About 14,715 people over the age of 18 in Nottinghamshire have a learning disability. By 2030 this figure is expected to rise to 17,000.
We currently reach about 200 people with learning disabilities each week. We have to raise £100,000 a year just to maintain our current level of services. With more support we could reach so many more people, and do the kind of work needed to enable some of society’s most vulnerable people to get the lives they really want.
Our clients range in age from 18 – 60 years. Many have physical disabilities and/or underlying health conditions and about half have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder or have autistic traits. A high proportion are at risk of poor health outcomes:
“People with learning disabilities die younger and have poorer health than the general population…These differences are, to some extent, avoidable and, as such, represent health inequalities.” (Nottinghamshire County Council Joint Strategic Needs Assessment refresh report 2013)
We listen to adults with learning disabilities and work with them, their families, communities and other professionals to find ways to support people to get the life they want, a life where they can:
- have friends and feel less lonely
- communicate more confidently
- keep learning
- feel a sense of purpose
- feel more connected to their community and the wider world
- feel safer
- know how to manage their money better and avoid financial exploitation
- have more fun
People often assume that adults with learning disabilities are ‘looked after’ by the state. It is true that some of our services are partly sustained by income from our clients’ personal budgets (payments allocated by the local authority). But this just covers a small proportion of our costs.