Having fun in the community and challenging attitudes on disability

Over the summer the Community Campaigns Team delivered a series of workshops to over 300 16-17 year-olds in Devon who are taking part in the National Citizens Service (NCS).

The National Citizen Service, is a four week programme to encourage personal and social development by building leadership, teamwork and communication skills to help young people feel more confident and play a greater role in their community.

The workshop focused on Scope’s End the Awkward campaign and was designed to get people thinking differently about disability. Participants were shown the films used for the campaign and took part in quizzes and a lively discussion on where negative views of disability come from and the impact they can have on disabled peoples’ lives. The groups were then tasked with organising a community action project which was accessible to all.

Band with two guitars, drums and singerParticipants took a range of actions designed to get people thinking differently about disability. These included holding an accessible gig with bands comprising of disabled and non-disabled musicians and organising an inclusive summer fete with all activities and games made accessible for people with a wide range of impairments.

People attending both events were given information on the barriers disabled people face in accessing community life, but the main learning came from seeing disabled people carrying out the same sort of activities as their non-disabled peers. As well as challenging attitudes towards disabled people, the events also raised money for Scope.

Crowd watching band, back of a man with a Scope t-shirt

The feedback from the NCS staff has been extremely positive.  Many commented on the change in the students’ behaviour and language towards disability issues after attending the workshops.

Scope was one of a range of organisations delivering workshops, yet so many of the participants chose to base their Community Action projects on raising awareness on tackling attitudes towards disability and raising funds for Scope.

We had so much fun and  hope to build on the success of these workshops and develop a programme of work with other Scope colleagues that we will deliver in summer 2015 in other parts of England and Wales.