In June 2008, Mencap Cymru launched its employment campaign 9 - 5. Mencap Cymru wants statutory bodies to take the lead on employing more people with a learning disability.
At present less than one out of every ten people with a learning disability is in any form of paid employment. Mencap Cymru thinks that this is wrong and is asking statutory bodies such as the Welsh Assembly Government, the National Assembly for Wales, the NHS in Wales and all 22 local authorities in Wales to look at the way they recruit and support people with a learning disability.
Dawn Gullis has a learning disability. She went to a mixture of special units in mainstream schools and colleges and never really had any idea of what she wanted to do as a paid job. However Dawn knew that she wanted to work.
Dawn has worked for Mencap Cymru since 2003, when she attended an interview for a job with Mencap Cymru.
The interview was difficult as I didn’t have any one to support me, though as it was Mencap, people were very kind and helpful and didn’t mind when I had to take time about the answers. I was really excited when I was phoned up later on in the day and told that I had got the job, my first paid job. My family were really happy for me, especially my mother who also has a learning disability. Working was important to me. It not only means money, which is important, but also it means that you get respect.
Dawn Gullis, Mencap Cymru external affairs officer
Working and the feeling of self-worth that comes with doing a job is important to everyone, and since Dawn joined Mencap Cymru she hasn’t stopped. Dawn’s experiences have given Mencap Cymru expertise when it comes to campaigning, as shown in our recent successes:
- Our Treat Me Right campaign, which saw Wales becoming the first country in the world to introduce free annual health checks.
- The closure of all long stay hospitals in Wales.
- Our recent Changing Places success which has resulted in nearly a quarter of a million pounds invested in six new changing places toilets, two portable toilets and changing to the TAN 12 planning guidelines in Wales.
If you would like more information about campaigns in your area, contact the Wales Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111, or email email@example.com