Remembering Gemma

It is with great sadness that we share the news that one of our learners, Gemma Maynard, has passed away. Gemma was a sparkling young woman and a much loved learner at MK SNAP for many years. Always laughing and giggling, Gemma was a popular learner that the staff loved to teach. Following a short battle with COVID19 and despite the very best care from colleagues at MK Hospital Gemma could not be saved and passed peacefully in January 2021. Our deepest condolences and heartfelt wishes go to Gemma’s family at this difficult time.

Gemma will always be remembered and missed by all of us at MK SNAP; where she spent many happy days.

On behalf of the staff, learners and board of trustees at MK SNAP

Position Statement on Disability Hate Crime

MK SNAP is committed to fighting hate and discrimination in all forms and does not tolerate hate speech or discrimination in any way towards the people and families we support.

We are saddened to say that the charity has recently been targeted by individuals wishing to spread hate on-line via our social media accounts; encouraging social media users to mock people with disabilities. This has been the subject of a police investigation into potential criminal behaviour.

The charity is proud to support a diverse community of people with a range of disabilities and two of our key values are respect and inclusion. These values are reflected in our work which encourages multi-faith, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural respect and mutual acceptance of people from all backgrounds.

We will support any of our learners and staff who feel affected by derogatory commentary, abusive behaviour, and discriminatory speech and are committed to protecting the community we serve from such behaviour.

MK SNAP is working in partnership with organisations across Milton Keynes to fight hate and discrimination. We are collaborating with Thames Valley Police Community & Diversity Team and local safety charity, Safety Centre (Hazard Alley) Ltd to find ways to tackle these challenges and we are joining forces with other leading local charities and organisations who support people with disabilities such as Camphill Communities MK to stand against disability hate crime and to educate people about learning disabilities where we can. We are working with the support of MK Council.

The charity hopes to promote an attitude of community, collaboration and understanding through the global issue of online hate speech. We acknowledge that this issue is not exclusive to one specific community, and that, as online hate speech affects our entire community, it is as a community that we will work together to face it.

Angela Novell, CEO, MK SNAP & MK SNAP Board of Trustees

March 2021

On International Women’s Day 2021 #IWD2021 I want to ask you all to remember the contributions and challenges faced by all women; but in particular those women and girls that live with a disability.

 

The unique lived experiences of disabled women are often lost in the discussions we hear, disregarded in the language we use and missing from the platforms for recognition. As one disabled female friend said to me recently ‘You try ‘standing up for women’ when you are sitting in a wheelchair!’ We need to be #Challenging perceptions. As a woman living with a disability myself; I was told by someone at a checkout that I didn’t ‘look deaf’ leading me to try to explain that some disabilities are not always ‘visible’. By talking about these issues we can challenge negative stereotypes and inequality but we must listen to the lived experiences of disabled people in order to drive positive change.

 

I have had the honour of working with people with disabilities for a number of years, more recently, at local charity MK SNAP and I have seen the magic that happens when you start to ‘believe’ that someone can achieve their full potential. The most talented and incredible women in our community, the artisans & creatives, musicians, horticulturalists and homemakers; are often the ones who are left unrecognised but are quietly making a difference despite their health challenges. This dedicated belief in a persons ‘potential’ has the ability to manifest incredible transformation and change.

 

If you are one of the women I am referring to; life can be tough. The chances are you have already had to fight the dual hurdles of disability and gender inequality. Now, with the impact of COVID19 disproportionately impacting people with disabilities; this really is the time to stand up and recognise women with disabilities. Those that are living ordinary lives and like us all, some that are experiencing extraordinary lives, deserve their voices to be heard.

 

So I call upon you all to join me and the team at MK SNAP to #ChooseToChallenge where disabled women and girls are absent from discussions or recognition or side-lined by the language we hear. When the people of MK come together this July to celebrate our annual MK Disability Awareness Day lets make a commitment to include disabled women and girls EVERYDAY throughout the year in our wonderful city.

Celebrating over 27 years experience of working with disabled people in the community.

We are proud to say many of our learners go on to enjoy working with local organisations and companies with specialist support. MK SNAP has a dedicated team of 24 qualified and specialist staff and a team of volunteers here to support you and your loved ones.

MK SNAP

Our Vision

Our vision is to transform our community through the promotion of independence, inspiration and opportunity.

MK SNAP Learners in their own crowns!

Established in 1992; MK SNAP is an award winning local charity providing life skills, education and work training for adults with learning disabilities.

Visit our community built centre in Walnut Tree and see the incredible achievements and skills of the learners in a safe and inclusive facility.

MK SNAP is a passionate and dynamic local charity providing, education and work training sessions designed for individuals aged 18+ years. Giving them the support to grow confidence, develop life skills and harness their hidden talents.

Our sessions are designed for each individual’s needs offering education, from cooking to interpersonal skills and work experience. Enabling your loved ones the opportunities to enjoy the everyday freedoms we take for granted.

Our learners are from Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas. They include adults with learning disabilities and specialist needs. We are an inclusive and professional centre offering social skills and community engagement at the heart of what we do.

Here are some of the businesses we work with

Become a MK SNAP Dragon

Join the Dragon partnership and benefit from being associated with a local award winning charity. Achieve your CSR goals, inject motivation in your employees and know your contribution will directly support the funding of over 135 people with learning disabilities every year.

Become a SNAP Dragon