My name is Megan and I’m the Outreach Officer at Ecas. I started in the role at the end of September 2019 to build on the work of University of Edinburgh interns who produced a comprehensive report about how Ecas could further engage young people. They identified a number of key recommendations which I have used to develop the new Young People’s Service.
I’ve had a great four months here, getting to know the important work already being done within Ecas, learning more about physical disabilities, developing the new service framework, exploring person-centred tools that will inform personalised planning, and making connections with partner agencies.
The report recommended that a young person’s service should be distinguished from the other Ecas services. That it should have an outcome focus with a moving-on aspect to foster greater responsibility and independence in the young person. This informed our decision to develop a one-to-one partnership service that is adaptable to the diverse needs of young people.
I want young people to play an active role in how this new service is shaped, and for their participation to inform how the service develops in the long term. The one-to-one partnership service could evolve into focus groups, peer-led support, or a collaboration project depending on the needs and wants of physically disabled young people. We are open to ideas!
As part of my role I have been putting together a community map that identifies the various services, projects and resources happening locally that are relevant to young people with disabilities. These have been categorised into:
- Employment and volunteering
- Education and skill development
- Social support and groups
- Recreational activities
- Benefit advice and advocacy
- Grants and funding
- Parent and family support
- Activism forums and networks
- A miscellaneous category for resources that don’t fit into the other sections.
I’ve gathered this information through networking and meeting with individuals and partner agencies, community notice boards, directories, internet searches — and I’ve found Twitter to be surprisingly useful.
This information will help us understand what is available across Edinburgh and how to support people in navigating opportunities.
I’ll be regularly updating this community map so if you know of a project, service or resource relevant to physically disabled young people that you have found helpful and think others should know about, please share it with me and I will add it in!
If you are 18 – 30 years old, living with a physical disability in Edinburgh or Lothian, and want to explore your options and opportunities or get involved in other ways, please see our Young People’s page to find out more or get in touch with Megan – 07464 871 733 / 0131 475 2344 / firstname.lastname@example.org