People First is the only learning-disability-user-led UK-wide self-advocacy network. We have been running for over 30 years and have a lot of experience. In the 90s and early 2000s a lot of self-advocacy organisations and groups were set up and funded.
Many local councils provided funding for these groups and some of the larger voluntary sector organisations also supported them. Sadly, this has not continued and funding for self-advocacy organisations has become harder to get.
Over the last 10 years many self-advocacy groups have closed or have been taken over. Our member groups have dropped by 50%.
We are very encouraged to see that some of the charitable trusts are understanding the difference and recognising the importance of user-led organisations. Recently a new term has been used, which is 'equity-led organisations'.
One of our priorities is to strengthen our national networking and support self-advocacy organisations to set up, to grow and to thrive. We also link with All Wales People First and People First (Scotland).
You can find out where our member organisations are around the country here