The one positive thing to come from COVID-19 is how we have adapted to working online and the ability to share No Barriers Here© with larger audiences. 2,500 people logged into PCPLD Network’s Supporting people with learning disabilities in bereavement webinar where we presented exploring feelings of loss and grief with people with learning disabilities using arts-based methods. It was an initial workshop at the end of 2019 with a community group around bereavement and prior work between The Mary Stevens Hospice and Dudley Voices for Choices that informed No Barriers Here©.
During Spring, we delivered the second cohort of No Barriers Here© workshops, again online using Zoom and extending the reach of the project beyond the Dudley Borough to other people with learning disabilities living in England. Feedback received from this cohort included “It’s really great I think how people in the group shared things and I felt safe to do that” and a healthcare professional who was supporting people with learning disabilities said “I really enjoyed taking part in this! Thinking about what matters in our lives makes us all truly equal.”
Some members of the co-production team spent a lovely morning visiting a local park (rule of 6 and safe distancing rules applied) recording interviews for the upcoming No Barriers Here© film. Despite the amateur recording attempts(!) there was plenty of rich discussion around advance care planning and why it is important to include and involve people with learning disabilities in these conversations. We hope that this project encourages systems and partnerships to invite people with lived experience to work in genuine co-production.