Fighting for fairness

04 May 2017

"Our members are really building their confidence and taking control in ways they couldn't before."

Cardiff People First is a self-advocacy organisation run by and for people with a learning disability in Cardiff. They support each other to make their voices heard, learn about life and do new things.

Their ‘Standing Up, Speaking Out’ project, funded by People’s Health Trust, enables people with learning difficulties in Cardiff to come together to make new friends and better engage with the community, as they campaign for changes locally to better uphold their rights.

Ashlea Harris, a local resident and the Director of Cardiff People First, said:

“Through our ‘Standing Up, Speaking Out’ project, local people with learning disabilities are standing up for our rights and campaigning to change attitudes, get better services and enjoy more opportunities. We are fighting for equality, understanding, respect and acceptance.

“The project is planned and run entirely by our members! We have monthly meetings where members can have their say on any topic which they want to know more about. We go to conferences, marches and other events.

“We’ve been very busy lately. We’ve recently established a partnership with the Arts Council, who we’re planning a rock and roll night with, to raise awareness around issues facing people with learning disabilities.

“We’ve also recently partnered with Brecon Beacons National Park to help make information around their walks more accessible and, where possible, improve the pathways themselves.

“We’re developing a series of more accessible walks; a Ten Walk Challenge, each one being a challenge in itself. This helps our members to really build their confidence and to take control in ways they couldn’t before.

“On 4 July, we’re also doing a ‘Takeover’ of the Cardiff Story Museum and the Glamorgan Archives. This means we’ll be taking on roles that the staff there normally do: our members will be doing meet and greets, curating displays and helping people find the archive files and the exhibits they’re looking for. It’s a great opportunity to build confidence and develop an increased sense of responsibility.”

The group recently won Wales Council for Voluntary Action’s Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Award for all of the fantastic work they carried out in 2016.

You can watch a video from Cardiff People First’s Chair, Simon, below.


Cardiff People First, received funding of £47,688 from People’s Health Trust through its Active Communities programme. The funding was awrded using money raised by HealthControl through The Health Lottery. It is funded 

People’s Health Trust’s Active Communities programme is a resident-focused funding approach that enables local people to get together and take action on issues that are important to them. Through collective action, projects are helping to address the structural, underlying causes of health inequalities.


To connect with Cardiff People First on Facebook, click here.

To visit Cardiff People First's YouTube channel, click here.

To read about other projects funded by the Trust, click here.

To watch a short film about the work of People’s Health Trust, click here.

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