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Know Your Neighbourhood

Know Your Neighbourhood is a project funded by the Community Foundation and delivered by Your Voice Counts to help people with learning disabilities and autistic people develop their skills, confidence and social networks to reduce the risk of them being isolated and lonely.

What are the project’s aims?

The project aims to find long-lasting ways for people to feel connected to their community. There are many services that provide opportunities for people with learning disabilities and autistic people to take part in activities together but many people don’t have the skills or confidence to meet up outside of organised groups. Know Your Neighbourhood helps people to make friends and, most importantly, have the skills to maintain these friendships on a long-term basis.

What does the project involve?

The project runs over eight weeks where the people who take part are supported to plan and join in with social activities. There are 20 places on the project with participants split into smaller groups of people who have similar interests and who work together to plan social activities together with support provided around:

  • planning skills

  • time management

  • travelling and using public transport.

The project also provides opportunities for people to volunteer in a safe and supportive environment and is supported by 16 volunteers (eight who have a learning disability and eight who do not have a learning disability).

How will we measure our impact?

We carry out a baseline survey at the start of the project measuring people’s sense of wellbeing, happiness and social connections so we can compare this with their perceptions at the end of the project.

Lindsay Henderson, Head of Communities at Your Voice Counts, said:

“The Know Your Neighbourhood grant is giving Your Voice Counts a real opportunity to engage with lonely and isolated people in South Tyneside who, because of their learning disability or autism feel even more removed from the community they so desperately want to be part of.

"Helping people identify things they enjoy doing, building skills and confidence to share experiences with others and developing new friendships and local connections is so exciting and very rewarding for the local area and everyone involved in the project – thank you Community Foundation!”

Get involved

If you're interested in getting involved in Know Your Neighbourhood as a participant or volunteer please get in touch by calling 0191 478 6472 or emailing


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