At Walsingham Support we’re committed to supporting people to experience deep and meaningful relationships, whether that’s with friends, a significant other or family members. We know that a happy life involves feeling loved and loving in return.
Loving relationships for people with disabilities can be a difficult topic to discuss, but one that needs addressing. We’re always seeking to grow and develop. As an organisation, we follow the social network Supported Loving and their #openthecan campaign closely, because we strive towards empowering people to explore sexual and intimate relationships if they choose.
Supported Loving connects different organisations, people and family members to engage in dialogues about how to enable people with autism or learning disabilities to live a full life including love and relationships.
Our Mates and Dates events fit into this ethos, as they offer the people we support a chance to get together in a safe environment to have fun, dance, socialise and maybe meet someone special.
As part of exploring love and relationships we have also recently established a group to discuss and explore LGBTQ+ issues for people with learning disabilities and autism. The group is for anyone in the Luton area to feel free to talk about the issues they face.
We realise that not all people fall into the man/woman box, and not all people are heterosexual so we strive to support people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or otherwise genderqueer. Alongside our LGBTQ+ meetings, we’ve updated our policies to incorporate LGBTQ+ issues, revisited our recruitment and training parameters, and much more, to ensure LGBTQ+ people obtain excellent support from us!
Our policy on Relationship and Intimacy can be found here.