Co-production with Surrey County Council
People who work and are supported by Surrey Choices’ services have been helping to co-chair meetings with Surrey County Council.
Surrey Choices Positive Choices Co-ordinator, Dexter James who has a learning disability, recently co-chaired The Surrey Learning Disability Partnership Board with Surrey County Council. These meetings are for disabled and autistic people, their families, professionals, and voluntary organisations from across Surrey. They work together so people can have a voice, be safe, informed, healthy, and confident to be part of their community.
Following the meeting Dexter commented:
“I really enjoyed attending the meeting and I saw some people I have not seen in a while. Amanda Aldridge, Engagement and Partnership Officer in Surrey County Council’s Adult Social Care, asked me to help her present a presentation about the meeting at the recent Learning Disability Partnership board meeting which I also really enjoyed. Overall, it was very positive – an enjoyable experience.”
Alongside Partnership Board meetings there are Local Valuing People Group meetings.
These meetings provide a place for disabled and autistic people, family Carers, social care providers, and health workers to come together and discuss local issues in their community.
Carinder, who accesses a community hub in Walton-on-Thames co-chaired the Northwest Valuing People Group meeting – he met with Amanda Aldridge remotely before the meeting to plan his role and felt the meeting went really well.
“Being a co-chair is important – it helps you focus and help other people when they need support at the meeting. I helped people to take turns to talk and to keep the meeting on track. It was perfect!”
It is important for disabled people to be a part of these meetings so that their voices can be heard, for them to talk about local issues in their communities and how they can make a difference to these. They then can share the learning with their friends and other people. There are plans for people using Surrey Choices to help co-chair more Local Valuing People Group meetings in future. It was a huge part of their own development and learning as well as having their voices heard.
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