Community Spark: York People First - advocates and actors ready to tread the boards at Spark:York


It was fun to meet Michael, Sandra, Becca, Clare, Eileen, Shaun and Andy of York People First, a self advocacy group run by adults with learning disabilities for adults with learning disabilities. They made me feel very welcome and were keen to tell me all about the organisation and equally excited to get involved in Spark:York.

York People First have various services they provide organisations in and around York.

As advocates, they are passionate to teach others about the rights, the abilities and the strengths of people with a learning disability. They also provide training to students, staff and members of the community who work with people who have learning disabilities with clients including the city’s Universities, Hospitals and Police.

It was interesting to hear about their Easy Read service. They explained to me that ‘Knowledge is power and being able to access information is the key to being able to take part in society.’  People with learning disabilities need to be able to understand information if they are able to have more choice and control. And it isn’t only people with learning disabilities that appreciate information in easy read, older people and people for whom English is not their first language also benefit.

So York People First can make any information (documents, posters, menus, for example) easy to read.

We were all excited talking about their Theatre Group – Once Seen. A pretty unique group in that all actors involved have learning disabilities. They perform two plays a year, the next one being A Christmas Carol  at the John Cooper Studio, Monkgate, York on Friday 24 November and Saturday 25 November 2017 at 7:30pm.

We all agreed that future productions should also be performed at the new theatre/community space at Spark:York too. We will tell you all about that another time!

York People First web site is a wealth of information and explains all the services they offer, so check them out at

Tel: 01904 479315


Article written by Bec Horner of Social Vision

Sam Leach