Councillor Nick Nenadich is the council’s new learning disability champion and will be taking on the role previously held by Cllr Chris Chappell.
Over the next few weeks, Councillor Nenadich will be spending time meeting people with learning disabilities and their carers to find out more about the services they need to live well and be as independent as possible. He will also be working across all communities and organisations to promote integration and stimulate employment opportunities for adults with learning disabilities.
Councillor Nenadich, said:
“I am pleased to be taking on this new role and am looking forward to meeting some of the people who are responsible for delivering care and support, as well as some of the people who use these services.
“People with learning disabilities traditionally find it more difficult to find a real job in the world, yet we know from discussions we’ve had with service users and carers, that education and employment is very important to their wellbeing. My vision is to create employment opportunities for some of these people, but to do so in a way that means they can earn a living wage if they choose to. This promotes independence, confidence and community integration.
“I am particularly keen to promote social enterprise and getting local business communities backing this. People with learning disabilities have a wide range of needs, but they also have some amazing skills and there’s no reason why we should not do more to help them utilise these skills.
“At the same time, we know that the Care Act is likely to bring further changes to health and social care in Herefordshire. Legislation is very complex and we want to try and help people make sense of things to make sure they get all the support they are entitled to. That may mean speaking and writing documents in plain, simple and understandable ways.
“It is critical that we provide a platform for people with learning disabilities to voice their concerns and I will work with council colleagues and our partners to make sure this happens.”