Our work is like a kaleidoscope : constantly changing and evolving to create opportunities and challenges but always based on why Health and Happiness was originally founded. We also work to create lasting change and impact by embedding our ethos into mainstream practice and providing a safe place for people to develop, learn and grow. We work alongside the whole person but also the context of their lives, which are not lived in isolation from a variety of issues that impact upon their ability to take control of their lives.
The current priorities in our work and Business Plan build on our community connecting experience and the five core aims of Health and Happiness. People with learning disabilities told us that they wanted :-
- To change the way people think about us and treat us
- To change the way we feel about ourselves, so we have more choice and feel more in control of our lives and the services we receive
- To get to know more people to whom we can turn to for help and friendship
- To work with others so we can get jobs, so we have money to do what we would like
- To create healthy lifestyles for ourselves.
The lived experience and voices of people with learning disabilities across Highland create the expertise that are the building blocks of the next phase of our vision. This includes:-
- Journalism/Media – getting the voice and views of people with learning disabilities out there! (TILIS)
- Peer Education – leadership in educating peers about a range of health and well-being issues
- Research and Evaluation Services – consultancy in examining current issues and applying creativity, skills and knowledge in assessing providers and services (Expert-ease)
- Identifying premises for a thriving community Hub in Inverness, which would develop outreach across Highland and link in with other hubs, (called ‘Kenneth’s Kommunity’, after our founding member). This includes working with award-winning project Dates ‘n’ Mates to establish opportunities for finding love, friendship, connecting to people; a peer support listening project (Talkhear); outreach networkers across Highland to continue to support community developments with our partners (Tapestry); and independent living skills workshops. This builds capacity, skills, knowledge, practical support and resilience within people and communities to develop and sustain lasting change.
- Health and Happiness has developed a special interest project, ‘Celebrating Down Syndrome Diversity’, which includes awareness raising, activism, research and education about the current human rights and ethical issues affecting people and families with Down Syndrome.
These are our current funding priorities, so if you would like to join us in developing this vision across Highland across Highland, we would welcome all opportunities to work together to make positive changes happen for people! Please visit the individual project pages for more details.