Coffee morning in Sleaford aids disability awareness

Experts by Experience - Jo Minchin, Amy Hodgson and Lorraine Abbott at their coffee morning in aid of Mencap. EMN-181112-141537001
Experts by Experience - Jo Minchin, Amy Hodgson and Lorraine Abbott at their coffee morning in aid of Mencap. EMN-181112-141537001

A coffee morning organised by local disabled people has raised funds and awareness for Mencap, a charity helping people with learning disabilities throughout the UK.

Amy Hodgson planned the event last week at the South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s offices at Bridge House in Sleaford.

Wheelchair bound Amy, is an Expert By Experience, who adds perspective as a service user, to bodies reviewing disability services and policies within the county.

Amy said: “I wanted to give something back by helping those less fortunate.”

She was joined by fellow Experts By Experience Lorraine Abbott, who also has learning disabilities, and Jo Minchin, who is autistic. All three were on hand to offer information about themselves and their roles. Colleagues donated the food and drink or made donations for Mencap.

The three experts are part of the Transforming Care Programme, to bring about improvements and safeguards to disability services which followed the abuses uncovered in the Winterbourne Review.

Lorraine said: “We go into GP surgeries to make sure people with disabilities are treated properly and visit mental health units to do care and treatment reviews. I have had experience of slipping through the net in the past and became very ill.”

Jo said she has involvement on national advisory bodies regarding autism and offers advice to employers. “Autism is a way of being - it is not an illness,” she said.