Biggleswade man with autism helps launch report in Parliament to transform care

William with Hft chief executive, Robert Longley-Cook (left), and managing director of Tunstall, Gavin Bashar.
William with Hft chief executive, Robert Longley-Cook (left), and managing director of Tunstall, Gavin Bashar.

A Biggleswade man with autism was proud to help launch a new report in Parliament that aims to transform care for those with learning disabilities.

William, 22, travelled to the House of Lords on July 15 for the presentation of a paper produced by national learning disabilities charity, Hft, who have given the youngster a lot of support.

The paper argues that technology could boost investment in the sector, transforming the way care is delivered, and William spoke to an audience over 100 people about how new devices have helped him live independently.

William said: “I feel safe and secure knowing I am only one button away from calling anyone at any time.”

Like most young adults, William wanted to spread his wings and move out of his childhood home, so he contacted Hft for help.

As well as slowly adapting his routines, teaching himhow to budget, travel solo, and handle bills, the charity also gave William two new pieces of technology: a lifeline phone and pendant alarm, and fob access to his home.

The phone and alarm uses health and safety sensors around the house to call for help in case of an emergency, enabling William to feel safe alone, while the fob can be deactivated and replaced if lost.

The report, supported by Tunstall Healthcare, also highlights the challenges faced by a social care sector in financial crisis, but states that a successful negotiation of a learning disability Sector Deal would enable effective investment that could unlock the potential of assistive technologies. Attendees were invited to pledge their support for the Sector Deal.