Following an invitation in April to the Supported Loving network meeting held in Birmingham in late May, both myself and fellow Wakefield Homes Manager Julie Knight agreed that the campaign message was great. Supported Loving reflected some of the personalised support we were already exploring with people we support. Both our requests to attend the meeting soon followed.
Fast forward to May 2017. I walked away from the Supported Loving network meeting captivated by the campaign and it’s core values. I went to work introducing Supported Loving and it’s message to both the people we support and my staff team. We created a small hub where we could display Supported Loving information, social media and future events.
Due to the nature of my role and the services I manage, time can sometimes be of the essence but all summer long we’ve been sharing the message of Supported Loving. Here are some of the things we’ve done… after liaising with fellow Supported Loving ambassador, Liz Wilson, a person has been supported to attend their first ever Pride Celebration in Leeds, June. I’m currently developing a local group for adults with learning disabilities who identify as LGBTQ* called ‘Rainbow Drops’. I’m hoping to secure a launch date very soon.
Lastly after a couple of months in the planning, and with support from Dr Claire Bates, I spearheaded the very first Northern mini Supported Loving Event held in Wakefield on the 27th September.
If I could find one word to describe Supported Loving it would be inspiring.
It’s certainly inspired me. Sexuality should never be frowned upon. We should all be made aware that regardless of age, disability and race, everyone needs love and relationships in their life. In the words of John Lennon “Love is real, real is love.”
Christian Buchan - Homes Manager Wakefield
*(LGBT has become a mainstream acronym standing for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. The fifth letter Q is increasingly making its way into the line-up. Which can mean either 'questioning' or 'queer'. Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, an organization that lobbies for LGBT rights, said in 2015 that either interpretation is accepted.)
The views expressed in the Supported Loving blog are not necessarily those of Choice Support.
Contact Dr Claire Bates for more about the Supported Loving Campaign.