Challenging Preconceptions and Misconceptions
Young people supported by Positive Futures continue to blaze a trail for people with a learning disability. Fourteen young people from our Lisburn Families Service have gained Duke of Edinburgh Awards at Bronze and Silver level.
Their achievements were recognised at Belfast Activity Centre on Thursday 19th March, when TV personality Pamela Ballantine presented their awards.
Stephen Bailie, Gary Bailie, Bob Hill, Campbell Phoenix, Natalie Doran, Kelly-Ann Nolan, Jamie Cook, James Rouchy and Aaron Reid received Bronze Awards. Lesley McAleese, Linda Tate, Gordon Bell, Toni Fisher and Scott McCready gained awards at Silver level. These young people received no special concessions and completed each Awards Scheme element on the same terms as everyone else.
Anne Murphy, manager of our Lisburn Families Service, recognised their achievements:
‘The young people we support continue to challenge preconceptions and misconceptions about people with a learning disability. We believe that people with a learning disability should live as independently as possible, be involved in their communities and achieve their full potential. These young people have shown that this aim is no ‘pipedream’, by taking part in community life and making the most of the opportunities that come their way. They are a wonderful example to us all.’
In Lisburn, our Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme began two years ago, when young people from that area were among only a few young people with a learning disability to achieve Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Awards. Now, some of these people have gone on to gain Silver Awards, taking another step towards their aim of taking part in society on equal terms and showing that they are ready for even bigger challenges. Our Lakeland Families Service in Fermanagh also runs a Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme and young people from that service have also gained Bronze Level Awards.