A voice for people with a learning disability

The Local Citizens Panel representatives, Callum McDonald (Tweeddale), Jennifer Freedman (Galashiels and Selkirk), Martin Aitchison (Berwickshire), Neil Willis (Hawick and Jedburgh) and Brian Boardman (Vice Chair Kelso and Coldstream).
The Local Citizens Panel representatives, Callum McDonald (Tweeddale), Jennifer Freedman (Galashiels and Selkirk), Martin Aitchison (Berwickshire), Neil Willis (Hawick and Jedburgh) and Brian Boardman (Vice Chair Kelso and Coldstream).

At a Borders Learning Disability Week event, the positive contribution people with learning disabilities make to their local communities was highlighted.

The theme at this year’s event in Galashiels was ‘looking back, thinking forward’, focusing on changes to government policy and how it has impacted on people with learning disabilities and their family carers.

In 2014, five local citizens’ panels were established in the region to give people with a learning disability a voice, and after unveiling a new panel welcome pack, the five chairs, including Berwickshire’s Martin Aitchison, said in a joint statement: “We have wanted a welcome pack for some time now to help us explain what the panels are, how they work and who members are.

“We are always keen to welcome new members and felt that a welcome pack would be a useful way of explaining to them why they should join us and all the benefits they would get out of it.

“It was a lot of work to create the packs, but we are delighted with how they have turned out, especially with our new logo on the front.

“We would like to thank all the people who took part in the project for their hard work and hope that everyone who gets a copy will be as pleased with them as we are.”