06 December 2018

Christopher at the LeDeR event

Christopher Porter is a self-advocate and member of the Craven self-advocacy consulting group. He recently went to a 'learn and share' event in Leeds about the LeDeR programme.


The LeDeR programme is about stopping people with a learning disability dying too young. At the moment women with a learning disability can die 29 years younger than people who don’t have a learning disability. Men with learning disability can die 23 years younger than men who don’t have a learning disability.

On the 15th November I went to the meeting in Leeds and I was bit nervous about traveling to Leeds by myself. We arrived at the event in the middle of a presentation about the LeDeR program developments and Annual Health Checks.  They talked about a website called Get Checked Out where you can access health information. After the question and answer session, Rebecca from Inclusion North told everyone about the workshops in the afternoon and we heard what the workshops were. Rebecca said we could choose two workshops.

Me, Kim and Mary went to the first workshop about swallowing and phobias of needles and Jane and Mary from Sheffield told us what the workshop was about.  Jane talked about swallowing and she went through the process of how we swallow. She also told us about a young woman who because she didn’t have proper care, died when she was just aged 30 years old. Other people talked about their phobias of needles.

We then went to a workshop which was about Annual Health Checks and cancer screening. Cathy introduced her team to us from the Wakefield Learning Disability Team. We did a quiz about health issues.  Mary showed us an Annual Health Check booklet, and told us how important it was to attend your Annual Heath Check. We felt three plastic breasts to help us understand what a lump in a breast felt like. After the workshop session, Rebecca gave out pledge cards. I put on my pledge card to organise a cancer screening session at the Craven and Harrogate Local Area Group. After the meeting we went back to Leeds station to catch my train back home and I felt pleased and proud of myself travelling to Leeds on my own.

By Christopher Porter


For more information about self-advocacy in North Yorkshire you can follow the group on twitter and instagram. You can also contact Karen Murray at karen.murray@keyring.org or on 07833 309 693.