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University of Liverpool celebrates 20 years of Moving On With Life & Learning

9 months ago

University of Liverpool celebrates 20 years of Moving On With Life & Learning
Adam at the xmas do. Credit: Moving On With Life & Learning

A charity based at the University of Liverpool’s School of Law and Social Justice which provides community support, campaigning and social inclusion opportunities for people with a range of social care needs, is celebrating 20 years of success.  

MOWLL (Moving On With Life & Learning) provides community care services for local beneficiaries; adults who have a diverse range of needs including learning disabilities, mental health conditions, physical disabilities and dementia.

They deliver programmes from local community hubs including cooking, gardening, health wellbeing, creative art, digital drama, local history, dance and photography. MOWLL organise day and evening social opportunities for people who are isolated and feel the need to connect to their community. 

As well as social and learning opportunities, MOWLL also offer community support to beneficiaries who need help with shopping, arranging and attending medical and other appointments and accessing housing and benefit services. 

Beneficiaries at MOWLL have said that being part of the community has brought them friendship, confidence and inspiration with one person saying MOWLL has given them a chance “to be the best I can be.”

Hidden talents - Jack. Credit: Moving On With Life & Learning
Hidden talents – Jack. Credit: Moving On With Life & Learning

MOWLL is also firmly entwined in the fabric of University of Liverpool teaching. Since 2003 they have supported teaching on the Sociology, Social work and Health Sciences programmes. Beneficiaries from MOWLL share their personal life experiences of health, education and social care settings with students so that lived experience of disability can become a central part of the teaching process.

Helen Marshall, Lecturer in Nursing at the School of Health Sciences said:

“It is always pleasure to have beneficiaries share their real stories and it’s always a really useful, informative session that’s gets the students thinking…It is a credit for the people of MOWLL to stand up and talk to the health professionals of tomorrow.”

Over the past 20 years MOWLL has also collaborated with a range of partners across the city. In 2017 they collaborated with award-winning Chef Sky Glover-Anderson, to create Soulfillers, a collaborative catering project that focussed on providing practical culinary skills and promoting healthy eating. This provided beneficiaries with the skills that led to paid employment opportunities in catering. 

They have also collaborated with local sculptor Tom Murphy, who has created many recognisable sculptures around Liverpool, on their Hidden Talents project. This project provides beneficiaries with a safe, creative and supportive space to develop their art skills. Tom delivered weekly art masterclasses to beneficiaries and has since become MOWLL’s patron.

MOWLL have also worked with with Merseyside Police, Crown Prosecution Service, the Police Crime Commissioner, Probation Service and other social care providers through the FACE FactS (Fighting Against Community Exclusion) project., which campaigns against hate crime. This project was launched following the death of MOWLL beneficiary Gary Skelly who was murdered near his home in Norris Green in 2010.

Rory - Catering. Credit: Moving On With Life & Learning
Rory – Catering. Credit: Moving On With Life & Learning

To ensure that Gary was never forgotten MOWLL created FACE FactS, a campaign which aims to tackle discrimination in Liverpool by sharing people’s first-hand experiences of hate crime, bringing people together with learning disabilities, volunteers from Asylum Link and other community groups. We continue to promote our campaign through teaching and networking.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said:

“Over the past two decades, MOWLL have made a real difference in so many people’s lives across Merseyside, tackling hate crime, supporting the vulnerable and working to create happier and healthier communities. 

“To mark 20 years empowering local people is a huge achievement and I am delighted to join this anniversary event to congratulate everyone at MOWLL on reaching this fantastic milestone and celebrate everything they have accomplished.”

MOWLL’s 20th anniversary celebrations will take place this week (Monday 30 October to Friday 3 November) in the atrium at the University of Liverpool’s School of Law and Social Justice with an interactive exhibition showcasing all of the achievements and key projects that MOWLL has undertaken in their 20-year history. 

The week-long schedule of activities is aimed at adults over 18 and includes dancing, yoga, crafts and video screenings.  There will also be artwork from the Hidden Talents project, created by beneficiaries, on display. 

Heidi Kenworthy, CEO of MOWLL said:

“We’re really proud to be celebrating 20 years of everything we’ve achieved working communities across Liverpool. 

“From providing meaningful opportunities for people who use our services across Liverpool to campaigning on hate crime at a local and national level, MOWLL has built a really strong community of people across the city. All of our work would not have been possible without the University of Liverpool providing us with their unwavering support– here’s to the next 20 years of work!” 

For more info on Moving On With Life & Learning click HERE.

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