The community’s three biggest learning disability organisations have launched an unprecedented joint consultation this week assessing demand for support services.
Charities Kisharon, Langdon and Norwood are teaming up to evaluate learning disability care provision and demand in the community, with a report detailing their findings expected to be published early next year.
Families, teachers responsible for special educational needs and local authorities have been urged this week to participate in the consultation through focus groups and interviews.
Figures from the think-tank Jewish Policy Research estimated in 2017 that some 23,000 Jews in the UK have some form of a learning disability, ranging from dyslexia to down’s syndrome.
Research carried out by Kisharon ahead of their school rebuild in Hendon suggests a growing number of young people were identified as having learning disabilities.
Langdon says the rate of referrals for its supported living service and college indicates there is a level of unmet need within the community.
Meanwhile, Norwood has seen a rising need for support at the point of diagnosis in very young children, most of whom will need some form of support throughout their lives.
Norwood’s chief executive Bev Jacobson said: “Individuals with learning disabilities have higher expectations for their lives than they did ten years ago.”
“This has led to an increase in demand for our services at a time when there is less funding and a shortage of accommodation,” she added. “We can solve this complex challenge far better together than we can each on our own.”
Langdon’s chief executive Neil Taylor said the consultation would allow the charities to analyse the impact further collaboration could have on services “in an increasingly challenging environment.”
The organisations have been wary of duplication in services, but Kisharon’s chief executive Richard Franklin stressed each of the organisations has “its own distinct ethos and caters to a different need in the community”.
“What we all recognise is the importance of prioritising the people we support in their relationship with the services on offer,” he added.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.