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Learning disability charity shares insight with Lloyds Bank Foundation

A learning disability charity has shared its research to help upskill a charitable foundation about social care and the issues the sector is currently facing.

Billy Davis, who is Public Affairs and Policy Manager at national learning disability charity Hft, spoke to staff members at a training event run by Lloyds Bank Foundation, which funds and supports small and local charities across England and Wales to tackle complex social issues including overcoming problems faced by people with a learning disability. The training encouraged Foundation staff members to grow their knowledge about the learning disability sector and help them to have more informed conversations that ultimately lead to an improved grant-making process.

One of the issues discussed by Billy Davis was the funding crisis the social care sector is currently facing. The policy manager drew on Hft’s annual Sector Pulse Check research, which provides a yearly snapshot of the financial health of the sector, to highlight the impact of the financial pressures affecting services that support people with learning disabilities. Last year’s report revealed that more than half (59%) of providers had been forced to close down some parts of their organisation or hand back contracts to local authorities as a means of dealing with cost pressures.

Billy Davis, Public Affairs and Policy Manager, said: “Hft has been producing the Sector Pulse Check report, which is the only research to focus exclusively on providers in the learning disability sector, for four years now. In that time, we have gathered a wealth of knowledge about the challenges faced by providers, and the impact this is having on people who receive those services.Member of learning disability charity - HFT - giving advice to Lloyds Bank

“I was delighted to be invited to share our research with Lloyds Bank Foundation. I hope that it has helped to shine a light on some of the current issues facing the learning disability sector and the people we support, which in turn will inform Lloyds Bank Foundation when making funding decisions in the work that they do to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities.”

Oliver Williams, Head of Grants (South) at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, said: “In our current portfolio, we have awarded 50 grants worth £3m to small and local charities across England and Wales which support people with a learning disability. Therefore it’s crucial that our decision-making is informed by experts in the field who work and help those with a learning disability, whether it’s to find work or live with more independence. We’re delighted to hear from Hft’s policy manager, who has really helped us to better understand the social care and learning disability policy landscape in England and Wales.”

Hft currently supports more than 2,500 people with learning disabilities across the country to live the best life possible. This includes supporting people with learning disabilities to live independently in their own homes, providing employment services to help people develop skills and experience for work and helping people to pursue hobbies, make new friends and get involved in their local communities.

To take part in this year’s Sector Pulse Check survey, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YDK9NDJ