Written by Clare Melvin
Over the coming weeks the blog will be focusing on love, sex and relationships in the lives of people with learning disabilities, including a feature on Supported Loving, an award winning campaign to highlight the importance of good support in helping people with LD develop and maintain loving relationships, and, identify what constitutes good and poor support in relationships.
This week looks at a project in London called PerkyHQ, that is committed to promoting women, their bodies, their sexuality and their identity; the Lancashire Friends and Relationships Group’s who have suggested questions about love and relationships for CQC inspections; and Rainbow Friends, who are holding a newly formed social group in London for those with an LD who identify as, or know someone who identifies as, LGBTQ.
PerkyHQ (Head quarters) is a project co-led by a pairing of women, Ono and Holly, one with a learning disability and one without. Together they lead PERKY and have experience of working in the LD sector, the arts, community development and girls’ rights.
PERKY makes creative spaces for girls and women with learning disabilities to have conversations about womanhood, the body and sexuality. They run workshops, events and give advice to other organisations.
They are currently running a monthly workshop in London where women with learning disabilities can have a safe space to talk about their bodies, womanhood, sexuality and what it’s like to be a woman who has a learning disability.
Follow PerkyHQ on Twitter @PERKY_HQ
Rainbow Friends are a London social group for people who identify as/with LGBTQ, and Learning Disabled. They hold monthly meetings for all to come to and talk, and meet new people. You can follow them on Twitter – @LDandGayLondon – to find out when their next meeting is, or see below.
The Lancashire Friends and Relationships Group (FRG), part of the Lancashire LD Partnership Board, are a group of self advocates with learning disabilities who work to challenge professionals’ attitudes to sex and relationships. Lancashire FRG were aware that CQC inspection questions, whilst looking at relationships, did not include specific reference to sex and relationships. This means it is possible to receive an ‘outstanding’ rating, whilst at the same time neglecting an essential element of people’s lives.
Self-advocates felt that if they weren’t being listened to, perhaps providers would take note of the body responsible for their quality monitoring and regulation – the CQC. To assist, they developed a number of questions that inspectors could ask during their visits:
- Does the organisation have a relationships and sexuality policy, including an easy read version?
- Are staff trained to support people with their personal relationships needs?
- Do they have examples to demonstrate positive support for relationships?
- Do they have information about and links with sexual health services?
- What do they do about people staying over for the night?
- What do they do to encourage and support people to develop relationships?
- Do they provide training for service users about relationships and sexual health or are they able to signpost to a local organisation that does so?
Lancashire FRG were told that the issues are going to be taken on board as part of supplementary, non-compulsory, inspection questions. HAVE YOU BEEN ASKED THESE QUESTIONS? Either way Lancashire FRG want to hear from you, wherever you live or work in the country, please complete the survey and share with your organisations:
Complete the survey at – https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/LoveCQC/
LD in the News.
- When I grow up: Facilitator’s Handbook. A new resource from the Foundation for People with LD, designed to help teachers raise the aspirations and employment prospects of young people with learning disabilities. Access it here.
- Rosie Jones, a standup comedian is at Edinburgh with her debut show. She talks about surprising audiences, her sitcom and how her cerebral palsy lets her push boundaries – read more here.
- Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba wins appeal against being struck off. Court of appeal reinstates one-year suspension after death of six-year-old Jack Adcock. Read more at the Guardian here.
- Possible appeal against the High Court decision on sleep-ins. Read more at Learning Disability England.
- Social care reductions in the number of delayed transfer days. Read about the latest NHS England Figures at LD Today.
- Read the latest Fragile X Society Newsletter here.
- FutureLearn Improving Health Assessments for People with an Intellectual Disability Online Course. Opens 20th August 2018. Learn how to support people with intellectual disability in health assessments. Detecting poor health and supporting people with an intellectual disability in managing their health can be challenging for healthcare professionals. As with all FutureLearn courses it is free to take part and complete the course, however there is a charge for certification. Find out more, including who you will learn with, and sign up here.
- Sign up to the GLLDCOP free launch event! 7th November 2018 and the Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury. Come along and join the new community providing opportunities for people with learning disabilities, families, carers and professionals. Find out more and Book your place here.