ABC Project

At Dhiverse we’re all about inclusivity and equality and we want everyone to have the opportunity to be equipped to make informed decisions around sexual health, consensual and pleasurable sexual activity, healthy relationships and personal safety.

It is legal for anyone aged 16 years and over to engage in consensual sexual activity with partners of the same or opposite sex. This applies to anyone with a learning difficulty (LD) or autism, provided the person has the capacity to consent to sexual activity.

ABC stands for ‘Awareness, Balance and Choice’. The project is funded by a Big Lottery Reaching Communities grant and it has three strands:

 

‘ABC Programme’ is a 6 week modular programme for anyone with a learning difficulty (LD) or autism who needs support and information around relationships, sex, sexual health and keeping safe. The programme gives participants the opportunity to develop their understanding of relationships, consent, good sexual health and keeping safe (both online and in the community). The programme helps individuals to understand they have choices and how to express the choices they make. The project also helps participants to recognise abusive behaviour in themselves and others and to understand what is acceptable and what isn’t. Being able to let someone know that we don’t want to do something or we don’t want something to happen can help prevent abuse, including sexual abuse and physical abuse. Being equipped with the right skills and knowledge can help to prevent participants from becoming either a potential victim or perpetrator.

 

The programme covers:

  • Understanding relationships
  • Being assertive and communication skills
  • Keeping safe and taking risks
  • Staying safe online and in the community
  • Sexual health
  • Anger management

 

The programme is designed to be delivered to groups of up to 10 participants, on a one-to-one basis or for couples.

The programme can also be tailored to meet the needs of individuals and groups and topics can be picked and mixed.

We can provide sessions for you in-house or at our centre in Cambridge.

‘Understanding ABC’ is a workshop for parents, carers and professionals. The workshop aims to help participants understand that many people with LD or autism want and need to form relationships, and have a right to do so. It also aims to give participants increased confidence when talking to the people they support about these topics and equip them with better strategies for managing related issues for the people they support.

Project Development Group. To help keep the project fresh and up to date and to ensure that it is user led and always meets the needs of those taking part, we run a project development group. Anyone who has participated in the project or anyone who has an interest in ensuring equality for people with a LD or autism is welcome to join the group. We can hold a group meeting at your organisation or you can join us when there is meeting taking place in another venue. Meetings take please several times throughout the year.

For more information on any aspect of the ABC Project or to make a booking please contact Liz MacKenzie, ABC Project Manager on:

T: 07985 447846 or 01223 508805 E: elizabeth.mackenzie@dhiverse.org.uk

Please note: all aspects of the project are free but in some instances a cancellation charge may apply, so please check at the time of booking.


Meet the team;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liz MacKenzie

ABC Project Manager

elizabeth@dhiverse.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsey McAuley

ABC Project Facilitator

lindsey@dhiverse.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosie Childs

ABC Project Assistant

rosie.childs@dhiverse.org.uk


Download the Referral Form here

TO FIND OUT MORE, FOR AN INFORMAL CHAT OR TO MAKE A BOOKING PLEASE CONTACT: Liz MacKenzie, Learning Disabilities Lead/ABC Project Manager:

T: 01223 508805 or 07985 447846

E: elizabeth@dhiverse.org.uk

Please note: Workshops are FREE but a cancellation charge may apply. Please check at the time of booking.

Our ABC project is

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“We have had Liz deliver her ABC programme for a number of year and found it has been an excellent way for our students, who all have additional needs, to understand and ask questions about relationships and sexuality in a safe environment. Young people with learning disabilities are more at risk of sexual abuse so they need to have that information and to learn about appropriate relationships and for example ‘saying no’. For many students this has almost been a taboo subject and one that has been ignored as not relevant or only touched upon in a general way.

Liz has developed an excellent package which is pitched at the right level for our students. It has provided them with confidence and knowledge. The programme is an excellent one and I highly recommend this programme to other providers. I am so sorry not to be able to talk to the group in person.

I cannot recommend Liz Mackenzie highly enough, she is highly professional and has an engaging manner, the students love her.”

Julie Williams

IDEAL Co-ordinator

Impington Village College



“I just wanted to let you know how invaluable Debbie’s support has been to our very vulnerable students with SEND in school. She has been reliable, flexible and most of all unfailingly supportive to the young people. Parents have been delighted that there is a service available for their youngsters facing difficulties around relationships and sexual health.

We look forward to continuing the links with Dhiverse from September and I know Debbie is also planning to meet up with a couple of the young people over the summer.”

Jenette Kingsbury

Inclusion Manager

Hinchinbrooke School