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How do you make every contact with someone with a learning disability count? Ask the experts....

September 4, 2018

Gateshead People and our Help First team are working with Gateshead Public Health to help make sure staff and volunteers get the  most out of conversations they have with people learning disabilities. Making Every Contact Count (MECC) aims to skill-up people and organisations in Gateshead to help them feel more confident to talk about issues such as mental health and looking after yourself.


Louise  Harlanderson, MECC Development Lead, is delighted to have Your Voice Counts on board:


“Gateshead MECC are working closely with Gateshead People and Your Voice Counts to embed the Making Every Contact Count brief interventions training and key messages into their organisation for staff, volunteers and community members. YVC and Gateshead People are experts in formulating information into easy read versions and it is an enlightening process to see the experienced staff turn the MECC information into a straight forward, accessible and relevant format which can be used and understood for adults with learning disabilities”.



YVC admin staff, volunteers, Help First staff and group workers have taken part in training that includes Motivational Interviewing Skills and 5 Ways to Wellbeing.  Gateshead People group members will be devising awareness raising workshops and  resources that they will then deliver to learning disability groups. The MECC approach has already proved successful, leading to an exciting development.:


During a cancer awareness session that one of our Peer Educators Sheila took part in, Sheila identified smoking as a cancer risk. Terri had a conversation with Sheila about support routes to quitting smoking, Sheila explained that past support hadn't worked for her. Terri contacted a local GP practice to ask for help. This has led to a unique pilot project, supported by Public Health, with a trainer and researcher involved to explore the effectiveness of vaping as a route to smoking cessation. This will involve staff and people with learning disabilities as Peer Educators taking part in training and running a 'quit smoking' course. Contact Terri if you would like to find out more.


0191 478 64 72





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Registered charity No. 1125719

Company limited by guarantee No. 6654142

Tel: 0191 4786472