VoiceAbility | Speak Out Cambridgeshire
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Speak Out Cambridgeshire

A voice for people in Cambridgeshire who are autistic or who have a learning disability.

What does Speak Out Cambridgeshire do?

  • acts as a voice for people with a learning disability and autistic people aged 14 or above 
  • runs consultations and drop ins to give people a say on all sorts of issues, and influence decisions
  • talks to professionals and organisations who can make a difference to these issues
  • runs Speak Out Days to give people who live in, or use services in Cambridgeshire, an opportunity to come together with these professionals and organisations

We are for anyone in Cambridgeshire who is aged 14 or above, and who is autistic, or has a learning disability, or both. 

We work closely with the Learning Disability Partnership Board for Cambridgeshire, to make sure what is important to you is at the heart of their work.

We talk to people from the Cambridge County Council, the local Clinical Commissioning Group, sporting organisations, and service providers, including transport and highways.

To join the Speak Out Cambridgeshire mailing list and get regular updates, please email us.

Treat Me Well

We have learnt that not everyone with a learning disability and/​or autismpeople with a learnign disability and autistic people

  • knows about the learning disability specialist nurses who can help make a hospital visit so much easier
  • has a hospital, or health, passport which gives people important information about them and how they like to be treated

We also heard that hospital staff don’t always know how they can make our visits easier.

So, we applied for funding from Mencap to make three films (with HackCreative) about:

  • Learning disability nurses and how they can help us
  • Hospital passports
  • Tip tips for working with someone with a learning disability – this film is particularly for hospital staff
See more information here

Here are some of the other things that Learning Disability Specialist Nurses can do to help us:

  • Provide additional advice and support to people and their family and supporters when they come in contact with the hospital. This includes things like signposting, providing extra support, helping to sort out any problems and helping people to feedback to relevant complaint and safeguarding processes

Here are some of the other things that Learning Disability Specialist Nurses do: 

  • Provide additional advice and support for other medical staff around:
    • Communication
    • Mental Capacity and best interest discussions
    • Making reasonable adjustments 
    • Additional support that people might need
  • Work closely with the primary and community Learning Disability Services to make sure the transition between from acute (hospital) back home is smooth. 
  • Awareness raising and staff training across the hospital
  • Learning Disability and Autism improvement programmes 
  • Raising awareness of national programmes such as the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) and STOMP
  • Encouraging people with a learning disability, families, supporters and external organisations to get involved in co-production and consultations
  • Collecting data, audits, staff and service user surveys

If your local hospital is not listed here, just ring the main hospital number and ask them to put you in touch with the learning disability nurse.

Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon

Marie Stokes-Davy - Learning Disability Nurse Advisor

Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE29 6NT

Tel: 01480 416581

Main switchboard: 01480 416416



Sue Bates - Learning Disability Nurse Advisor

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals

Edith Cavell Campus, Bretton Gate, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE3 9GZ

Tel: 01733 673832

Email: susan.bates15@nhs.net

To get in touch with Marie and Sue email: nwangliaft.ldandaforum@nhs.net

Addenbrookes, Cambridge

Cheryl Exley - Learning Disability Specialist Nurse

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ

Tel: 01223 216133 

Mobile: 07928128 664

Main switchboard: 01223 245 151

Email: Cheryl.exley@addenbrookes.nhs.uk


Lisa Kingsley - Clinical Nurse Specialist, Paediatric Learning Disability & Autism

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ

Mobile: 07510 383 727

Main switchboard: 01223 245 151

Email: cuh.add.tr-childsennurse@nhs.net

West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds

Emer O’Mahony - Learning Disability Nurse

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 2QZ

Tel: 01284 713973

Medi bleep: 3973

Email: emer.omahony@wsh.nhs.uk

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn

Liam - Learning Disability Liaison Nurse

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, King’s Lynn, PE30 4ET

Main switchboard: 01553 613613 

Bleep: 4905

Direct Dial Tel: 01553 214584 

Email: cutulph.ashby@gehkl.nhs.uk

Joanne Field - Lead for Liaison Service

Email: Joanne.field@qehkl.nhs.uk


Debbie Wigley - Learning Disability Liaison Nurse

Telephone: 01604 545431

Email: debbie.wigley@ngh.nhs.uk


Leanne Farmer - Acute Learning Disability Liaison Nurse.

Telephone: 01536 491241

You can download a hospital passport here: Health Guides: Hospital Passports, Summary Care Records And Flu Jabs | Mencap

Addenbrookes info about hospital passports is here: https://www.cuh.nhs.uk/accessibility-information/

Northampton’s link to download a hospital passport: Learning disability support (northamptongeneral.nhs.uk)

How do I get involved?

Attend a Speak Out Day

Join the Speak Out Cambridgeshire leaders, other people with a learning disability or autistic people, their carers and family, professionals, referrers and providers to see what we have been doing and how you can get involved and have your say.

As we still can’t meet in person, our Speak Out Days take place on Microsoft Teams. You do not need to have any special apps or equipment to join us. You just need to let us have an email address so that we can send you an invite (you do not need any special software or to download any apps). We can also send easy-read joining instructions. If you want to join us but do not have internet access, we can make arrangements for joining by phone. Or we can arrange to send you our report by post if you’d prefer.

To find out about future meetings, email speakoutcouncil@voiceability.org or call us on 07867 002124.

In our last Speak Out Day of 2021, we showed people the results of a few projects we have been working on this year. 

We talked about these projects:

Join a virtual drop in - or contact us anytime

On our drop in days you can join us on Microsoft Teams. We will be live on Facebook and will be checking our email.

  • Speak Up Spectrum (for people on the autistic spectrum) - 3rd Wednesday of every month.
  • High Support Needs drop in - 4th Wednesday of every month.

But if you can’t make one of our dates, we are all still working for you, so just get in touch any time if you’d like us to help raise any issues you are experiencing in your life at the moment. By talking to professionals and organisations we can help make a difference.

Our Reports and How to Guides

Guides for meetings

Safe Places scheme

Speak Out Cambridgeshire in partnership with Cambridgeshire Constabulary runs the Safe Places scheme across Cambridgeshire, where local businesses and shops offer temporary refuge to vulnerable people in need. The national website is https://www.safeplaces.org.uk/ or free App directs you to the nearest open Safe Place.

Businesses also display stickers in their windows to show they are part of the scheme and a safe place for anyone feeling threatened or anxious.

A person needing help shows their stay safe card to a member of staff who will help them call the emergency contact on the card – or the local police or safeguarding service. The card tells people exactly what to do to help the person. This includes their name, the contact details of the person they need to get in touch with, and what to do if you cannot get hold of them.

Speak Out Cambridgeshire is always looking for volunteers to help find good businesses and shops to become part of the scheme, and to keep in touch to make sure the scheme is working well. We’d also love to hear from organisations who’d like to become a safe place. 

The website has lots of really good free resources about keeping safe, hate crime and mate crime. Anyone in Cambridgeshire can use this by registering for a free account.

Pegasus scheme

Pegasus is a free service for people who can find it hard to communicate with the police.

You register on a form by telling them your name, address and details about how you prefer to communicate

They will keep your details safe on a secure database

Once registered they will send you a Pegasus’ card

You will be given a unique Pegasus’ PIN. This number will be printed on the back of the card 

To find out more in Cambridge go to: Pegasus scheme (cambs.police.uk)

The Cambridgeshire Handyperson Service

You can get help to prevent falls and accidents at home, so you can remain living independently. 

Disability equipment and adaptations fitted

Assistance with hospital discharge

Find out more.

Technology enabled care

The Technology Enabled Care (TEC) team provides guidance, training, and advice to people and professionals. 

They can lend you assistive technology to support your independence and safety. 

Find out more.

What should a good social care assessment look like?

The Speak Out Council worked with Cambridgeshire County Council to produce this video which explains what you should expect from a good social care assessment - and the telltale signs of a bad assessment!

Speak Out Leader stories

He takes huge pride in his work. One of his favourite sayings is, We’ve done that job”.

Russell’s support worker
Russell’s Story

Russell likes to talk with people. It’s his favourite thing. He also likes meeting people, knowing what is happening next and having something to do. Working with VoiceAbility’s Speak Out Cambridgeshire (SOC) is perfect for him.

Russell is 35 and has profound and multiple learning disabilities. He also has cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair and is a big Saracens fan.

He has been working with VoiceAbility in a variety of roles for eight years now, and is extremely successful at challenging the assumptions of what people with high support needs are capable of and want to achieve.

As part of SOC, Russell worked to improve a traffic crossing in Hitchin. He made a video and wrote a letter which he shared with a local councillor who visited him personally. The improvements Russell helped make benefitted both Russell and his community immensely.

Next Russell led a project to test local public houses for accessibility, both in terms of physical accessibility and the way in which they could provide an atmosphere where people with high support needs could feel comfortable.

He has led access walks, which has helped to highlight problems with footpaths across the county and has resulted in the County Council making several improvements to broken paving slabs and curbs.

He has even chaired a meeting of the Learning Disability Partnership Board.

James Sheard, who acted as Russell’s support worker for many years before coming to work for VoiceAbility, said: 

I have seen a marked difference in Russell in the years since he started working with VoiceAbility. He has improved concentration and comprehension of his job role. He has increased confidence and takes huge pride in his work. One of his favourite sayings is, We’ve done that job”. What helps him is the structure of the job and the fact that we plan things out months in advance.”