£95k will help pave the way for the young
8:40am Monday 10th September 2012 in News
THE Swindon Advocacy Movement has been awarded £95,424 in funding from Children In Need.
The money has been awarded over three years to the charity so it can continue its successful What’s Next project.
The charity, also known as SAM, was founded in 1995 and provides an independent, accessible advocacy service for young people and adults with learning disabilities living in Swindon to help them speak for themselves and stick up for their rights.
The Children In Need funding will enable SAM to continue the project which has been providing advocacy and support to more than 180 young people with a learning disability in Swindon as they prepare to move on from school and children’s services. It has been running since 2009.
Cat Murphy, What’s Next project co-ordinator, said: “The transition to adulthood should be a time of opportunity for choices and change. It can be a confusing and turbulent time for any young person. “For those with a learning disability, the process of making that transition is even more complex, intimidating and can seem beyond their control.
“The What’s Next project asks exactly that – ‘what’s next for this young person?’. Aimed at young people with a learning disability between the ages of 14 and 18 we provide support and encouragement to be actively involved in planning for their future.
“I am really excited that this funding gives us the opportunity to keep developing this vital service for Swindon’s young people. “In these times of continually shifting service provision it is really important that young people are given the opportunity to fully understand their options and have their say in how they want to live their lives. “ One 18-year-old user of the project, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Advocacy and the new experiences it’s helped me find have helped me to try new things without worrying too much.
“I’m not scared to speak any more.”
SAM is always looking for committed volunteers to join the team and they have a wide range of opportunities available. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.