Learning Disability Week 17th to 23rd June 2019

STAYING HEALTHY, REDUCING LONELINESS AND ISOLATION

It is Learning Disability Week from 17 to 23 June and this year the focus is on sports and inclusion.

18% of people surveyed by Mencap feel alone and cut off from other people and 49% would like to spend more time outside their house.

“Helping everyone to be a valued part of the community as well keeping fit and staying happy is part of Winchester Go LD‘s ethos” says Janet Chierchia MBE . “At Winchester Go LD we run a hugely popular weekly Low Level Circuits on Saturday at 3.30pm at River Park Leisure Centre, followed by drinks in the café.  And we have recently started a fortnightly tai chi group for members.  We realise how important it is to keep moving.

Sport and physical activity can also reduce loneliness and isolation.  Sports are fun –  you only have to be there on a Saturday afternoon to feel lifted by the enthusiasm of coaches, volunteers and members.  Both the groups are full of laughter.    Benefits for people with and without a learning disability include improved health and wellbeing, empowerment and greater social inclusion.”

Ros has Down Syndrome. “Sometimes my knees hurt so I do exercises to strengthen my knees.  I go to weekly Circuits.  It helps me with stamina and energises me.  It makes me happy and healthy.  If I wasn’t healthy I wouldn’t be able to continue the things that I do that make me happy.”

The charity rely who on donations and grants, are delighted that Joanna Trollope CBE will be hosting a Tea and Talk at the Guildhall on Wednesday 3rd July at 3-6pm.    Joanna has a relative with a learning disability and knows the big difference Go LD make to her life.  She has happily offered to give her time and talents to raise much needed finances.   This funding would make a substantial contribution to the cost of the annual Circuits sessions.

The glitzy tea with Joanna includes Buck’s Fizz and a delicious waitress-served tea and a talk by the author.   Tickets £40 from Theatre Royal Box Office Tel 01962 840440.

Photo below: Ros (far right) and friends

Photo: Circuits at the Paralympics Personal Bests at River Park