Dan Goodley met with local self-advocacy group Sheffield Voices to discuss ideas for research collaboration. Sheffield Voices has been operating for the last eight years as part of Disability Sheffield. They are a self-advocacy learning disability group and they work on issues that are important to them. For the last four years they have been working on issues surrounding the rise of hate crime towards people with learning disabilities and Autism and we have worked with the police, social services, the community and more recently they have been going into Sheffield secondary schools delivering an interactive workshop which focuses the children in understanding the impact of hate crime and bullying on children and adults with disabilities. They have collected hundreds of messages from this and King Edwards School are going to work with them to produce a piece of art with those messages. They are looking to work in partnership with Burton Street Foundation and Heeley City Farm Safer Places Project to roll this out to all school children in Sheffield and they are looking for funding for this piece of work. They will then have a team of about 25 people with learning disabilities that we can train to be workshop trainers.
Sheffield Voices also facilitate the Virgin Money Lounge bi monthly coffee morning where they can connect with the wider learning disability community and find out what issues that they are dealing with. The plan for this was to reach out to people who were becoming more isolated due to austerity and provide a space where they can come and socialise and have an opportunity to find out about low cost or free activities that are happening in South Yorkshire and beyond. This space has become a place where people form Rotherham and Doncaster advocacy groups also come to meet and chat to their peers. From this Doncaster council are going to support CHAD in Doncaster to set something similar up.
In the past Sheffield Voices have worked with Change from Leeds on housing projects which you can view videos here that we have made https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEUfZ0aVKoC80RIAfvTBfDw