Steve attends reception to support people with learning difficulties

Steve attended the Raising Your Game reception in the Cholmondeley Room, House of Lords.

Raising Your Game is a project for young people aged between 14 and 25 with a learning disability or communication difficulty. Some have been in trouble with the police and some are at risk of getting in trouble.

Young people with a learning disability or communication difficulty are at a higher risk of offending because they are not getting the right support in life. With Raising Your Game we are helping them to get their voices heard by big organisations. We want all young people with a learning disability to get the support they need.

23% of prisoners under 18 years old have a learning disability or difficulty, and I CAN report a 78% re-offence rate among those at risk. Raising Your Game aims to support those who have offended, or are at risk of offending, to help them turn their lives around.

Raising Your Game is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and will be delivered by Mencap in partnership with I CAN and Nacro. The project launched in 2009 with six pilots in Avon and Somerset, east Kent, greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, Leeds and west Midlands.

Steve said:

"While I was at the reception  I met Tina and Alex both teenagers from West Bromwich. Tina who was 14 has been bullied at school and benefited from support from one of the projects and Alex has gained so much from the project that he would now like to volunteer to help other youngsters.

"I went at the behest of a local constituent Christine Sherlock who asked me to attend. She is respite carer for a young person who has learning difficulties and who has been in trouble with the police.

"Whilst at the reception a Development Officer for the National Appropriate Adult Network informed me that there is currently a shortage of schemes to help adults with learning difficulties who get into trouble with the police and often find themselves in court because they were not adequately represented during initial interviews and didn’t really understand what is happening.

"There is clearly a job of work to be done to support adults and young people with learning difficulties and as a former social worker I was happy to support this cause."

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