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author icon author icon 20/07/2022 author icon Joe's SoapboxNews

A Trading Arm for All Wales People First

All Wales People First wrote a business plan for 2019 – 2023.

It was based on an independent evaluation with:

Members

Staff in local self-advocacy groups

The rest of the third sector

We used this information to:

Learn what is good about AWPF

What is not so good about AWPF

What AWPF could do differently or better

The main purpose of the evaluation was to find out what the needs of the members and the local groups were during very difficult times.

We wrote a Business Plan (MIRROR Strategy) to help us with this and we came up with three main ideas to help local groups.

Regional Councils (to help local groups make the case for funding self-advocacy)

AdFest to showcase how self-advocacy can help public and third sector organisations to meet their duties in Welsh law)

A trading arm.

The idea of the trading arm came about for several reasons.

One of the reasons is the fact that we are living in uncertain times. And there is little money.

All Wales People First can’t assume it will always be funded.

A trading arm could make some money to help All Wales People First in its work.

Things like lobbying and campaigning which we can’t do with our grants.

To fund our own projects without having to follow terms and conditions set out in grants.

To help local groups if they are struggling with money.

To help create work opportunities for local groups.

To put people with learning disabilities at the centre of changing attitudes towards learning disability.

By creating jobs as educators and trainers.

I met with a sub-group of the AWPF Board of Directors to work out the things we had to do to make sure the trading arm was legal and financially safe.

I also met up with Social Care Wales.

We held a session with the National Council on the 3rd May to ask if they think setting up a trading arm would be a good idea.

They said yes.

They gave us feedback on what work they think it should do.

I have put together the first draft of a business plan for the trading arm.

I wrote it with Social Care Wales.

It is based on:

What members told us in 2017 evaluation

National Council meeting on 3rd May 2022

The things I already knew about self-advocacy in Wales

What works best for the trading arm to be a success without it affecting All Wales People First in a negative way.

There is a full version of the business plan and an easy read version of a business plan.

I hope to put it to a ‘think tank’ made of members of the National Council and the Board of AWPF.

There will be two ‘think tank’ meetings.

We hope the first one will happen at the end of August.

The board are responsible for the legal and financial decisions of All Wales People First.

This is why it is important they are there.

The National Council are there because it is up to them what the trading arm should do.

The idea in the business plan is just a proposal.

It is a place to start having a discussion.

The ‘think tank’ will decide what should stay in the plan.

What should be taken away from the plan.

And what should be added to the plan.

The ‘think tank’ will say when they are happy with the business plan and when we can start it.

Once they sign it off we will share it with the membership.

We hope this will be a very positive step forward in promoting self-advocacy.

And the profile of people with learning disabilities in Wales.

We hope it will help All Wales People First in its mission.

To include people with learning disabilities as equal citizens in Wales.

I will update you on the progress of the trading arm.

Once the business plan is signed off by the ‘think tank’

VICTORY FOR SELF-ADVOCACY

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