Community Waltham Forest hosted an initial meeting of a Learning Disabilities and Autism Reference Group for Waltham Forest at The Limes on 27th November. It was a meeting full of rich information sharing and initial planning for improving partnership working and support in future.
Some background to the meeting is here.
The next meeting will be on 23rd January 2019.
Information sharing and discussions took place around key issues and support needs for people (young and old) with learning disabilities and autism in the borough, and how future joint working between the public sector, the community sector, parents and carers, and people with learning disabilities and autism might lead to better use of public sector resources and new evidence and potential for additional funded projects to meet priorities.
Discussions took place around support in schools, support and information for parents and carers, meaningful activities for adults, transitions, and mental health support, amongst other things. Our council representative will be getting back to the group on a number of issues, and agreed to draft some terms of reference for the group. We discussed that in future, the group could very usefully - if they were willing - contribute to council and health strategies, reviews and commissioning around learning disabilities and autism. The great value (as well as limitation) of peer support for parents and carers, including the amazing support that Waltham Forest Parents Forum and AHearts provide, were repeatedly communicated.
The group agreed to meet again, and invite others, in early 2019, with a focus at the next meeting on mapping current service provision - pooling the knowledge of all present - together with a conversation about gaps that seem to exist. We will then seek to see whether there are any services that fill the identified gaps, or if not to prioritise some for public sector action or community sector fundraising, with the support of Community Waltham Forest.
Thank you very much indeed to everyone who came, and others who registered interest in being involved in future.
If you would like to be added to the contact list for this group, please email us.