It is estimated that there are over 2,000 adults living in Somerset with moderate to severe learning disabilities, and this number is growing. Around half also have autism [Source: Somerset Intelligence, 2014]. However, with the right support, adults with learning disabilities can live a full life in their community. This often involves making spaces and services more accessible, but it also involves putting adults with learning disabilities first, so they can make their own choices, challenge decisions, and get what they need and have a right to.
The Discovery Community Fund aims to help achieve this and more by supporting improvements to the health and independence of adults with learning disabilities and autism right across the county of Somerset.
Applications to the Discovery Community Fund should be made to Somerset Community Foundation, which is managing the distribution of up to £200,000 of funding.
The fund is the result of a ground-breaking partnership between Somerset County Council and local learning disability support provider Discovery. Their Managing Director, Luke Joy-Smith, goes on to say: “Perhaps with funding you could train healthcare professionals in how to make reasonable adjustments. Perhaps a lump sum could provide Changing Places bathroom facilities in your shop, café or community venue. Perhaps funding could help you launch a community taxi social enterprise. Perhaps hoists or sensory spaces would make your disability friendly holiday accommodation truly inclusive. Perhaps with funding, you could develop a network of Safer Places in towns across Somerset.
“If you have a vision that will improve the health and independence of people with learning disabilities and autism in Somerset, Discovery, Somerset County Council and Somerset Community Foundation want to hear from you.”
Director of Adult Social Services at Somerset County Council, Stephen Chandler, added: “This fund is part of the original vision for re-imagining learning disability provision in Somerset. Launching it with Discovery today is the result of a great deal of hard work and it’s very pleasing to reach this milestone.”
The first window for applications lasts from Wednesday 9 January to Friday 22 February. To find out more, visit: www.somersetcf.org.uk/discovery or call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949.