Gerraint’s blog November 2020
At the beginning of the month, I attended the Social Networks Project coffee morning. I had recorded a short voice clip about my experiences of autism and the coffee morning was the launch of all the stories they’d gathered together. It’s good to network with other agencies and to be open about your own experiences.
The early part of the month was taken up with Learning Disability Wales’ Annual Conference entitled ‘Everybody’. There were lots of online events over a 2-week period and I co-chaired the opening session. I took part in the Welsh Government session on loneliness and co-facilitated the Engage to Change workshop later in the first week. Learning Disability Wales is a lead partner for Gig Buddies as well as Engage to Change and I attended the Gig Buddies session at the conference, which looked forward to their launch in North Wales. It was also great to see the Engage to Change partners at the Careers Wales session.
On the 19 November I attended the LGBT group hosted by Mencap Cymru. As the Lead Ambassador my role is to reach out to as many groups as possible to promote Engage to Change.
In terms of training, I’ve been on a social media course recently – I use social media a lot to promote the project. The training was really useful and I’ll definitely be using the things I learned to help me promote Engage to Change.
On 25 November I returned to Growing Spaces on the Be Bold, Be Brave theme. I attended their session on volunteering and spoke about my own experiences of voluntary work and how it had helped me build confidence, increase my social network and, importantly, helped me secure paid employment!
I’ve been in touch with the other ambassadors on the project lately. We’re still looking at how to increase female participation in the project and we’ve asked our female ambassador Elsa to speak at an event in January to encourage more young women to join the project. We also plan to ask a female participant to record a video of her experiences in the hope of attracting more young women to the project.
All Wales People First did a wellbeing session at the end of November. This offered quite a few useful tips for looking after your emotional well-being and I plan to share these with the ambassadors soon.