Tommy & Paul enjoying StingRadio (1)An Oxford-based advocacy charity run by and for people with learning disabilities is the latest winner of a Big Society Award, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.

‘My Life My Choice’ has helped raise levels of self-esteem, confidence and improved the quality of life for people with learning disabilities by providing volunteering, training, employment and social opportunities. Their holistic approach includes a range of projects run by people with learning disabilities such as a nightclub, a radio show, advice groups, and a transport buddy scheme to help people travel independently.
The charity also provides specialist advice to local decision makers including MPs, Councillors, and health officials, on the experience of people with learning difficulties via 30 specially trained volunteer Champions with learning disabilities.
Since January 2011 My Life, My Choice has:
·         Developed a transport buddy scheme which has supported 55 people with learning difficulties towards greater independence
·         Delivered a training programme for 130 people with learning disabilities to empower them to challenge and deal with hate crime
·         Grown its ‘StingRay’ nightclub project, hosted by DJs with learning disabilities, attracting over 200 people to the monthly gigs
·         Launched ‘StingRadio’, which is one of only three such innovative radio-shows nationally hosted by DJs with learning disabilities, and has broadcast fortnightly since September 2011 in East Hendred, Oxfordshire.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I’ve seen at first hand the great work this organisation does. From support using public transport to club nights, ‘My Life My Choice’ empowers people with learning difficulties to design and run the services they want to see.
“This Big Society Award recognises the huge difference everyone involved in the charity is making.”
 My Life My Choice Trustee, Dawn Wiltshire, said: “This is amazing and inspiring news for everyone at the charity. We are so glad that the Prime Minister has recognised a charity where people with learning disabilities are doing things and changing things for themselves.  This award will help our members and volunteers with learning disabilities to continue making a positive and valuable contribution to their communities on a daily basis. ”

My Life My Choice