2002 – Having a voice

MacIntyre service users have always been at the centre of the organisation, and their wellbeing paramount. Hence, the various channels through which their voices can be heard. The ‘Training to be a Trainer Project’, started in September 2002, with the aim of developing skills for Learners to promote health. The group decided to change the direction of the project, to focus on areas of more relevance to them, and in 2004 the project changed its name to TFC “Trainers for Change” to better reflect the objectives of the group, later shortened to Trainers 4 Change (T4C). In 2007 T4C won the award for ‘Best involvement of people who use services and/or carers in developing social care’. T4C  became trained facilitators and were  an invaluable resource for MacIntyre in training both its own staff and, following the award, those outside the organisation.

T4C have become self-managing and have gained a strong reputation for delivering important messages in a fun, impactful style (The Ring, Spring 2008). The following year, MacIntyre and Derbyshire County Council joined forces to fund a one-year project called Reps on Board, aimed at training self-advocates who represent people with a learning difficulty on Partnership Boards. Reps on Board with continual funding since conception to date from Derbyshire Council has gathered real momentum with reps playing a key role in the local advocacy movement.  Another example of service users having a voice within MacIntyre is the launch of The Mag in 2003. The Mag is a MacIntyre publication for and by those who use MacIntyre services, put together by a team of service users, who select and edit articles sent by other service users from all over MacIntyre. The Mag is in its 8th year, and continues to develop and grow.

Rosie Remembers...

I loved T4C. We wanted to tell people what it is like to be us. There were 10 members of T4C and all of us had a learning disability. At the start we did not know if we could do it. But we ended up winning awards for our training for staff and the presentations we did at conferences.  It was us as a group who made it all happen, we loved it so much because we wanted to make a difference.

We have come so far as a group of people. I would be the first to say, I have done something that I am proud of doing.

I have more confidence and have made so many new friends. I am sad now it has all finished, but it was time for new challenges, you can’t keep doing the same thing, that would be boring.


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