Make a difference with Citizens Panels

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HAWICK is set to host one of a series of Borders-wide information days on the new Local Citizens Panel initiative.

People aged 16 and over with a learning disability and their family carers are being invited to sign up for the new scheme which will allow them to have their say in the way that services are planned, prioritised and delivered in the Borders.

Local panel members will work in partnership with the Scottish Borders Learning Disability Service and be given the opportunity to: help make sure learning disability services meet their needs; take part in consultations about services and changes such as welfare reform and provide feedback; put forward ideas for things that will foster inclusion in their local communities and create a better quality of life; work in partnership with other groups; raise concerns about services so that improvements can be made; and receive and share information about things that affect learning disability services or which are happening in their local communities.

Andrew Lowe, SBC’s director of social work, said: “Citizens Panels are a really positive way for people and families to get involved in making things better and having their say about the shape of opportunities and services for the years ahead.”

Councillor Frances Renton, the council’s executive member for social work, added: “This is an exciting development for the service which we hope will provide an important opportunity for us to work collaboratively with people and their families.”

Anyone who is eligible and is interested in joining their Local Citizens Panel or simply wants to find out more can pop into the information session on Wednesday, September 18, at The Well, Hawick Baptist Church, Bourtree Terrace, between 11.30am and 1pm.

The sessions will operate on a drop-in basis, so people don’t need to pre-book attendance.

For more information, contact the Scottish Borders Learning Disability Service on 01361 882540.