Learning Disability

Home/Learning Disability
Learning Disability2021-04-22T14:24:24+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

Stop Hate UK Resources to Encourage Hate Crime Reporting

22nd April 2021|Communities of Interest, Inclusion, Learning Disability|

Stop Hate UK have produced a range of resources and promotional items to encourage Hate Crime reporting in your area. There's everything from posters and leaflets to footballs and fridge magnets. Visit https://www.stophateuk.org/resources/. Products promoting the Stop Hate Line can [...]

Making Information Accessible for Neurodivergent People

13th April 2021|Communities of Interest, Learning Disability, MailChimp, News|

Leeds Autism AIM, part of The Advonet Group, has produced a guide about how to make information resources more accessible to people who are neurodivergent. This includes people who have a diagnosis of autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD and Tourette’s [...]

Scope Starting Line Employment Training Programme starting in May

9th April 2021|Learning Disability, MailChimp, News, PSI|

Scope have free places available on their new Starting Line employment course which is due to start w/c 10 May 2021. Find out more at www.scope.org.uk/starting-line. Starting Line is a pre-employment training programme for disabled people at the start of [...]

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 19 May, 2:00 – 3.30pm
  • 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 [email protected]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 on the employment task group as part of the Being Me Strategy.  The task group meets quarterly and the work priorities were set by people with learning disabilities when the strategy was developed:

  • I have lots of opportunities 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

In 2020 the employment task group is working on an employment strategy to deliver to Leeds City Council in October. The strategy will bring together all the great work that is currently happening with some new objectives, including the development of an online learning disability employability hub for the city.

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

Jez Coram

Jez is the Volition Development Worker for Learning Disabilities

Jez joined Forum Central in September 2019. He has worked directly with people with learning disabilities for 9 years in the third sector in Leeds, recently in project research and development, project co-ordination, and as a multi-media designer.

Over the years he has built a good understanding of the variety of discriminations faced by people with learning disabilities through his varied projects and by working alongside staff and volunteers with learning disabilities.

At Forum Central Jez builds on connections with member organisations; passing information between members and statutory services in a format members can understand, encouraging partnership working, and helping to make sure people with learning disabilities voices, views and experiences are heard and are key to strategy and commissioning in the city. He also works with the member organisations to help them engage with the Being Me strategy for Leeds and build on its inclusivity as a city.

When not at Forum Central Jez is usually, either with his family and dog, or watching Netflix.

Email: [email protected]

    Go to Top