Plaid Cymru’s North Wales MS Llyr Gruffydd has thanked a leading charity for their work with the disabled, including a family member who was resident in a Leonard Cheshire Home.
Disabled people from across Wrexham and Flintshire were joined by politicians, friends and families for a celebratory ‘My Voice, My Choice’ showcase event, run by leading disability charity Leonard Cheshire. Politicians in attendance included Ken Skates MS who gave a keynote speech on social inclusion, with Sam Rowlands MS and Llyr Gruffydd MS also participating in a lively question-and-answer session on campaigning and advocacy.
Participants and politicians were joined by the Mayor of Wrexham along with Welsh organisations and charities, such as Young Carers, Hft and Sign-Sight-Sound. Participants raised awareness of the day-to-day issues they face, discussing social inclusion, accessibility and mental health.
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales MS, said: “I’ve seen at first hand the excellent work done by the Leonard Cheshire home in Dolywern, which cared for a family member for a number of years. I know how hard the staff work to ensure the best possible care and inclusion for people and the My Voice, My Choice programme is a great example of that.”
Lauren, a My Voice, My Choice participant, said: “I was really pleased to get my certificate and talk to the Senedd Members about the programme and the issues which affect disabled people in the local community”.
Some participants also gave presentations about what they had learnt throughout the My Voice, My Choice programme. Alicia Gough spoke about her book ‘The Hand that tells the Story: Living with my Disability’, while other attendees did a live art demonstration and poetry reading. Residents from Dolywern care home finished by engaging in a group performance.
Alicia Gough said: “It has been great being part of the My Voice, My Choice programme, it’s so important that disabled voices are being heard in the corridors of power and I’m really grateful that the Senedd Members and Mayor joined us to celebrate.”
To finish the celebration event, Louisa Bottomley from The Flamingo Lounge put on an inclusive disco, where participants also had a go on the karaoke.
The showcase came as part of the National Lottery Community Fund ‘My Voice, My Choice’ project, which has also seen Leonard Cheshire run a series of successful workshops in Wrexham, Flintshire, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Leonard Cheshire Director for Policy Gemma Hope said: “Disabled peoples voice so often go unheard what the My Voice, My Choice’ programme does is enable groups of disabled people to drive community change, by providing them with campaigning and advocacy skills. It’s wonderful to work with the National Lottery Community Fund to deliver this project across Wales and look forward to continuing to do so in 10 more locations over the next two years.”
The next step for Wrexham and Flintshire is for Leonard Cheshire to help set up a citizen panel, which will campaign on the important topics raised throughout the My Voice, My Choice programme. An information session giving more information on the Citizen Panel and how you can get involved will be held on the evening of 20th October 2022 from 6pm to 7.30pm. For more detailed information on how you can join please contact Lorna Wilcox-Jones at [email protected]