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Supporting Learning Disabilities Week in Lewisham 

NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting Learning Disabilities Week 2019, which is taking place from 17 to 23 June, with a special focus on sport and inclusion.

Learning Disabilities Week is led by Mencap, a charity that is the leading voice of learning disability. Mencap has identified that 49 per cent of people with a learning disability would like to spend more time outside their house, 18 per cent feel alone and cut off from other people. And a third spend less than an hour outside their homes on a typical Saturday.

But the charity has identified that:

  • Sport and physical activity can reduce loneliness and isolation.
  • Benefits for people with and without a learning disability include improved health and wellbeing, empowerment and greater social inclusion.
  • Sport and physical activity between people with and without a learning disability can also help to improve attitudes and challenge negative views towards people  with a learning disability. 

Dr Esther Appleby GP and Clinical Director for Lewisham CCG, said: "Supporting those with learning disabilities is one of our clinical priorities. We share Mencap's vision of a world where people with a learning disability are valued equally. Their opinions and concerns are just as important as those of the rest of the population and should be listened to and acted on.

"Given the overwhelming evidence of the benefits of physical activity and the fact that people with learning disabilities appear to be missing out on opportunities to take part, we want to fully support this campaign. We have some wonderful open spaces and facilities in Lewisham, and everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy them!"