Show of solidarity as hundreds march in Mansfield disability inclusion walk
The brief spell of rain did not dampen the spirits of hundreds of people who marched through Mansfield today, to show solidarity with people with disabilities.
The annual One Walk marks Learning Disability Week, and encourages residents to interact with people with disabilities, in a bid for a peaceful society.
There are about 3,100 adults with learning disabilities in Mansfield, and organisers say they would like to send out a clear signal that their presence is as welcome as anyone else’s.
Tracy Radford of One Conversation who organised the walk said: "This type of event is so important for the community of people with intellectual and learning development disabilities.
"It's 2019, it's about time they had a voice, and it's about time they had some agency in Mansfield and further afield.
"These are really important times for this community, and we should all get behind it and support it."
One Conversation hope to challenge stigma, stereotypes and isolation through friendly conversations.
Walkers met at Market Square today (June 20) at 10.30am, and were treated to a moving performance by the Atmosphere Glee Choir - a mixed age, mixed ability choir led by a professional voice coach.
Claire Swain, who sings with the choir said: "One walk is important for us to get our words out. I do enjoy singing with the choir every friday night."
Adrian Radford and Jessie Carter-Kay are friends of the choir, and said that One Walk was important because it made people happy during the walk.
Walkers set off from Market Square at 11am, led by Mansfield Corps of Drums, and headed up and down West Gate, up Regent Street, onto Clumber Street down Leeming street and back on to Market Place.
Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire's police and crime commissioner is a supporter of One Conversation, and says Mansfield is 'leading the way'
He said: "We need to treat everybody with respect, and be welcoming and open with each other.
"There is a lot of respect here in Mansfield, who are leading the way not only in Nottinghamshire, but nationally."
To find out more about One Conversation, visit: facebook.com/equalsafelivinglife/
The group will hold drop in sessions for the public in The Hive in the Four Seasons on the following dates:
Monday, June 24 11am-3pm
Saturday, June 29 11am-3pm
Saturday, July 6 11am-3pm
And at The Capo Lounge on the following dates:
Monday July 15 3.30pm-5.30pm
Wednesday 24 July 1.30am-12.30pm
Friday August 2 5pm-7pm