A NEW £100,000 fund to support people with learning disabilities from ethnic minority backgrounds has been launched today.
ENABLE Scotland, the country’s largest member-led charity, received the funding from Barclays to strengthen engagement and support to under-represented adults in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Powered by a membership and supporter network of 12,000 people across the country, ENABLE Scotland also directly supports 6,000 people to live independently across Scotland.
Funding will now go directly to working with 120 adults with learning disabilities, who identify as being from multiple ethnicities and their families, to reduce their isolation by building friendships and inclusive peer networks, challenging personal inequalities, and empowering them to better access their rights in society.
Delivering its commitment to increasing its participation within ethnic minority communities, ENABLE Scotland is to recruit Community Connectors, fluent in community languages, to further strengthen its reach and to build strong relationships within these populations.
ENABLE Group CEO Theresa Shearer said: “This is a phenomenal investment in the work we are doing across Scotland and will allow us to serve more people who have learning disabilities within our multicultural society.
“As a member-led organisation, we want to represent, campaign and advocate with and for people who have learning disabilities within our society, and to reach more people in Scotland who need support to live the lives they choose.
“We are delighted to receive a donation of £100,000 from Barclays to enable us to continue to strengthen our work, reach new communities, and to be a diverse and inclusive member-led organisation which reflects the learning disability community of our society.”
The community champion approach has been praised by Barclays as the charity strives to better understand barriers to participation of those who have a learning disability from across all sections of society.
It is intended that lessons learned through this work will allow ENABLE Scotland to create training and resources to be shared at a local and national level to provide support networks for people who have a learning disability, and their families.
Barclay’s 100×100 Programme, as part of its wider £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package, is a fund set up to meet the needs of communities as they continue to deal with and, emerge from, the pandemic.
Koral Anderson, Barclays Scotland Head, said: “With the long-term impacts of the crisis still being felt, Barclays continues to play a positive role in society. By working with charities like ENABLE Scotland which best understands the needs of their communities in Scotland, we can ensure help is getting right into the heart of society. We hope that by partnering with incredible local charities, we can continue to help people in need as they emerge from the crisis.”
Director of ENABLE Scotland, Jan Savage, added: “This substantial investment will allow us to connect further with multicultural communities and support those with learning disabilities and their families who may not have engaged with ENABLE Scotland previously. We believe this work is long overdue and, as Scotland’s largest member-led charity, we want to be truly reflective of our members and our society and we continuously strive to do better for those we serve.
“We want to empower all within our society to know their rights, access their rights, and remove any barriers they may have to ensure that we build an equal society for every person who has a learning disability.”
Recruitment for Community Connectors will begin in the New Year and the charity is keen to hear from communities in Edinburgh and Glasgow that wish to find out more information.