We’ve recently been spending a lot of time on putting together a bid to the Lottery Reaching Communities Fund to extend the Gateway to Work project. This audio blog from Bill describes how the process of doing the bid has made us research, evaluate and reflect on the work we have done so far to develop a greater understanding of the reasons for the exclusion and disadvantage experienced by learning disabled people including Gateway members and the barriers they face when trying to make positive changes in their lives, including finding work.
It starts with not being listened to, compounded by a lack of information and support about what might be possible, and a lack of recognition from those close and not so close to them of their skills and abilities, compounded by decision making often being out of their hands. Change of any kind to occur has to be negotiated with families, social workers, care, support and education providers, DWP and others, who have hold of the resources and strong opinions of their own.
The blog also highlights that Gateway members involved in the project are very aware of the disadvantage they face and have been very vocal about how they want to challenge it, make a difference and be recognised for doing so.
Our aim is to use this understanding to better help Gateway members and those who support them to make those positive changes.