The Mayor of South Tyneside has officially launched a week long programme of events to mark the beginning of Learning Disability Week in South Tyneside.
Learning Disability Week (13th -19th June) is a national campaign, led by Mencap, aimed at raising awareness and understanding of learning disabilities.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Alan Smith, launched the week at South Shields Central Library.
The Mayor said: “I was honoured to officially launch Learning Disability Week in South Tyneside.
“The aim of this week is to improve awareness of learning disabilities within our community, by promoting a positive image and increasing people’s understanding of the issues that affect people with learning disabilities, their families and their carers.
“It is great to see such a wide variety of activities and events taking place throughout the week and I hope that those attending meet new people, make new friends and learn something new.”
South Tyneside Libraries have teamed up with local organisations supporting people with learning disabilities to hold a series of events during the week.
Events taking place across the Borough include a sports session at Temple Park, craft sessions and an information day at Ocean Road Community Association featuring over 20 organisations promoting the wide range of groups and service on offer to people with learning disabilities, their families and carers.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said, “Learning Disability Week is the prime time to remind people about the support and activities available for people with a learning disability.
“With such a wide array of events across the Borough, there really is something to suit all tastes and interests. I would encourage people with a learning disability and their families and carers to come along and see what’s on offer.”
Friends of Action North East and Arts 4 Wellbeing joined the Mayor at the launch to help promote this year’s theme for Learning Disability Week which is friendships and relationships.
In support of the theme, members of Week Arts 4 Wellbeing have produced a song about the importance of friendships. The charity, based in Derby Terrace, South Shields, supports people with mental health needs, physical and learning disabilities. It enables its members to take part in arts and creative activities helping them to gain confidence and social skills as well as provide them with effective therapeutic or preventive services.
Arts 4 Wellbeing will also host a Fun Day at Derby Terrace on Friday 17 June and Friday night will be the highlight of the week with the Masquerade Ball at Hedworth Hall.
Friends of Action North East champions friendship, raising expectations and creating opportunities for adults with learning disabilities across the region. The charity’s website www.friendsaction.co.uk allows people to learn about their events and get-togethers helping to enable them to meet new people.
For the full programme of events visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/whatson.