Learning Disability News
e Marketplace Launch
Behind the scenes eMarketplace testing is over – as of today, Wednesday 3 October Hertfordshire County Council has started testing its eMarketplace website in the real world, with people able to go online and choose their own support and care services.
Hertfordshire eMarketplace is designed so that people can buy health and social care support and equipment from all kinds of organisations in one place - like Amazon or eBay.
If you, or someone you care for or support meet the criteria as below, and would like to access services online and help test the eMarketplace, please contact the eMarketplace team on 01438 845232 or email email@example.com
While the testing period is for people who can use their own money or Direct Payments to buy home care support or equipment, the project will be extended over time to include people who meet the council’s criteria of eligible care needs and can use their personal budgets to buy the care and support they require.
Becoming an Employer and Managing a Budget – A Practical Workshop
· Have you been offered direct payments to buy your own services, but were not sure what extra responsibilities that would entail?
· Would it be easier to employ a personal assistant for the person you care for, but you are worried about all the extra things that go with employing someone?
· Have you heard about Individual Budgets but haven’t had the detail explained to you?
Then one of these workshops may answer all your questions.
Carers In Hertfordshire have teamed up with Leonard Cheshire and the Carers Trust to provide a one-off workshop to give information about what it entails to become an employer of personal assistants, what the responsibilities are, and where to find support to meet those responsibilities. The workshop will also run through the practicalities of the forms and records that you have to keep if you have a direct payment or budget from Herts County Council. And there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions.
The workshop will be repeated in three locations around the county so hopefully one will be suitable for you if you are interested in the subject. They are:
Monday 22 October 2012 10.00 until 1.00 at Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford
Monday 12 November 2012 10.00 until 1.00 at Stanborough Centre, North Watford
Monday 19 November 2012 10.00 until 1.00 at Birchwood Leisure Centre, Hatfield
A light lunch will be served at the end of each workshop for all attendees.
In order to book onto one of these workshops go to our website at www.carersinherts.org.uk click on events and on the date of the event you would like to attend.
Alternatively e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know which workshop you would like to register for.
Or phone 01992 586969 to book.
Have your say
Three Rivers District Council Launches Benefits Consultation
The consultation will run from the 17th September to the 14th October 2012.
This could affect you and your council tax.
From April 2013, the Government intends to abolish Council Tax Benefit, which is paid to low-income residents to help towards the cost of Council Tax. Every council will have to replace this with a new local scheme called Council Tax Support.
The Government is giving councils less money to pay for the new scheme. As a result, Three Rivers District Council has to save at least £600,000.
Pensioners who claim Council Tax Benefit have a guarantee that they will not be affected by these changes.
The Council wants to know residents' views about the different options for finding the savings. There will be a telephone survey and residents can also give their views through the Three Rivers Council website. Please don't miss your chance to have your say.
A council spokesperson said: "The changes may mean that some people who currently don't pay any council tax will, from April 2013, have to pay at least part of the cost. The options available to the council are very limited if we are to continue to maintain all of our current services".
If you need support to do the survey please contact Advice and Information and they will help you.
Please take part in a Mencap survey
Mencap is in the process of planning its work for years to come, and they really need to hear the voices of people with learning disabilities and families. If you can spare ten minutes we would be really grateful if you could take the time to complete the 'My Life' consultation surveys...
On the Mencap website they have accessible and families versions of My Life consultation surveys. Please click here to take part.
Herts Butterfly Group
A new group for people who are transgender with a learning disability living in Hertfordshire is taking place in August. To find out more click here.
HCC Joint Commissioning Team Public Meetings
The HCC Joint Commissioning Team are holding quarterly public meetings to enable you to express your views on services provided for people with Adult, Child and Adolescent Mental Health illness, Substance Misuse, Dementia and Learning Disabilities . To find out more about all meetings taking place, click here. To find out about the meeting, specific to Learning Disabilities click here.
Calling all Dads
Net Buddy has launched a new forum for dads to talk about the issues directly affecting them. Dads Talk is a place for dads and other male carers to meet up, exchange ideas & views, and offer support. They already have a few dads introduce themselves, but would love to hear from more of you, so please drop in and say hello.
Please be careful when using your computer
Recently we have had reports of two scams (tricks) in which people with a learning disability have been targeted.
In the first a computer was hacked (broken into) and a message sent to all contacts stating that the person with a learning disability needed a loan to return from overseas following an incident.
In the second a person with a learning disability was sent an email inviting him to participate in a competition. Unfortunately his personal details, including mobile phone number were passed on and he has been charged over £100 for text messages to the number supplied.
If you do get an email that you are not sure of, do not open it.
Expert joins Netbuddy Forum
Gina Skourti, a Behavioural Support Practitioner working with adults with learning disabilities, autism and challenging behaviours in the NHS, is joining the Netbuddy Forum.
Gina is happy to answer your questions about challenging behaviour, and offer suggestions for creating positive behaviour support strategies.
LD Transgender group
Click on the link below to find out more about this new group.
The National Autistic Society Youth Group
The National Autistic Society youth group is for young people aged 13-17 who has Asperger's Syndrome or High Functioning Autism. It takes place on Thursday evenings between 4pm and 6pm. For more information click on the link below.
This new service will offer people for the first time a single route into the vast range of information and support offered by a wide range of organisations via:
- 1 telephone number: 0300 123 4044
- 1 email address: email@example.com
- 1 web address: www.hertsdirect.org/hertshelp
As many of you already know HCC recently appointed Herts-based national charity POhWER to run the HertsHelp Intake Service and to develop the HertsHelp Network. The Team at POhWER will be working hard alongside the Network to make sure people get the help they need as quickly and simply as possible – with a focus on the areas outlined below:
- Staying healthy and well
- Feeling safe in your home and community
- Learning, training and staying in work
- Keeping active
- Help with money worries
- Help to get out and about
- Community groups
- Relationships and families
- Emotional support
- Putting something back (giving time / volunteering)
HertsHelp will beopen for business from Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm. 9am until 7pm on Thursdays. Please inform service users and carers about the service available from HertsHelp.
For more information please contact Shazia Butt or Andy Nazer firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Or Fiona Mcarthur who is the project manager for HertsHelp at POhWER firstname.lastname@example.org
Ten Top Tips for Families and Carers
Click on the link below to see the Ten Top Tips for families carers on ensuring good support and services for adults with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour is described as challenging.
The Joint Commissioning Team would like to know what you think and feel about the issues that affect people who have learning disabilities to take to the Strategic Commissioning Group. Click on the link below to find out more information.
Watford Quick Reads Book Club
Do you, or someone you know, need encouragement to read more or to develop reading and or discussion skills? Come along to join the book club. Watford Quick Reads Book Club takes place in Watford Central Library. The book club is free and all adults are welcome to come along. Click on the link to find out when the next meeting is.
Challenging Behaviour: a guide for family carers on getting the right support
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation is delighted to announce that three new 'at a glance' guides aimed at family carers supporting people whose behaviour is described as challenging are now available. There are separate guides for adults, teenager and children. Click on the links to access the guides.
Need A Holiday?
If you are planning a holiday this year, take a look at Netbuddy's new Holiday info pack, which is full of useful tips and information on holidays for people with learning disabilities, both in the UK and abroad. Click on the link for more information.
Purple Folder Road Show
Do you want to know more about the Purple Folder? The Health Champions present the Purple Folder Road show, which will give you all the information you need. Click on the link to find out more.
Proposed change to Disabiltiy Living Allowance
Click here for the government's response to the consultation on proposals to replace the Disability Living Allowance with a new benefit, the Personal Independence Payment.
Up on Downs news
Herts Inclusive Theatre (HIT)
Herts Inclusive Theatre is an organisation that gives children, young people and adults the opportunity to participate in drama, dance and music in an inclusive environment. Click on the link for more information.
Get Your Rights: What to do if your service gets cut?
Local authorities are under great financial pressure, with the reduction of state funding and increasing demand on services. Many councils are arguing that they are faced with no choice but to cut social care services for people with a learning disability. Click on the link below to find out what to do if your service gets cut.
Disability Living Allowance
Mencap asked lots of people with a learning disability about how they spend their Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Click on the link to find out more.
Community Learning Disability Teams
Hertfordshire’s seven Community Learning Disability Teams (CLDTs) support adults with a learning disability to improve the quality of their lives. Click on the link for more information:
Carers In Hertfordshire Focus Group
Carers In Hertfordshire are putting a focus group together for Learning Disability family carers. You need to have used or know of specialist services that Mental Health Provide. If you are interested in taking part in the focus group please contact Sue Haynes on 01992 586969 or email email@example.com
William Penn Leisure Centre has a dedicated disabled swimming session every Sunday between 6.30pm and 8pm. Click on the link for more information:
Hertfordshire's Learning Disability Partnership Board
The Partnership Board meets every month and the focus of its work is on adult services in Hertfordshire. Click on the links for more information:
Are you caring for someone with a Learning disability? On Netbuddy you'll find over 800 tips from parents or carers who have everyday experience with learning disability. Click on the link to find out more.
New Diagnosis Information
Following consultation with parents and carers, Mencap has produced a new booklet for parents who have just received a diagnosis of learning disability for their son or daughter.
More information is available at
Challenging Behaviour National Strategy Group Charter
An Easy Read charter has been launched and more information is available from www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk