5,000 visitors see work of art celebrating 20 years of landmark disability legislation

20 November 2015

Textile created by people with learning disabilitiesA textile hanging created by disabled artists has been enjoyed by over 5,000 visitors to the People’s History Museum in Manchester during its three weeks on display.

The vivid artistic banner was showcased as part of an exhibition curated to mark the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act.

500 red patches were sent to various art studios, schools, colleges and day centres across England, Scotland and Wales for people with learning disabilities.

Contributors were asked to personalise one patch each.

The highly inventive and inclusive project was shaped by Venture Arts, who specialise in providing creative opportunities for people with learning disabilities, and leading charity Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Sandra Hardingham from Can Do, a Leonard Cheshire Disability initiative offering exciting community volunteering opportunities to 16 to 35 year-old disabled people, said:

‘Venture Arts and Leonard Cheshire Disability wanted to involve as many disabled people as possible in order to create a huge impact.

‘The visitor numbers recorded suggest we achieved that.’

Amber Okpa-Stother, artist and Can Do volunteer, said:

‘It made me feel really proud seeing the banner in the People’s History Museum. The colours represent courage and ambition.’

The textile group at Venture Arts, based in Manchester, skilfully designed the banner and made the patches.

Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Can Do volunteers added some of their own individual messages and designs and then sent the patches out for people with learning disabilities across the country to tailor their own personal contributions. 

Venture Arts sewed the completed patches together over several labour-intensive weeks as part of a project that took five months in total.

The other artistic materials on display at the show were also created by people with disabilities, with visitors able to learn about the social model of disability and the history of the disability movement through their designs.

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Notes for editors

Leonard Cheshire Disability

  • Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of services for disabled people. Our services include high-quality care and community support together with innovative projects supporting disabled people into education, employment and entrepreneurship. Worldwide, our global alliance of Cheshire partners supports disabled people into education and employment, and works in more than 50 countries. 
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Can Do project is jointly funded by Howdens Joinery and the Big Lottery Fund.