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Alex and Adam are Mirus Ambassadors

Mencap’s Learning Disability Week campaign aims to challenge the barriers faced by people with learning disabilities. This year’s theme ‘Do you see me?’ focuses on the importance of people with a learning disability being seen, heard, and valued.

 

In line with this theme, Alex and Adam, who receive support from Mirus, have been dedicated advocates for others as Mirus Representatives. They are committed to ensuring people’s voices are heard and their rights are championed.

Adam and Alex presented at the Welsh Government’s Learning Disability: Talk To Us events

 

As part of their voluntary roles, they presented at the Welsh Government’s Learning Disability: Talk To Us events in November 2023. Alex and Adam’s contributions were essential in helping the Welsh Government understand what truly matters to people with learning disabilities, enabling them to make changes in the future.

 

Due to the impact positive impact of their voluntary work, Alex and Adam have been selected to join a pilot scheme as paid Mirus Ambassadors. We announced this initiative at Adfest, an All Wales People First conference, with a short film showcasing Alex and Adam’s activities as Mirus Ambassadors. You can watch the film at the end of this article.

 

Feedback we have collected from the people we support shows that finding paid employment is a common goal, a priority shared by both Alex and Adam. Mencap report that only 26.7% of people with Learning Disabilities are employed, yet 86% of those who are unemployed want a paid job.

 

Alex and Adam’s new paid roles will involve sharing their ideas and experiences at events, through videos and in meetings, to ensure representation in decisions affecting the people supported by Mirus. Additionally, they will choose individual projects that they are interested in to get involved with.

 

Kirsty Davies-Warner, Mirus Chief Executive said:

“We are so proud of this work with Adam and Alex. It is so important that the voices of people we support are at the heart of Mirus – influencing what we do and our decision making.”

 

Rachel Stinchcombe, Co-production Lead, and their manager, highlighted the significance of their contributions:

“Having Alex and Adam as Ambassadors is so important because they have lived experience, and it is vitally important that they speak up and be the voice for people with learning disabilities.

“It is a very positive experience for everybody, not just for them, but for everyone who has the joy of working with them.”

Alex is encouraging people to vote in the UK General Election

 

Alex and Adam are already involved in projects that interest them. Alex, passionate about voting and everyone having a say in decisions that affect their lives, is encouraging people with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health conditions to vote in the 2024 General Election.

 

Alex shared his enthusiasm:

“I have been doing the job for about two months now, and I really enjoy it. Elections are something that I feel passionate about, and I have been working with Erin.”

 

Erin, Electoral Services Officer for the City of Cardiff Council, praised Alex’s contributions:

“I have been working with Alex, and he has been making a lot of videos for us. He has also been going to events and helping raise awareness to vote.”

 

Adam is developing and supporting the delivery of autism training

 

Adam has already been involved with promoting Autism Acceptance Week, and is now working to develop and support the delivery of autism awareness training for Mirus staff.

Adam said:

“I myself am an autistic person, and I have had many experiences in training to help people have a voice and make a big difference.”

 

Claire Dunkerton, Head of Practice and Culture, commended Adam’s impact:

“Adam is only going to enhance the training we provide. He is going to have a powerful voice in the training as he can talk about things from firsthand experience.

“Adam talking about autism and what it means to him is going to leave staff with a powerful, lasting impression.”

 

The Mirus Ambassador role is currently a pilot scheme, and we are optimistic about its success. Our goal is to employ more people with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health conditions, and our vision is to ensure their representation throughout Mirus, including on our Board of Trustees.

 

Watch the Mirus Ambassadors video below:

 

For more information and media enquiries, contact:    

annikal@mirus-wales.org.uk    

tallulah.suleman@mirus-wales.org.uk   

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