Photograph by Benjamin Film Photography
A National Lottery funded project, offering free, easy to understand information to people with a learning disability in Thanet, was recently launched by East Kent Mencap. Getting On With Learning Disabilities (GOLD), which is a four year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund, was set up to enable people with a learning disability to remain independent, become less dependent on welfare services and achieve greater control.
The £407,531 funded project operates across the whole of Thanet, targeting people who do not receive statutory funding or are moving out of the welfare system. It offers two drop-in sessions a week: Thanet Thinkers in Margate and Getting On Group in Ramsgate, which provide opportunities for people with a learning disability to share information with their peers.
In addition to drop-in sessions, the project offers one-to-one confidential support for those who either receive less than five hours support a week, live independently with no support or live with unpaid carers and receive no other support. These sessions will signpost people to information and services relating to benefits, housing, debt and budgeting, work, volunteering and training, leisure activities, community engagement and campaigning.
“With this project, we hope to prevent people falling through the net,” commented Project Worker, Helen Scott-Cooper. “GOLD will provide them with the support they deserve but do not necessarily qualify for.”