Read aloud or translate

It was really exciting because young people have been telling us that they need more information about how to find a job, where they want to live in the future and opportunities to make friends and connections in their local community.

Speak Out leader Neil Adams, who was involved in organising the Preparing for Adulthood event

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 various issues, and help 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, community based groups, and service providers.

We aim to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. We visit day centres, enterprise schemes and care homes. We also run drop-ins across the county.

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

How do I get involved?

Attend a Speak Out Day

Lots of different people join the Speak Out Cambridgeshire Leaders on Speak Out Days. Some examples include:

  • other people with autism and/​or a learning disability
  • carers and families
  • professionals from various areas
  • referrers, commissioners and providers

They all join to see what we have been doing and how you can get involved and have your say.

Speak Out Days are usually online on Microsoft Teams, as this is the easiest way for us to present and it also enables most people to attend.

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.

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.

If you’d like more information on our previous Speak Out Days….

Here are the slides from our Speak Out Day in 2023.

Join a virtual drop in - or contact us anytime

We run High Support Needs Committee on the third Wednesday of the month. Please join us on Teams.

Follow us on Facebook to get regular updates on our work.

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.

To find out about future meetings, email 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:

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.

We also run community based face-to-face drops in across the county. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about these.

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.”