Falkirk group wants to make new friends

Enable Falkirk's recent Easter Fayre was a great success, and the Get to Know Us event will aim to build on that and create new friendships.
Enable Falkirk's recent Easter Fayre was a great success, and the Get to Know Us event will aim to build on that and create new friendships.

Falkirk people with learning disabilities are calling on local residents to “be a friend” and get to know then at a special event on Thursday (May 3).

Organisers Enable Scotland say nine of out ten Scots with learning disabilities have experienced bullying, and that fewer than one in three can name a friend.

Thursday’s get-together aims to change all that by breaking down barriers, challenging misconceptions and building new links across the community.

It starts at 6.30pm in the Elgin Park Centre in Falkirk’s Elgin Place.

The event marks national Learning Disability Week and is being held as part of ENABLE Scotland’s anti-bullying campaign – #BetheChange.

Theresa Shearer, CEO of ENABLE Scotland, said: “To mark Learning Disability Week, we are getting out into the Falkirk community and breaking down the barriers that our members and the people we support tell us still exist.

“One of the biggest barriers is loneliness and isolation, made worse by lack of understanding of learning disability.

“We want to engage with communities and individuals in Falkirk to show them that people who have learning disabilities are just that – people.

“More than that, they are neighbours, colleagues, family members and friends.

“They have hopes and ambitions, a sense of humour and the same rights as everyone else to be a full part of the local community.

“We look forward to welcoming people from Falkirk and offering them the chance to get to know the wonderful members of our local ACE Group, ask questions and learn about the fantastic work taking place across Falkirk.”

She added: “Together, it’s time to break down barriers and ensure that people who have learning disabilities are respected and valued, and that any obstacles to an equal society for all are challenged and removed.”

ACE is a national network of 34 groups made up of individuals who have a learning disability.

It aims to connect people who have learning disabilities in their community around a shared cause.

ACE campaigns locally and nationally to challenge barriers to an equal society for every person who has a learning disability and empowers them to engage in local and national activism to challenge society’s perception on learning disability.