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  • What has been happening to people with learning disabilities in Wales since March 2020? The COVID-19 pandemic has stopped and changed a lot of the things we do, our relationships and the support people get. Everyone has found these changes hard, but all our experiences are different. People with a learning disability have had their own unique experiences that have to be understood and listened to so we can plan to make things better in the future. This event is the first of several to highlight the effect the pandemic has had on people with learning disabilities in Wales. It will share what we have learnt so far from our research. We will share what we have learnt from the people with learning disabilities in Wales who took part in our study. We will explain the main things we have learnt and talk about what has happened to people. We will also discuss what more we need to know to understand better what has happened, and what needs to happen to make sure people with learning disabilities in Wales have a say in making things better in the future. We will hold other events in the next few months to share more of what we have learnt from the study and to discuss what this means for services and policy now and in the future. This event will: 1. Explain what the Coronavirus and Learning Disability Study is. 2. Share and discuss what we have found out in Wales so far. 3. Find out what more we should know about how the pandemic has affected people with learning disabilities in Wales. 4. Discuss what the findings mean for future planning. This event is hosted by the organisations that have been involved in running the Learning Disability and Coronavirus Study in Wales. University of South Wales and Cardiff University will be doing the study with help from the All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers, All Wales People First and Learning Disability Wales. Who should attend? Anyone interested in understanding the experiences of lockdown of people with learning disabilities in Wales and what these mean for the future. You can join us by booking a space here. More details about the event can be obtained by emailing any of the following people: stuart.todd@southwales.ac.uk – Researcher Cath.lewis@ldw.org.uk Gwen@allwalesforum.org.uk – Family Carers Tracey@allwalespeople1st.co.uk When and where is the event? Online via Zoom – Please book your place at the link above to receive the Zoom link Monday 17 May 2021 1:00 pm until 2:30 pm If you are a person with a learning disability and need any help or support to book a place please ring Tracey, from All Wales People First, on 07956082211 Where can I find out more about the study? To see our previous posts regarding the launch of the study, please click here To see our previous posts regarding the first findings and the opening of the second survey, please click here

  • Since September 2020, researchers and organisations across the UK have set out to see what impact the Coronavirus Pandemic had on and is continuing to have on people with a learning disability.  This has involved all countries in the United Kingdom.    In Wales, the All Wales Forum, All Wales People First and Learning Disability Wales have supported the researchers at the Universities of South Wales and Cardiff who have been connecting with people with a learning disability and family carers and care/support staff of people with a learning disability.   The research involves three sets of data collection.  It involves talking directly with people with learning disabilities (Cohort 1 or Group 1) and having family carers and care/support workers take an online survey on behalf of people with a learning disability who would need support or for someone else to answer the questions (Cohort 2 or Group 2)   The first wave of data collection was completed in January 2021 and the second wave is due to start shortly.  There will be a final wave of data collection in June 2021.   We, as the All Wales Forum are looking to connect with family carers who would participate in the study.  Family carers can help support their relative with a learning disability to be interviewed by a researcher.  If the person with learning disabilities cannot take part in the interview, family carers can complete the survey on their behalf.   Please click here to have more information on the research and our involvement: http://www.allwalesforum.org.uk/coronavirusandld/    You can read the results for the UK from Survey(Wave)1 in full via the links below: Click here for the Full Report Click here for the Report in Easy Ready    At this moment we are preparing a short summary of the findings for Wales.  This will be posted on our website when it is ready.  From our first survey, we know that 149 people with learning disabilities were interviewed, and family carers and paid support staff completed an online survey for 77 people with learning disabilities.  About half of the people interviewed were living with a family relative and almost three-quarters of those people completing the online survey, was a family member (71%).   We also know that half of the people with a learning disability identified as men (53%) and that the group was largely composed by younger adults with over half of participants aged under 35 years (60%)     Survey two is Open! Check below how to participate in the second survey, depending on if you are a first-time participant or a second-time participant in this study.   I’m the family carer of a person with a learning disability who would like to be interviewed but would need my support. Can they take part?   If you think the person you care for would like to be interviewed by a researcher, you can contact Edward Oloidi at the University of Wales (Edward.oloidi@southwales.ac.uk).  He will give you more information about what is involved.  If you think it more useful for someone to complete the survey on their behalf, please see the following questions and answers.   If you are the family carer of a person with a learning disability who would want to take part but would need you to answer the questions on their behalf, please continue to the next question.    Did you complete the first survey?   Yes: Please, check your email folders, including your spam folder. The link you will be sent via email is unique to you and you shouldn’t share it with anyone else, as doing so will result in your answers being cancelled. The links are being sent in batches so please keep checking your emails and spam folders in the following weeks. Please note: The link we will be posting on our website is only for participants who haven’t been involved in the first survey. No: Take part in the second survey! Please, keep reading below. What would taking part in the research mean?     The researchers will interview people with a learning disability who agree to take part in the research study. For those people for whom it is not possible to take part in the interviews themselves, their family carers or care staff can take the survey on their behalf. The researchers will interview people 3 times during the year. If you are joining us for the second survey you will only be interviewed or will take the survey twice. In the interview and Survey, researchers will ask questions about the person with a learning disability’s wellbeing, health, social life, services, the issues that are worrying them and how coronavirus has affected their lives.    We recognise that participating in this study will possibly be emotionally hard and draining but only through your views and experience will we be able to report back the impact that the virus has had on people with a learning disability’s lives and collectively make a difference in the future.   If you are a family carer in need of support to take the survey, please contact gwen@allwalesforum.org.uk , we are here for you.    For more information and questions and answers please visit our dedicated page to the research: http://www.allwalesforum.org.uk/coronavirusandld/   Click here to complete the survey as a first-time participant. If you are a second-time participant, please don’t click on the link but check your emails (including the spam folder) in the following weeks and click on the link that researchers will send you. Other Useful Links: All Wales People First  Learning Disability Wales summary article around the study’s first findings The Coronavirus and People with a Learning Disability Study – Facebook profile The Coronavirus and People with a Learning Disability Study – Twitter profile All Wales Forum Twitter – @AllWalesForum All Wales Forum Facebook @AllWalesForum

  • Hello everyone, Dr Gillian Richardson shared this news article from Wales Online 10/03/2021, that gives a reasonable outline of how and when each health board will be rolling vaccination for priority group 6. We took the relevant information and reported it below. Please note that Dr Gillian Richardson, the senior officer behind Wales’ Covid-19 vaccine programme, says she is confident that all adults in Wales will be vaccinated by the end of July. – Aneurin Bevan Health Board Have vaccinated around half of the adults in priority group 6 (46.6% on 10/03/2021) and continue to do so. On the week of the 10th of March, they began vaccinating people in the age 60 to 64 age group, priority group 7 and said that everyone should be getting their letters in the following three weeks end (end of March)   -Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board They were sending out appointments to all those 65 years and over (priority group 5) followed by adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group and eligible carers (priority group 6). Letters were also being sent to those aged 60-64 (priority group seven) offering them appointments later this month (March). Up to March 7th, the board had provided a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to 84% of people aged 65-69 (priority group 5) and almost a third of people aged 16 to 65 with underlying health conditions ( priority group 6). The telephone number for their Covid-19 vaccination booking centre is 03000 840004. Opening hours are 8am to 8pm seven days a week.   -Cardiff and Vale University Health Board People aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions, unpaid carers, and people with learning disabilities (Priority Group 6) are currently being contacted by the health board to attend a mass vaccination centre. These appointments will be automatically scheduled and people will receive a letter in the post. Those identified with learning disabilities will be contacted between March 22 and April 12 and will be visited at home by the mobile vaccination unit. Please note all first doses in the group will be offered by April 19.   -Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board the health board’s aim to vaccinate everyone in priority groups five to nine with at least their first dose by mid-April. They say that GPs had completed priority group five by the 10th of March and were contacting and vaccinating priority group six. Some of the priority groups have been divided into groups A, B, and C. The Health Board has divided some of the priority groups into groups A, B, and C. (Please see news article for more information regarding this) Priority group four B – clinically extremely vulnerable individuals This group had their first vaccine – the Oxford/AstraZeneca – through their GP practice. They will be contacted again by their surgery to come in for their second dose. Priority group six A – 16 to 64-year-olds with underlying health conditions GPs are starting to contact this group now and invite them in for a vaccine at their surgery. Patients within this group are given the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. GPs are still contacting this group and making appointments Priority group six B – Unpaid carers An online self-referral form is live on our website for unpaid carers to check their eligibility for vaccine and make themselves known. You will be sent an appointment letter within three weeks of completing the form. The appointment will be at one of our community vaccination centres and you will be given the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. You do not need to contact your GP for an appointment. There is a dedicated vaccination advice line open seven days a week. From Monday to Friday it’s open 9am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday it operates 9am to 4.30pm. The number is 01685 726464.   – Hywel Dda University Health Board Group six, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between February 22 and April 4   -Powys Teaching Health Board Priority Group 6, as of the 10th of March, Adults with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers have got first dose appointments underway. Invitations are going out.   -Swansea Bay University Health Board The latest update from the health board says that those aged 65 to 69 (Group 5) will be called to a mass vaccination centre between February 15 and March 10. Most people in group six with underlying health conditions will be vaccinated by their GP practice. But if you are registered with Abertawe Medical Practice, Brunswick, Nicholl Street, University, Dyfed Road, Uplands and Mumbles and Mount surgeries, you will be called to a mass vaccination centre (MVC.) Some patients registered with Fforestfach Medical Group, Victoria Gardens, and Kingsway practices may also be called to an MVC. Vaccinations will take place between March 8 and April 19.   More Information: If you have any questions regarding eligibility for the vaccine and self-referral forms please see our Q&A post on our website- http://www.allwalesforum.org.uk/q-a-around-carers-eligibility-for-the-covid-19-vaccine-and-the-self-referral-forms/ For any questions regarding the vaccine, please visit – http://www.allwalesforum.org.uk/flowchart-and-faq-about-vaccines-for-parents-and-carers/ If you can’t find your answer and want to get in touch, please email us at admin@allwalesforum.org Thanks, Diolch The AWF Team

Welcome to our website

The AWF is unique among Learning Disabilities bodies in Wales in that it is the only organisation that represents nationally, collectively and solely the views of Parents and Carers of people with learning disabilities. We are an umbrella body for locally and regionally based organisations and support groups made up of parents and carers. Our wider alliance partners share a commitment in working to improve the rights and recognition of parents and carers and families supporting loved ones living with learning disability. The Forum is also governed by parents and carers, ensuring that our client base has a clear input into the strategic direction and core work of the organisation.

The Forum prides itself on our capacity to reach out across Wales and make real changes, including influencing policy, supporting local alliance groups, engaging in innovative projects and highlighting key areas of need that are yet to be addressed fully.

We achieve most of our work through the true spirit of partnership and shared resources, and we believe that in the future years this method of working will not only continue to prove effective in delivering outcomes, but it will also become essential if we are to continue to generate innovative and essential support solutions to families across Wales.

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Advice helplines


Carers UK provides high quality advice and information to carers and the professionals who support carers. Staffed by experts, they have years of experience of dealing with the problems carers face.

The Advice line is open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm, tel: 0808 808 7777

mencap cymru

Mencap WISE is a free service that offers support, advice and information in English and Welsh. The service is available to everyone in Wales, whether you are a person with a learning a learning disability, a family member or a friend. They can give you the information you need to understand the rights of people with a learning disability and to support them to access services or challenge decisions.

The Mencap WISE Helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm, tel: 0808 8000 300

Community Groups

Brecon Carer Groups
Bridgend Parent and Carer Group
Caerphilly Carers Group
Cardiff and the Vale Parents Federation
Ceredigion Carers Forum
Community Lives Consortium Relatives Forum
Conwy Connect – Carers
Denbighshire Carers Forum
Learning Disability Flintshire
Gwynedd LD Carers outreach
Knighton Parent Carer Group
Powys Carers Groups
Mencap Carers Support Group,
Anglesey Mencap
Carmarthenshire family support

Merthyr Carer Action Group
Monmouthshire Carers Group Montgomeryshire Family Carers Centre
Montgomeryshire Open Door parent carer group
Newtown Newtown Carers Group
Parents for Change, Newport
Pembrokeshire Carers Group
Radnor Carers Group
Rhondda Cynon Taff Carers group
Smile Parent Group
The Carers Outreach Service, Bangor
Welshpool Carer Group
Ystradgynlais Parent Group
Llandrindod Wells Carer Group

Mencap Carers Support Group, Anglesey

Denbighshire Carers Forum

Learning Disability Flintshire

Ceredigion Carers Forum

Wrexham Carer Group

The Carers Outreach Service, Bangor

Gwynedd LD Carers outreach

Conwy Connect – Carers

Newtown and Welshpool Carer Group

Montgomeryshire Open Door parent carer group

Montgomeryshire Family Carers Centre

Radnor Carers Group

Knighton Parent Carer Group

Brecon Carers Group

Pembrokeshire Carers Group

Ystradgynlais Parent Group

Mencap Carmarthenshire family support

Merthyr Carer Action Group

Monmouthshire Carers Group

Rhondda Cynon Taff Carers group

Caerphilly Carers Group

Community Lives Consortium Relatives Forum

Bridgend Parent and Carer Group

Parents for Change, Newport

Cardiff and the Vale Parents Federation