Learning Disability

Learning Disability2021-07-29T11:36:34+01:00

About the Learning Disability Network

Forum Central facilitates a network and forum of third sector learning disability organisations in Leeds.

Forum Central supports the work of its learning disability membership organisation to improve services and opportunities for people with learning disabilities in Leeds.

Volition Logo


Established in 1987 as the Leeds Voluntary Sector Mental Health Forum, the charity changed its name to Volition-Leeds in  2004. In November 2017, Volition merged with the PSI-Network, the key Leeds Third Sector infrastructure group working in the field of physical and sensory impairment, and then with the Learning Disability Forum  – Tenfold – in February 2020. Having been known as PSI-Volition after the first merger, following consultation with all members a decision was taken by the board to be known as Volition in April 2020.

The organisation is a charitable company limited by guarantee, incorporated on 3 August 2000 and registered as a charity on 21 May 2002. The company was established under a Memorandum of Association which established the objects and powers of the charitable company and is governed under its Articles of Association as amended by special resolutions on 22 January 2018 and 22 August 2019.


The network includes over 100 third sector member organisations, all voluntary, community and faith sector organisations who work with and for people who have learning disabilities in Leeds.

Forum Central facilitates strong relationships across the membership by working across all sectors, using partnership working, facilitating collaboration, and connecting with decision makers.

To find member organisations and services you can search the Forum Central members directory. To become a member and for more information on joining contact us.

What we do

The aim of the network is to drive positive change for people with learning disabilities. Forum Central aids this by developing the network of third sector organisations working for positive health and care outcomes for people with learning disabilities in Leeds.

This development is facilitated practically by connecting people, sharing information, campaigning, hosting events, networking, representing members and influencing health and care strategies in the city.

Forum Central have built up excellent working relationships with partners in the third sector, with the council, including care management teams and commissioners, and with colleagues from across all areas of health services in the city.

Forum Central work in ways that ensure people with learning disabilities voices are heard and that services are designed to be person-centred and tailored to priority and individual needs.

Learning Disability news and events

‘It’s Everyone’s Journey’ A New Campaign From the Department for Transport

9th April 2024|Health & Care, Inclusion, Learning Disability, MailChimp, News, PSI|

The Department for Transport (DfT) is conducting a campaign to make public transport accessible to Disabled people. The campagin aims to show how we can all play a part in making public transport more inclusive. To help the DfT increase [...]

Nominations Open – Forum Central Learning Disability Awards

2nd April 2024|Featured, Health & Care, Learning Disability, MailChimp|

The Tenfold Awards are back with a new name but the same ethos! We are relaunching the awards as the ‘Forum Central - Learning Disability Awards' - to celebrate the achievements of VCSE organisations in Leeds. Nominations are now open. [...]

Report Launched: International Day of Disabled People 2023 Evaluation

20th March 2024|Learning Disability, MailChimp, News, PSI|

Read the newly released report which summarises the activity that took place in Leeds to mark International Day of Disabled People 2023. Leeds for All celebrated the International Day of Disabled People for the 5th year in 2023 with a [...]

Learning Disabilities – Strategic Information

Learning Disability Members Meet Ups

Forum Central hold regular Learning Disability Members meet ups, open to everyone with an interest in the learning disability third sector. These meetings are an opportunity to network, get the latest strategic updates and hear from guest speakers.

These are also attended by statutory services including Leeds City Council Commissioning Team, to encourage direct conversation between members and commissioners.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions and safety the Members meet ups are being held via Zoom. Please see details below:

Upcoming Dates for 2021:

  • Tuesday 27 July, 10:00 – 11:30am
  • Wednesday 15 September, 1:00 – 2:30pm
  • Wednesday 24 November, 1:00 – 2:30pm

You can find information from past members meet-ups here:

To confirm attendance at member meet ups or for more information please contact hello@forumcentral.org.uk.

Learning Disability Pop-Up Sessions

The Pop-Up sessions with the Care Management Team, hosted at Technorth, provide a great opportunity for Forum Central members to talk to the Care Managers about your services, and what you can offer people with a learning disability in the city, in an informal setting.

In 2020 sessions were planned around the theme of the Being Me Strategy. Pop up sessions run from 12.30 – 14.00 pm.

Pop-Up Session dates:

  •   Due to Covid-19 the pop-up sessions are currently postponed.

If you would like to host a stall, please get in contact with [email protected] for more information.


Leeds Learning Disability Partnership Board

The Leeds Learning Disability Partnership Board meets quarterly and is made up of, councillors, commissioners from health and social care, people with learning disabilities, advocacy, reference groups including family carers and the people’s parliament, forums including Forum Central and providers from statutory, third sector and public health services.

The board focuses its work around the Being Me Strategy 2018-2021 and is the strategic board for learning disabilities in Leeds. The aim of the strategy is that Leeds is best city to live in for people with learning disabilities. The board supports Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, Transforming Care Programme Board and the Being Me Project Team.

The strategic work is divided into task groups with themed leads: Being Well, Being Social, Being Safe, Employment and Travel.

The Board has 2 Chairs – A Councillor from the local authority and a People’s Parliament representative.

Forum Central has 5 seats on the board and represents the third sector.

Being Me Strategy – Employment Task group
Forum Central currently leads the Learning Disability Employment Task Group, which is delivering on the employment priorities for people with learning disabilities, as part of the Learning Disability Being Me Strategy. The priorities are:
  • I have the chance to experience the world of work.
  • I am supported to get involved in things like volunteering; work placements; paid employment; starting a business.
  • I have the skills I need to help me find a job and keep it
  • I feel valued by local employers, and they appreciate my individual skills and strengths.
The Being Me Strategy is overseen by the Leeds Learning Disability Partnership Board. The Employment Task Group takes a city-wide partnership approach in Leeds and includes experts by experience, representatives from third sector organisations, the public sector and employers (including the private sector). In December 2020, the employment task group developed a five-year ambition statement and action plan to continue to deliver on the priorities of the Being Me Strategy. The Employment Task Group meet every 2 months and has four subgroups that meet in between the bi-monthly meetings to focus on actioning specific areas of work connected with helping people with learning disabilities get into, and retain, paid work. The subgroups are:
  • Coordination and planning subgroup
  • Employer Engagement subgroup
  • Pathways and Skills Development subgroup
  • Being Employed Leeds Website Development subgroup
The Employment Task Group is currently chaired by the development worker for learning disabilities, and meetings are co-hosted by Experts by Experience and the organisation with whom they work / have been supported into work. We are currently in the process of planning to recruit two part time co-working coordinators for the Group.
Employment Hub – Advisory Group

Forum Central sits on the advisory group for the development of the learning disability employability hub, current group members include Connect in the North, Leeds City Council, and the DWP.

Lead: Connect in the North

Being Me Strategy – Health Task Group

The health task group leads on improved health and wellbeing outcomes for people with learning disabilities in the city. The priorities set include:

  • I am supported to have good health
  • I am able to exercise regularly and I have choice about the activities I do to keep fit
  • I have the right support and information I need to eat healthily
  • I am supported to access the right services to keep me healthy
  • I receive a good quality annual health check and health action plan
  • I attend the right national screening programmes
  • I know about cancer and how to check myself
  • I am confident visiting health services like the doctors, chemist, dentist, optician and podiatrist
  • I have good communication with health experts and I receive reasonable adjustments when I need them
  • I am always listened to
  • The information they give me is easy for me to understand

Forum Central attend the health task group and support the work of the group. In 2020 Tenfold and the Health Task group will organise an event to promote Annual Health Checks.

Health Task Group Lead: Victoria Treddenick – NHS CCG Commissioning Manager – Learning Disability and Autism

Being Me Strategy – Task Group Themed Leads

Themed lead meetings bring together task group leads and Leeds City Council to share updates on task group progress and trouble shoot problems in the various work-streams.

Lead: Lana Northey – Leeds City Council – Commissioning Programme Leader

The People’s Parliament

The People’s Parliament meets quarterly and is a group of adults with learning disabilities. There are around 40 members. They are a reference group for the Partnership Board and have 8 seats. They:

  • Tell the Board what is important to people with learning disabilities and their families
  • Share information about plans and changes to services with people outside the meetings
  • Provide opportunities for people to share ideas and support each other

Forum Central attend the People’s Parliament meetings.

Lead: Claire Nixson – Asking You! Co-ordinator

Care Management – Being Me Project Team meetings

The Being Me Project Team at Care Management mirrors the task groups of the Being Me Strategy.  This project is in its second stage and the project team works to provide strengths based social care in the Learning Disability and Transitions Care Management teams. Sharing of the results, learning and recommendations of the various work-streams is expected in 2020.

Forum Central represents the third sector at the project team meetings.

Lead: Fiona Martin – Service Delivery Manager  – Joint Care Management (Learning Disabilities)

Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR)

People with learning disabilities die younger. LeDeR (The Learning Disability Mortality Review) has found that the difference between the age at death of people with learning disabilities and the general population is 23 years for men and 27 years for women. Yet many of the causes of these deaths are preventable.

In 2019 a local review panel was set up to review cases in the Leeds area. The purpose of the reviews is to help health and social care professionals and policy makers to:

  • Identify the potentially avoidable contributory factors related to
    deaths of people with learning disabilities.
  • Identify variation and best practice in preventing premature mortality
    of people with learning disabilities.
  • Develop action plans to make any necessary changes to health and
    social care service delivery for people with learning disabilities.

Forum Central represent the Third Sector at the quarterly LeDeR Panel Review meetings.

Transforming Care Oversight Meetings

The NHS Transforming Care Programme is about improving health and care services so that more people can live in the community, with the right support, and close to home.

The NHS national plan, Building the Right Support, published in October 2015 set out what they are doing to make sure this change happens.

Locally in Leeds the Transforming Care Partnership is made up of:

Clinical Commissioning Groups

  • Leeds North CCG /  Leeds South and East CCG / Leeds West CCG

Local Authority

  • Leeds City Council

SRO: Tim Ryley
Email: [email protected]

Forum Central represent the Third Sector at the Transforming Care Oversight monthly Meetings.

Learning Disability Digital Inclusion Network

An informal partnership of third sector organisations and Leeds City Council, to improve digital inclusion and participation for people with learning disability in the city of Leeds. The network is newly formed due to the rapid uptake of online services by third sector organisations for people with learning disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic and ‘lockdown’ restrictions.

Forum Central support the work of the network.

Lead: James Hill – Pyramid of Arts

Learning Disability and Autism Steering Group

The Learning Disability Steering Group is held every 3 months by Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

Helen Christodoulides, Director of Nursing (Corporate), chairs the meeting.

One of the Get Me Better Champions co-chairs this meeting with Helen.

Forum Central represent the third sector at the steering group meetings.

If you would like to have a copy of the terms of reference, agenda or minutes or would like more information about these meetings please contact the Learning Disabilities team.

Email [email protected] or phone 0113 2066836.

Learning Disability Week Steering Group Meetings

Every year in June Learning Disability Awareness Week takes place. Forum Central attends the steering group meeting to plan events and activities across the week.

Learning Disability Awards Planning Team Meetings

Every two years the Learning Disability Awards Ceremony takes place as part of Learning Disability Awareness week. This is a celebratory event to recognise all the hard work of individuals working in Learning Disability services across the city.

Contact Us

Jez Coram

Senior Development Worker - Learning Disabilities

Jez has worked with people with learning disabilities for 10 years in Leeds' third sector and works hard to ensure that the voices, views and experiences of people with learning disabilities are heard.

Jez connects members of the learning disability network, shares information, encourages partnership working, and provides opportunities for members to influence strategy and commissioning in Leeds.

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