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  4. Our lives - our research - small things that make a big difference

Our lives - our research - small things that make a big difference

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The Building Bridges Research Group

Rowandale House
50 Woodland Road
Halesowen
West Midlands
B62 8JT

Telephone: 0121 559 9197
Email: mail@building-bridges-training.org
Website: www.building-bridges-training.org

(Community Interest Company 6916509)

Building Bridges research group is an inclusive research group of people with a learning disability. Most people have no support from services, and a couple just have a little staff support. We have been doing a year-long research project about our lives and the lives of the people we know, about living with the welfare reforms and other issues in our lives.

We have found out that there are many things that are hard for people who don't get support from services; the main difficulties are coping with money and bills, and the pressure we get from Jobcentre Plus to look for work. Some of us have also had problems due to the bedroom tax.

But we have also found out that small things can make a big difference. These include having a friend who understands things to speak up for us, having support from local organisations such as churches, and having front line staff who make sure we understand and take more time to help us. One thing we all thought was really important was to be treated kindly and with respect. Concessionary bus passes and being given information in an easy read format are also really important to us. We are currently finishing our research report and a short film, which we would like to share at the conference.

View the Building Bridges PowerPoint presentation (PPT)

Biographies

Samantha

Samantha regularly provides training about making a difference for parents with a learning disability. She has been involved in the 'Our lives, our research' project and has done a research methods course with Builidng Bridges Training. Samantha is the mother of an adult son aged 20 who still lives in the family home with her husband, two cats and a dog. Samantha enjoys cross stitch and keeping her house tidy. She also enjoys using public transport and likes to have flowers in the garden.


Kevin

Kevin has been involved in the 'Our lives, our research' project and has done a research methods course with Building Bridges Training. He has helped to train social work students. He has a dog called Pebbles who doesn't like the rain and keeps racing pigeons.


Satnam

Satnam has been involved in the 'Our lives, our research' project and has done a research methods course with Building Bridges Training. In his spare time he likes to go bike riding and use the sports centre. He likes using public transport and is a bit football fan.


Liz

Liz has been a special school teacher, the Chief Executive of a voluntary organisation and a youth worker before she set up Building Bridges Training in 2008. She also works at the University of Wolverhampton two days a week. She likes to go walking and running in the countryside in her spare time. She has two cats and a tortoise called Hercules.

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

About the website

If you have any feedback or would like to report a problem with the website, please contact WELS-Research-Admin@open.ac.uk.