Powerful Trainers are adults with learning disabilities who are trained, supported and paid by the Aldingbourne Trust. Our Power Trainer make a difference by delivering a workshop to a variety of audiences, on attitudes and approaches towards people with learning disabilities by promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. We are based near Chichester and train across Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey.
During the workshop the Powerful Trainers of the Aldingbourne Trust provide first hand experience of the complications they experience with everyday life and welcome questions from the audience who are interested to hear about their difficulties, their challenges, their support and their achievements. What our Powerful Trainers say about the service they offer:
“I like the challenge of educating people with no knowledge of learning disabilities. We increase awareness and understanding. If you were in our shoes, what would you do?”
“We go out and train people about learning disabilities and what our lives are like. I enjoy it; I get to meet people and go to different places. We are trained to help other people.”
The workshop is designed to provide insight and understanding on what it is to have a learning disability and to function in society today. The learning is useful to all organisations, schools and colleges with a view to helping students or staff members gain a greater understanding about learning disabilities and autism. Information and experience is shared so that learners can understand how to support customers, peers or colleagues to access a fully inclusive environment and equal opportunities. “Powerful Trainers had a huge impact on my team and managed to shatter a few preconceptions” Anonymous
As a team we are involved with the NHS Springwell project, where a group of people with a learning disability are consulted on their experiences of using NHS services. Recent work with Springwell included working on an interview panel, interviewing for two lead positions within West Sussex – a General Manager and a Lead Nurse. It was a marvellous opportunity for our Powerful Trainers to speak up and establish what they consider to be important for learning disability care.
A representative from Springwell Project NHS said “Thank you for coming to the meeting today. You made very interesting and useful points that helped Helen a lot with her Occupational Therapy project. Please feel very proud of yourselves for all that you have done so far to make things easier for people with a learning disability. I am very proud to work with all of you.”
Work is now under way to set up the Trust’s latest project – a community garden at the library in Bognor Regis. This project is unique for Aldingbourne, and it links back to the horticultural beginnings of our charity.
The development of the community garden will be funded by grants already secured, including from Southern Water and National Lottery Awards for All, as well as by other donations.
Matthew Guillaume has recently started with us as the coordinator for the project. Matthew said “I’m passionate about gardening in an environmentally-friendly way, and about highlighting the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening and green spaces. These two themes are going to be central in how the project is managed, and how the garden itself is designed”.
We will be looking for volunteers from the local community, including people connected to Aldingbourne, to help create the garden. In the coming months, we will be sharing more information on how the project is progressing and how people can get involved.