“Living my best life” is a term broadly used on social media, sometimes in an authentic way and sometimes with more than a sprinkle of sarcasm.
But here at Grapevine what it means to us is a vision of people and communities with the energy and confidence to tackle challenges and take opportunities. All kinds of people actually, experiencing isolation, poverty and disadvantage.
And this is where you might come in…
We want to build a team of three creative problem solvers with the ability to communicate at all levels and who genuinely care about supporting people with a ‘vulnerability’ to live the best life they possibly can. These ‘Community Powered Advocacy Worker’ roles will work in Warwickshire and be split between one full time 37-hours per week post and two part-time posts of 22.5 hours per week.
This impact includes improvements to the safety, wellbeing and quality of life of local communities.
Members of the Speaking Up group were delighted with their win – as you can see from the photograph!
The group is run by Grapevine on a monthly basis but is largely driven by its members who work on projects and campaigns all year round, even sitting at board level to have their say about big decisions on local services.
Atherstone Speaking Up is one of several similar groups for people with learning disabilities also taking place each month in Nuneaton, Rugby, Stratford and Leamington – spreading opportunities and influence far and wide across Warwickshire in partnership with Warwickshire County Council.
Amongst other things, the groups also get involved in the design of new public places so they are accessible to learning disabled people – such as the recently unveiled creative space at Nuneaton Library.
Other awards presented at the event included Long Service, Health and Wellbeing and Unsung Hero – both for individuals and groups. Four Special Recognition Awards were also handed out.
Nuneaton Library officially opened its first Let’s Make Space this week and our Warwickshire Empowerment Service team was there to join in the fun.
3D printing, virtual reality, robots, a theatrical performance and celebratory cake combined to make an enjoyable launch for everyone involved.
Let’s Make Spaces will sit within Nuneaton and Rugby libraries – the latter also opening very soon – offering people of all ages the opportunity to discover new technologies together and learn how to use their digital skills in exciting, innovative ways.
People with learning disabilities from our Warwickshire service helped the County Council design Nuneaton’s creative space so that more people from different walks of life can make full use of the free facility.
It is hoped the project will get more young people interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) and start to build skills that could help their future job prospects in these areas.
This partnership between Grapevine and Warwickshire successfully connected people with learning disabilities to a local service they might not otherwise have used and has also provided them with the chance to contribute to its design, guaranteeing equal access (and enjoyment!) for everyone.
30 people from our Feel Good Community came along to Fargo Village in Coventry last Tuesday evening (17 April) to help generate new ideas and projects to keep the group busy, creative and positive.
And from a total of 50 creative concepts put forward at the event hosted inside local bakery and café bar Backhaus & Co, three main ideas emerged as the most popular and doable. They were:
Themed monthly meet ups
Another Feel Good Festival / Createathon
A new campaign to get Feel Good voices heard more widely
There were also several kind offers of possible venues for the events.
The next step is to develop these ideas over the coming weeks. Look out for updates on our website and on Facebook @FeelGoodCommunity.
The Feel Good Community promotes health and wellbeing through creativity and social action. Anyone can join in but particularly those with a long-term health condition who want to be part of a like-minded community and to feel good.
Every one got the chance to share their thoughts on what would make an amazing local Day through Ideas Factories organised by our own Dawn Nicholls. More importantly people pledged their support to help make it happen!
Over a 1/4 of people with disabilities don’t have control over their own lives. They have fewer friends, less paid work and society can have lower expectations of what they are able to do.
The Coventry Youth Activists wanted to get their voices heard in a fun and engaging way. So what could be better then to capture people’s thoughts on a sofa ‘crowd-sourced’ with the help of our friends at BBC Coventry and Warwickshire?
Last week they turned Grapevine HQ into a production line for their event…T-shirts, banners, and the sofa were branded with their colours.
On Tuesday 20th Feb they shared their message with Coventry. People listened and more importantly joined in. Afterwards they rewarded themselves with ice cream – the perfect end to a busy day of campaigning!
Atherstone Speaking Up group visited Atherstone Leisure Centre
They met with Peter Wheaton, Leisure Facilities Manager for North Warwickshire Borough Council, and some of the team.
Some of the group are regular users of the gym so gave Peter some feedback about what’s great about it, like friendly staff. But some of the group had not been in before and they explained their reasons – not being able to see signs about what’s on offer, for example.
They really enjoyed their time and felt that it helped Peter and the team to understand how to improve the service for everyone.
Peter said ” The outcomes from the session will enhance the more general experience for the whole community which is a real positive outcome”.