Bishop's Stortford

Learning Disabilities Forum

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Rhodes Centre
Bishop’s Stortford
CM23 3JG
Here you will find the notes from our meetings and other notes of things that might interest you.

Minutes from the forum, Thursday 15th March 2018 at

The Rhodes Centre, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 3JG

This was a daytime meeting starting at 1pm and finishing at 3pm

Present: Julie A-H, Kerry, Christine, Sid, Iso, Jo Hough, Chris, Nigel, Gayl, Yvonne Smith, Charlotte, Sylvie, Louise Jenkins, Ryan Doherty, Jack Doherty, Micahel, Sylwie Baginske, , James, , K Cooper, E.R., Sam, Beno, Andy Cooke, Norma symonds, Alison Hill, Joy Barker, Yvonne Smith, Charlotte Sear

Apologies; Graham McAndrew

Welcome –
Jo Butterfield - Chair

• Introductions and apologies

Sid Perry talked about the café, Wiggly Willow, which is more than just a coffee shop. It’s open 10-5, Monday – Friday, 10-2, Saturday. A place where people with learning disabilities can gain work experience, a place to meet, have a coffee and cake. Drop in when you can, they need more customers. They don’t charge for work experience and there are two hour slots once a week for washing up, serving and delivering. Clubs held there include Monday 6-7.30, signing and singing. The website has a month’s worth of activities posted there. £20 a month for social clubs, there’s a poll table, games and music. Wiggly Willow is developing as a hub for support groups

David Abbey -My Safe Home
David came down from Birmingham to talk about the company My Safe Home, that has been enabling people with learning difficulties to purchase their own home since 1999. Of the 1300 people they have helped since 1999, 80% of them are still in their own homes today. Deposit and fees of c£17,000 are needed and proof of the ability to pay £130 per month towards living costs.

After a coffee break PCO Adam Pemberton and PCO Lucy talked to the forum.
They talked about safety in town, the Keep Safe campaign, (currently under review) in which shops and business display a sticker so people who feel vulnerable or scared know they can go and talk to a trained person who can help them. Adam talked about keeping safe in general, in your own home, ask for I.D. from callers, keep the front and back door locked, in taxis, ask for the name of the driver and colour and make of car when you book, out and about, tell people where you are going and what time you expect to be back and on buses.

Kerry Faulkner from Herts County Council talked about Shared Lives, sharing your home. Jo Butterfield talked about her experience, followed by James, who talked about how he shares his life with Adam and his family. He is an ambassador for Shared Lives and has spoken at the house of commons. Shared Lives are looking to recruit more carers in East and North Herts. For more information contact Kerry at

We’re looking for organisations to share information about summer activities for people with learning difficulties at our next meeting
Thursday 14th June 2018
7pm to 9pm at Rhodes Centre
This will be an evening meeting and we would like to have a ‘marketplace’ style, with tables and banners, leaflets and opportunities to chat. For further details contact

Notes from December 2010

Notes from19th Jan 2011

Notes from 23rd March 2011

Notes from 7th June 2011

Notes From 7th September 2011

Purple Folder fact sheet Nov 2011

Health Liaison Team Fact Sheet Nov 2011

Notes from forum 14 March 2012

Forum Notes from the 14th November 2012