradigm shift in “developmental services” to undo the damaging legacy of institutions and institutional thinking. I work for the de-segregation of our communities and I am supporting people to speak up and collaborate together on issues that matter to them – bullying, health care, employment, accessing community, inclusive education, focusing on strengths and much more.
Thanks Gary, I have attended a seminar you were part of for Wiltshire council a few years ago and you were very inspiring. I work with adults with learning disabilities and always advise and signpost to advocacy groups where there is a need. Self Advocacy is so important in empowering those who may not had had the opportunity in the last, to direct their lives in a way which is meaningful for them and enables choice and control. I look forward to hearing more about your work and advice
Enormous congratulations re People First England Gary, an amazing achievement and it’s to your credit that you’ve fought so hard to achieve this. All Wales People First members would love to hear about this, would you be happy to write an article for out newsletter about the journey and the details of establishing it?
All Wales People First:
Amazing news that People First England is now established. This will make establishing People First UK a much easier process and can only be positive news for everyone connected to People First. I offer my congratulations to Gary Bourlet and everyone involved.
The Q-Kit @The_Q_Kit:
Great stuff let us know if we can help in anyway
Simple Stuff Works @SimpleStuffWrks:
Carl spaul @carl_spaul:
Dave Hughes @EasyReadDave:
People First Cumbria @Peoplefirst1:
martin routledge @mroutled:
Pesky People @peskypeople:
Michelle maher @mmaher:
That looks great, well done,
We have had people first here in california for a while.Ii was part of another committee that was bigger and better funded than people first here, I hope people first uk is a smashing success Gary, and if you guys need some pointers I’ll be readily available.
Nina Hinton @PureTransitions:
Scott Durairaj @ScottDuraira:
Sam Clark @smclrk:
1stEnable Ltd @1stEnableInfo:
Tracey McCillen @traceymccillen:
Ali Ameri @ali_aameri:
Wishing you success
Valerie Houghton @HoughtonVal:
Sarah bartlett @RocknRollRNLD:
Really worrying to find People First in Liverpool unable to carry on and other groups like Bath and NE Somerset also folded. We should track Local Authorities (LAs) cutting back on funding self advocacy when it’s the most important time to have a voice. Maybe use this page to say what’s happening to funding, share ideas to fund and also speak out strongly locally and nationally… also share where LAs are keeping the funding going? Lancashire has been funding local groups and is now helping them to join up across lancashire into a CIC led by people with learning disabilities – called SAIL – Self Advocacy In Lancashire.
Ewart Man Ufc Whyte:
Thank You Gary Bourlet. My name is Aaron Medel and I live in Merced California. I have a hearing disability. I appreciate the opportunity to have a platform like this group to be able to voice my concerns about my disability related issues. A short time ago, I went to the California Department of Rehabilitation ( an organization serving people with disabilities) for assistance. Not long after that I noticed the Client Assistance Program ( an in-house advocacy program) was unresponsive in terms of advocating for my rights guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. My response has been to, ask for help from other advocacy organizations to back me up and call for reform. US state departments of rehabilitation are not truly independent from the advocacy programs as required by law, constituting a conflict of interest, that has a chilling effect on the rights of people with disabilities.