Free fun activities for adults with learning disabilities in Derry, Limavady and Strabane areas this summer

The Western Trust has worked with a number of partner agencies to organise a series of free fun outdoor events for adults with a learning disability and their families this summer.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 11:06 am
Representatives from the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Strabane Local Involvement Group, Public Health Agency, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Derry and Strabane District Council and Causeway Coast and Glens District Councils at the launch of the 'Reconnecting Events for Adult Learning Disability Community' at the Alley Theatre, Strabane.
Representatives from the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Strabane Local Involvement Group, Public Health Agency, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Derry and Strabane District Council and Causeway Coast and Glens District Councils at the launch of the 'Reconnecting Events for Adult Learning Disability Community' at the Alley Theatre, Strabane.

Organisations including the Public Health Agency and local councils all came together to organises the events, which are to be hosted across the Western Trust area.

The extensive range of fun and engaging activities have been designed with Adults with a Learning Disability in mind and will be offered at a range of venues including: Foyle Arena in Derry The Alley Theatre in Strabane, Castlederg Leisure Centre, Dungiven Sports Centre, Scroggy Road Centre, and Roe Valley Arts and Culture Centre.

The programme has been developed following the Covid-19 pandemic with many people with a Learning Disability feeling particularly isolated from their friends and peers and with others struggling to cope with the changes to routine and lifestyle.

Fun activities and refreshments will take place at Foyle Arena on July 9, August 26 and September 17 from 6pm to 8pm on each date. To book call 02871376555 or email: [email protected]

There will also be events at Scroggy Road Complex on July 18, Dungiven Sports Complex on August 7 and Roe Valley Centre on September 5, from 12pm to 2pm on each date. To book email: [email protected]

Further events will take place at the Alley Theatre on July 22 (6-8pm), August 26 (6-8pm), and September 11 (1-3pm) and at Castlederg Leisure Centre on August 12 (6-8pm). To book at Alley Theatre telephone 0287138444 or Castlederg on 02881670727 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

Christine McLaughlin, Assistant Director of Adult Learning Disability Services, WHSCT, said: “The past year and a half has been an extremely difficult time for Adults with a Learning Disability. Many have had to endure long periods without social interaction with their friends and peers and this exciting programme of events has been developed with our partners to address this issue.

“I want to thank everyone involved with the programme which clearly demonstrates the tremendous and creative provision that only working in partnership can bring.

“Following a year that has been extremely challenging for everyone, I am delighted that our adults with a Learning Disability, their parents and carers will have an opportunity to ‘reconnect’ with each other in a fun and safe social setting, thanks to all the organisations involved.”

Adele Dunn, Senior Health Improvement Officer (PHA) said: “The PHA is delighted to fund a summer programme of engagement events for people with learning disabilities and their families, across the Western Trust area.

“Having listened to the views of the individuals and families and working in partnership with the various agencies involved, a vibrant and interactive programme has been put together which will promote improved health and social wellbeing.

“I would like to say thank you to the local councils who have been so receptive to this programming and to WHSCT for ensuring the needs of people with learning disabilities remains in focus as we all recover from the impacts of COVID.”

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said: “This is a fantastic and welcome initiative and as a Council we pride ourselves on offering inclusion and opportunity to all, so we are delighted to work with all partners in delivering these outdoor events. It has been a challenging year for everyone, but it is really encouraging that we can now look forward to fun events and socialising again – something that is so important for both physical and mental health. I have no doubt these events will be enjoyed by everyone taking part as they ‘reconnect’ and have fun.”

Councillor Ashleen Schenning, Deputy Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, said: “This fantastic partnership initiative demonstrates Council’s commitment to providing positive recreation and social opportunities for everyone.

“Given the restrictions we have lived with recently, participants can look forward to reconnecting and socialising safely together. With an overall focus on health and wellbeing, there’s a great variety of activities on offer and we hope this programme for people with learning disabilities and their families will prove very popular.”

These events will adhere to all current and future Government restrictions, which will govern the maximum number of participants attending each event, with appropriate social distancing in place. For more details on the events, please contact the relevant Council.