'Big Society' Ambassador Meets Brandon Trust People
David Cameron’s Big Society Ambassador and MP for Bristol North West Charlotte Leslie came face to face with a special cartoon character called Mark.
He was on the cover of Brandon Trust’s annual financial report, aptly named Mark’s Adventures in the Big Society, shown to her on 1st June.
Ms Leslie was on a fact-finding visit to Brandon’s Head Office and to the charity’s Elm Tree City Farm in Stapleton and Park Community Café in Kingswood.
Brandon’s Head of Communications Stefania Rulli-Gibbs said Brandon Trust, along with other charities, is now feeling the pressure from the economic downturn and its impact on Social Care Policy.
“We showed Charlotte Leslie how our city farm and café projects are playing an innovative part in shaping a real Big Society. Our work makes sense to people with learning disabilities. We are delivering opportunities for people to be meaningfully included in their own communities; the farm produces and sells their own vegetables, the café sell freshly cooked food; they’ve even published their own Cook Book.” she said.
“We are relieved that plans to withdraw the mobility component of the Disability Allowance have been scrapped. However, benefits for disabled people with profound needs are now up for further change. We hope Ms Leslie’s visit will literally give her ‘food for thought’ about the valuable work we do and the demands placed on such services” said Ms Rulli-Gibbs
Pioneering Brandon Trust decided to produce its annual report as a DVD called Mark’s Adventures in the Big Society to make it more relevant to the 1,200 people it supported.
Ms Rulli-Gibbs said Mark was a fictional character representing many of the charity’s clients who wanted to be involved in the world but often felt confused by the everyday business of living.
Ms Leslie said to be “very pleased to be able to visit the Brandon Trust and to listen to both staff members and people who use their services, and listen to challenges on the ground, and learn from the innovative ways they work together.
“Organizations like this can make an immeasurable difference to people’s lives. The Brandon Trust's work is so valuable as it is targeted to each individual, in turn giving that person the best chance to achieve all he or she can.”