Jess and Andy working on the Safe Place training presentations for Wolverhampton.
They will be visiting day services over the next few weeks to tell everyone about the scheme before the official launch on 09th March 2012.
On Friday 16th of December 2011, the Wolverhampton People's Parliament held an event in the City Council Chambers to celebrate the work that had been done since they launched their Employment White paper for people with a learning disability in the City 12 months ago.
Attended by Simon Warren, Chief Executive of Wolverhampton City Council and formally opened by the Mayor, Councillor Bert Turner, the event saw many local employment agencies and some of the City Council's Adult Services Team share what they had done to support people with learning disabilities into employment.
Representatives from the Council's Employment Teams based at Sentier, spoke about the training and employment opportunities that are available and how they have supported people into paid employment. Changing Our Lives also produced five films about people with a learning disability who had initially found paid work following this pathway.
Access 2 Business shared what they do and their success from supporting people into employment, whilst Mary Dunleavy from Job Centre Plus explained what support can be offered to employees and employers through the Access to Work programme.
At the end of the event, Simon Warren acknowledged the efforts everyone had made and discussed with Councillor Steve Evans who has supported the Parliament throughout the last year, how they can work together to identify other ways to engage people with a learning disability into paid employment.
During the first Parliament meeting, the MP's also put forward the creation of a Safe Places scheme. This is where local shops, businesses and public buildings are nominated as a 'Safe Place', or somewhere a person with a learning disability would go if they feel threatened, have been a victim of a crime or have become lost and confused.
The Red Telephone sticker is displayed on these buildings and people know they can go there for help. Everyone with a learning disability in the City will be given a card where their name and the contact details of their family or people who support them are written. They will then be supported to make contact with the people on their card. If the matter is serious, the people at the shops or businesses will support the person to contact the police.
We are currently finding ways to secure funds that will help us to set up and run this scheme in Wolverhampton. We have the support of the City of Wolverhampton Police, as well as the City Council and we hope we can start this project in the near future.
Members of Wolverhampton People's Parliament: