Two year project with SYFR

Today we launched a brand new two year project in conjunction with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR). The aim of the project is to improve the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities across Sheffield.

The project is funded by a £43,746 grant from the Safer Stronger Communities Reserve. It is an initiative which reinvests money into local communities to support their work preventing emergencies.

Ours is one of 16 projects to have just received funding across the region. It will take the shape of a series of events, sessions, workshops and talks, all co-designed with people with learning disabilities. The aim is to raise the profile of current health inequalities for this group, and explore how greater understanding can deliver positive health impacts.

The aim is not only to reach our existing clients, but to reach out to peers, families and to the wider community. It will look holistically at all aspects of life, with an ambition and view to improving physical safety and overall health and wellbeing.

Subjects we aim to cover include:

  • Road safety
  • Safety in the home
  • Hate crime
  • How to keep safe in the community
  • How to request assistance

We also aim to look at individual aspects of physical health, such as:

  • Eye sight
  • Hearing
  • Mouth care
  • Healthy relationships and sexual health
  • Looking out for and raising symptoms of pain

As an extension of everything we do, we consider how the positive impact of what we do can influence our wider community, whether children, youth groups, people with dementia, or the elderly. So if an element or session has worked well for our clients we have the network in place to roll out initiatives more widely for the benefit of our wider community.

Our project was launched with a client visit to Rivelin Fire Station. First we had an official cheque presentation by Councillor Jackie Satur and SYFR’s Head of community safety, Trevor Bernard. After this we were shown around the station by the fire fighters on duty, White Watch, and given a talk on the equipment they use. Then the fun really began, as everyone had the chance to test out the powerful fire hose!

Around 20 clients attended the visit, and everyone had a great time. We also learnt so much about how the fire service operates, and the wide range of things they do every day. There’s a lot more to the fire and rescue service than putting out fires. It really was an eye opener to see the amount of work they do behind the scenes to prevent emergencies happening in the first place, and we’re really lucky to be able to play a part in this initiative.

We’d like to thank White Watch at Rivelin Fire Station for showing us around; the Community Safety team for teaching us all about the service, and everyone behind the Stronger Safer Communities Reserve scheme for making our project possible. Our plans are now really taking shape and we look forward to working together over the next two years!

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