Mar 15

Empowering Communities: The Impact of the Humber Transforming Care Programme

The Humber Transforming Care programme is committed to recognising and supporting the invaluable work of voluntary and community sector organisations in assisting individuals with learning disabilities and autism, as well as their families or carers. These organisations serve as vital pillars within our communities, offering essential guidance and support at a grassroots level. However, in acknowledging the limited number of such organisations in our region, our aim is to foster growth opportunities through the Transforming Care programme.

To achieve this goal, we introduced a small grants scheme designed to empower voluntary and community sector organisations to expand their offerings through the development of new projects, training initiatives, acquisition of specialist equipment, or research endeavours. Launched in November 2022 via the Beecan platform, hosted by HEY Smile, the scheme provided grants of up to £5000 to eligible organisations across the four Humber areas of Hull, East Riding, North and Northeast Lincolnshire.

While the primary objective was to offer financial support, we also sought to cultivate positive relationships with grant recipients and raise awareness of our initiatives, including dynamic support registers and coproduction opportunities.

Our first success story is Hull Red, recipient of a £4690 grant, which facilitated the organisation of three impactful events engaging nearly 600 individuals. Among these were two vibrant nightclub gatherings held at the Hull Student Union, featuring live music and DJs. These events, attended primarily by individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism, provided opportunities for joyous social interaction, marking significant highlights on many attendees’ calendars.

The third event, the Gig Buddies launch party hosted at the Social on Humber Street, exceeded expectations by incorporating an enlightening workshop with Paul Richards, founder of ‘Stay Up Late’ and the original Gig Buddies project in Brighton. This event not only raised awareness of the challenges faced by individuals with learning disabilities but also served as a platform to introduce ‘Hull Red’ to potential volunteers, partners, and funders.

The success of these events was further evidenced by positive feedback from attendees, as shared on social media platforms. Additionally, heartwarming anecdotes, such as the impact on a non-verbal attendee, underscored the profound significance of such inclusive initiatives.

Looking ahead, Hull Red aims to expand its reach and impact over the next 12 months through various initiatives, including hosting more nightclub events, increasing the frequency of music social nights for Gig Buddies participants, growing the Gig Buddies project, and enhancing visibility in mainstream music venues.

In summary, the Transforming Care programme’s support for voluntary and community sector organisations exemplifies a commitment to inclusivity and empowerment, enriching the lives of individuals with learning disabilities and autism while fostering stronger, more cohesive communities across the Humber region.

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