What we do


Course Management of Nursing Qualification

We have been involved with York University for ten years this April. We sit in on management meetings for the Learning Disability Nursing Course. We are involved with interviewing, monitoring and teaching the student nurses.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council awarded the Learning Disability Nursing Course an outstanding status for service user involvement. Reasons for this are that York People First are firmly embedded in the course, not just a token add on. We give a ‘human’ face to something people talk about.

We are very proud to be part of this course, because we get to learn all about the different nursing modules and how they work. It is also helpful for us to meet future nurses and to find out their views about the course. We feel that it is very important for us to learn from each other.

Royal College of Psychiatrists

The Royal College of Psychiatrists asked York People First to be involved in the creation of a new set of standards. These were the first ever standards to be set for adults with learning disabilities spending time as an inpatient in a psychiatric unit.

York People First took part in regular meetings in London to finalise a complete set of standards that could be used as a measure of quality. It was felt very important that adults with learning disabilities could also understand what they could expect as an inpatient.

York People First were given the job of putting the standards into easy read. This was hard work. We spent many sessions discussing the difficult words and jargon. We were very proud of the final version; easy to understand language with pictures from change picture bank.

The standards are used to used to assess the quality of inpatient units. York People First, also, put together easy read interview questions to enable peer reviewers to take part in the assessment process.


York People First are part of the independent advisory group for York and Selby working with North Yorkshire Police. We represent the views of people with learning disabilities and try to encourage best practise with all vulnerable groups. We have supported North Yorkshire Police by making information easy read, for example; their Hate Crime Policy.

We reviewed the accessibility of the custody suite at Selby police station.

Rebecca Cobby of North Yorkshire Police Diversity Unit told us that the Association of chief Police Officers were carrying out a disability enquiry and required all its forces to complete a questionnaire. North Yorkshire Police told them about our hate crime DVD and this is now being recognised as good practice. All the regional forces are being given a copy for their use.

What York People First said about telecare

  • Keeps people safe
  • Doesn’t take over your life
  • Your in control
  • Telecare can save your life
  • Helps you to be more independent
  • Helps you to stay in your own home
  • Lets you have more privacy
  • Wow! That’s amazing

Inclusion North is an organisation, originally set up to support Partnership Boards in the north of England. York People First worked with them to make an accessible leaflet about Telecare. Telecare is technology that can help support people and keep them safe in their own home.


A selection of our training courses include:

The Training Team

Meet the training team:
Julie, Becca, Andy, Kate,
Shaun, Michael and Martin
Claire, Michelle, Eileen

The training team are a very experienced group of people who deliver high quality training


Full days training (10.00am to 4.00pm) – £800.00 + Transport
Half days training (10.00am to 1.00pm or 1.00pm to 4.00pm) – £500.00 + transport

Price does not include venue, drinks or food.

We are happy to negotiate a price for charities, educational establishments and for groups of people with learning disabilities.

Making information ‘Easy Read’

Knowledge is power, 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.

When Commissioners and Local Authorities use easy read it allows people to take part effectively in consultations.

But, it isn’t only people with learning disabilities that appreciate information in easy read, we find that elderly people find it helpful to have information in easy read. Also people for whom English is not their first language find it helpful to have information in easy read.

York People First makes information ‘easy read’. We regularly make the information in our magazine ‘easy read’. Plus we produce a CD to accompany the magazine.

York People First made the easy read standards for adult inpatient Learning Disability Units for the Royal College of
Psychiatrists. This easy read version told people with learning disabilities what they should expect if they enter one of these Units.

We regularly make documents easy read for all sorts of organisations locally including the police.

Easy read is not just about adding a picture to text, its about using easy words and plain English as well. This can often be time consuming.

York People First charges £25.00 per hour to make a
document into easy read.


Once Seen Theatre Company

The idea to have a theatre company for people with learning difficulties started at York People First because we use drama as a part of our training work.

In 2007 a group from York People First was given a unique opportunity by York Theatre Royal to use the theatre’s facilities for ten weeks to produce its first show, which was called ‘The Wrong Dance’.

Funding for the group was given for two years by Lloyds TSB and the Once Seen Theatre Company was formed. Its first production in 2008 was ‘The Dream Snatcher’ written and adapted as a play by Kara May.

During the past two years Once Seen has worked on
disability awareness training with staff at York Theatre Royal. It has also held fun sessions with adults at the late Yearsley Bridge Centre and with students at Applefields School in York.

York People First also has a history and archaeological club that works in partnership with the community team of the York Archaeological Trust.

In 2009, as one of the major archaeological digs by the Trust got underway in York’s notorious Hungate area, the club started a study of the lives of the people who had lived there. Thus, ‘Number 4 Haver Lane’, was written around the lives and loves of the occupants of Hungate and, in particular, the occupants of the real number 4.

The play was written by Sian Williams, Once Seen’s then artistic director. It was based on the oral book ‘Rich in all but Money’, by historian Van Wilson, and on research from the City of York Archives and City Library.

Once Seen’s aim for the future is to be able to raise
funding to exist as a theatre company in its own right.
At the moment they are working at the Upstage Centre premises with volunteers until they can raise enough money to hire an artistic director.

History Club

Amongst its activities York People First has a History and Archaeology Club that is helped by Jon Kenny, the Community Archaeologist, based at York Archaeological Trust. The group meet on the first Monday of the month and have visited many places of interest with Jon.

The group studied the lives of people who had lived in the Hungate area of York, they heard all about the excavations, they saw many of the finds and began to research the historical documents.


The house at 4 Haver Lane was being excavated by the Community Team at Hungate so the club looked at the census records and that gave us the Popely family. This eventually led to the writing of the play, 4 Haver Lane.

The clubs present project is looking at the history of people with learning disabilities. We want to give people an idea of how people with learning disabilities in the past. The booklet will be accessible and the aim is to make sure we move forward and not backward.

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Telephone: 01904 479315