Swindon Advocacy Movement wins grant of £6,786

This Is Wiltshire: Michelle Ellis of Swindon Advocacy Movement with Sean Varney, store manager at Old Town Midcounties Co-operative Michelle Ellis of Swindon Advocacy Movement with Sean Varney, store manager at Old Town Midcounties Co-operative

A DISABILITY support service in Swindon has been awarded a grant of £6,786 to help develop an awareness programme.

Swindon Advocacy Movement empowers people with learning disabilities, autism and asperger’s syndrome throughout the town.

The Midcounties Co-operative gave the grant – one of the largest awarded by the Society – at its recent half year meeting.

The charity plans to use the funds to develop its Walk in my Shoes programme. The initiative is run by people with learning difficulties to educate volunteers about the challenges they face.

The grant will allow the group to put all volunteers through the programme as well as offering it to members of the community.

The money will also help to pay for a new supported employment post for an individual with a learning disability and for improvements to the reception area.

Michelle Ellis, co-ordinator at Swindon Advocacy Movement, said: “This grant is going to help us to continue to support disabled people in Swindon and improve our service further by putting all of our volunteers through a training programme.

“Employing new staff and improving our facilities is vital if we are to grow and reach out to as many disadvantaged people as possible, so the funding from The Midcounties Co-operative is really going to help us in our mission to change people’s lives.”

As part of its co-operative values, The Midcounties Co-operative donates a share of its profits to local organisations that need support, a commitment that is made possible simply by customers choosing to shop in its stores.

Maxine Sharman, head of community engagement at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Swindon Advocacy Movement is an exceptional charity that really helps support disabled people in the local community and the grant will make it possible for the team to build on and expand their skills.

“The extensive training programme offered to volunteers is an excellent resource for the community and will ensure that the service can really help those in need in Swindon.

“We are committed to supporting the communities we work in and we hope that the funding will help the organisation develop their facilities and make plans for the future.”

For more information log on to www.swindonadvocacy.org.uk

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