I am Les Tingay, Chair of Trustees of a registered charity named The Rainbow Trust. We registered as a charity in October 2017. I am also Chair of Governors at Ysgol Hen Felin Special School in Ystrad where I have a 16 year old daughter. The Rainbow Trust was set up to provide work-based training and education for adults with learning disabilities( our Team Members ) in RCT primarily to help transition young people from the four Special Schools in RCT into employment. Over the last 2/3 years I have been discussing with RCTCBC the potential for partnership working. This was finally achieved in February 2019. We now have a partnership agreement in place. We have also been fortunate to gain the support of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service. We now have a partnership agreement with them to provide extended work placements and training for our Team Members across a range of areas within the organisation. We have, over the last two years, been helped and supported by Interlink as well as DTA Wales and my involvement with Renew stems from my work with both organisations.
Why are you drawn to this area of work and/or how have you helped community groups take their first steps to action in the past?
My background is in education and I’ve spent nearly 40 years successfully supporting and helping young people starting out in life to develop their skills to enable them progress into further education and employment. My passion is to see young people grow and fulfil their potential in whatever area that is. Sadly, for young adults with learning disabilities like my daughter, that rarely happens once they leave school for a number of different reasons.
I am grateful for the support I’ve been given over the last few years get The Rainbow Trust started and to a place where we can make a difference. I’m well aware that if it wasn’t for that support I almost certainly wouldn’t have made the progress I have. I fully understand how difficult the journey can be and, linked with my experience in education, my discussions with RCTCBC over the last few years and, along with the experiences I’m gaining in working with SWFRS, I believe I can support and help some of those starting out on a similar journey. I was also involved with Cardiff Foodbank for a number of years in its very early days managing volunteer recruitment / warehouse management / ICT / project management / promotional work as well as setting up a Foodbank.
What is your vision of your region in 2050? What will have changed and how will we have got there?
In my vision in 2050 children and adults with learning disabilities will have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else – not as a token gesture but as a matter of course.
The change will be that adults and children with learning disabilities will be able to live a fulfilled life accepted into the community and the workplace.
How will we get there? By those who care standing up and saying the status quo isn’t good enough – over and over and over again….. By getting the message out that someone’s learning disability is part of who they are – but it doesn’t define who they are.