16 June 2016

Learning Disability England launches!

On Tuesday 14th June some staff and Members from KeyRing went to the launch of Learning Disability England. It was held at the House of Lords.


Learning Disability England is a new organisation that wants to make the voices of people with learning disabilities stronger. It will be made of up of:

  • people with learning disabilities
  • the families of people with learning disabilities
  • organisations that support people with learning disabilities

People can join LDE as an individual or as an organisation. KeyRing has joined as an organisation but staff and Members can join as individuals too. It will be LDE's members who decide what will happen.

Membership costs £12 per year for individuals. Click here to find out how to join LDE.

LDE will make sure that people with learning disabilities are the main spokespeople. They will not have other people speaking for them.

At the launch there was a chance for people to get to know each other over afternoon tea. Then there were some speeches where people spoke about what LDE will do and how it will work. Gary Bourlet is a self-advocate and one of the founding members of LDE. He introduced the day and led everyone in a minute of silence to remember people with learning disabilities who have died in Assessment and Treatment Units.

Mark Johnson is a KeyRing Member and a Trustee. He and Karyn Kirkpatrick, KeyRing's CEO, spoke at the event.

Some people were given lifetime membership of LDE to thank them for the work that they have done. One of these people was Shaun Webster who is a KeyRing Member. He was given the award because of all the work he does with the human rights organisation CHANGE.

Shaun said:

I couldn't believe it. I've never got anything like that before. I feel very proud and honoured. I feel like my work has made a difference. I've been working for CHANGE for 15 years. I want to inspire other people with learning disabilities to do what I do. When I got my MBE it inspired me to change professional's attitudes to people with learning disabilities so we are not treated like 2nd class citizens.

You can find out more about CHANGE at: changepeople.org

You can find out more about Learning Disability England at learningdisabilityengland.org.uk