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Big Lottery Peoples Millions Finalists!!


“Wyse Weemin” in the Causeway!


People are getting the chance to decide how Big Lottery money is spent in their own local community!  Local charity, CAN is hoping to attract funding for a health education programme , “Women Wise” if they are successful in the UTV People’s Millions on Tuesday 25th November 2014.


For a lot of women in the community or living in more isolated areas, access to information about health care can be a challenge.  Throw in a learning disability on top of that and access is further diminished!


If successful in the Head to Head on Tuesday 25th November, funding would be provided by the Big Lottery Fund to enable CAN to run 2 x series of workshops to provide accessible health education programme to both women with and without learning disabilities in the Causeway area.


The Women Wise programme will be mobile (taking place in local community settings) and will cover sessions looking at physical health including cancer awareness and screening, mental health and emotional health as well as issues such as keeping safe on and offline and good decision making.  They will bring in experts such as the Family Planning Association, other voluntary organisations and community associations to make sure the information is accessible and sessions are interactive.


Janet Schofield, Director of CAN said “We know from experience that women with learning disabilities do not have the same access to information about their health or health care as women without learning disabilities do.  This programme is something which is desperately needed within our communities.  It will bring women from all ages and backgrounds together to learn about keeping themselves well, will have an element of fun and most of all will provide opportunities for shared learning, friendship and peer support to some of the most vulnerable people out there!””


Ursula Campbell who is a woman with a learning disability herself and a self-advocate, is extremely passionate about the topic.  Ursula said “Some of my friends don’t see their children because they were removed into care shortly after they were born.  They didn’t get advice around contraception and making safe choices and fell pregnant as a result.  When some of my friends had their children they were taken off them and were told they were ‘unfit’ rather than supported to be good mums.

Ursula     Campbell, Ballymoney “As a woman with a learning disability, I got a lot of     the information I needed too late – it’s important we know how to keep     healthy and safe and this programme will help women like me!”


Ursula continued… “CAN works with ladies of all ages and when some of our ladies went through menopause or ‘the change’, no one explained this to them and some (struggling with hormonal changes and mood swings) were diagnosed as ‘having difficult behaviour’ and were sent to hospital for treatment – again, no one considered that this might be a ‘normal’ thing for a lady going through menopause or took the time to explain this to them.”


The telephone number for voting isn’t released until 9am on the morning of the Head to Head on 25th November but you can get the number on or in the Daily Mirror. 


Janet Schofield said “If you have ever experienced health worries or concerns and understand how difficult it can be to get the right information and advice, give a thought to those in our community who really struggle!  Please…as a daughter, mother, sister or friend, PICK UP THE PHONE on the 25th and VOTE for Women Wise!”


For more information, or if you are interested in helping CAN campaign for votes, contact Janet Schofield at CAN on 02827669030. 


WomenWise Peoples Millions  Press Release

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