Community inclusion - being part of your neighbourhood

People with learning disabilities and autistic people can be part of their community in different ways.

This can mean having a job, volunteering, doing activities in the local area, and being part of their neighbourhood.

Find opportunities in Surrey and learn how you can be active in your community:

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Opportunities

The Care Act says that adult social care services should focus on your skills and abilities when deciding how to support you. This is called a strengths-based approach.

  • Focusing on your strengths - helping you use your skills and things you are good at. Not just focusing on the things you need help with.
  • Planning the life you want to have - helping you to think about what you really want to do, and how you can use your skills.
  • Friends and family support - this is about you, your friends and family all supporting each other. Not only relying on support from paid staff.
  • Choice and independence - helping you make your own choices, do more things for yourself, learn new skills, and having more control.
  • Learning to solve problems - helping you to manage when things might be difficult, and helping you to learn to sort out problems yourself.
  • Thinking about your wellbeing - as well as staying healthy, this is about building your confidence, and living a life that makes you happy.
  • Being involved in your community - using local shops, libraries and sports centres. Making relationships with people in your community, and using your skills to help others.

Your social work team, and other people who support you will use this strengths-based approach.


Voting

People with a learning disability and autistic people have an equal right to vote. It is very important that everyone who can vote, does vote. This is the best way for most people to have a say in how the country is run.

My Vote My Voice is a campaign that encourages people with a learning disability and autistic people to use their vote.

Their easy read information includes:

  • How to register to vote
  • Vote ID and how to apply for the Voter ID Certificate
  • How to register for postal voting
  • How to vote by proxy
  • Practice ballot paper
  • Voting passport
  • Information about political parties

There is also information about how to support people to engage in politics and support them to vote.

UK Parliament week (18 to 24 November 2024) also has some great easy read resources including:

  • How vote in a general election
  • How to visit UK Parliament
  • How to tell UK Parliament what you think
  • How laws are made

We have developed an easy read poster about How to Vote in person (PDF).


Volunteering

Volunteering is a good way to learn new skills and use your time to help other people. Some people volunteer to get experience which they can use to find a job.

Volunteering can be for just a few hours every month, or it can be more such as volunteering for a few days every week.

We have a list of volunteering websites in Surrey.

You can find out what support may be available to help you to get a job on our Support to live independently web page.


Exercise and leisure

Doing sport and activities you enjoy is important for staying healthy and making friends.

You can use Connect to Support Surrey to search for sport and exercise groups in Surrey.

Active Surrey has information about doing exercise if you have a disability and/or health condition.


Surrey Adult Learning

Calum and Dom explain what they like about going to Surrey Adult Learning.


Surrey Adult Learning offers courses for adults with learning disabilities the opportunity to develop independent living skills in a collaborative and creative environment.

Adult learning centres in Camberley, Farnham, Guildford, Molesey, Sunbury and Woking offer a wide range of courses from cookery and dance to photography and yoga.

You can find out more about Supported Learning courses by contacting the Supported Learning Team:

As well as supported learning courses, Surrey Adult Learning offer a huge range of courses that are open to all.


Surrey outdoor learning and development

Surrey Outdoor Learning and Development (SOLD) offer outdoor adventures and learning experiences at their centres in Surrey.

They also have an accessible canal boat moored in Guildford. The Angel Blue is a wide-beam craft and was purpose-built to enable wheelchair users to undertake voyages on the canal ways. The boat is boarded via ramp and lift access and the specially widened passageway offers easy access to all parts of the craft. Take a virtual tour of Angel Blue facilities.

To get in touch, please contact: ben.rayner@surreycc.gov.uk

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