What kind of a future?

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What Kind of a Future? was an action-based project focusing on innovative approaches to enhance social inclusion for young people with Down’s syndrome after school and college.

It was funded by a legacy to the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, to improve the lives of people with Down’s syndrome. There were two phases of the project which ran from 2007 to 2009, which resulted in a number of outcomes.

Outcomes

"We gained lots of information from them about things we had no idea about - Direct Payments for one! Without the workshop, we certainly wouldn't be in the fortunate situation of Catherine having a 'buddy'."

The quote above is from a parent who did not know what a direct payment was until attending the workshops. By linking local organisations and professionals with the young people and their families via Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project, some positive outcomes were achieved.

Other outcomes included:

  • three young people started work on their person centred plans
  • one young woman started a paper round whilst at college
  • one young woman began paid work in a day centre for older people
  • one person decided they felt confident enough to go out on their own with friends
  • another has expressed the need to move out of home
  • two friends planned to go on a short holiday together along with their sisters for support
  • one young man said he no longer needs an escort in his taxi when he went to the day centre
  • from our experiences of running those workshops we have developed another booklet called Prepared for the Future?. This contains more in-depth information to prepare families when a young person with a learning disability is leaving school or college
  • we have also created a workbook for young people called My Kind of a Future. It is broken into several sections to help young people plan for their own future and decide what's important to them.

Sections include:

  • person centred planning
  • looking after your health
  • thinking about work
  • travel
  • money
  • moving into my own home.

Phase one

Finding out what enabled young people to lead full and active lives after full-time education. This was accompanied by writing an easy read publication, promoting the findings for young people and their families.

Phase two

Running a series of workshops for young people, their families and friends in three different areas to support them to make plans and bring changes to their lives.

More information

For more information on this project or social inclusion for people with Down's Syndrome in general, please contact us.

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