bemix began with the rising up of people with learning difficulties as ‘self-advocates’ - speaking up for themselves and taking control of their lives. Self-advocacy is people speaking up confidently for themselves instead of needing someone else to speak for their interests.

We encourage self-advocacy in all of our work in bemix. We have a Self-Advocacy Leadership team which works on supporting people in Kent to speak up and make their voices heard in the decisions that affect them and others with learning difficulties. It is also working with Learning Disability England and other self-advocacy organisations in England to rebuild a united national voice from self-advocates.  

The Team

Picture (left to right): Matt Clifton (bemix Chief Executive), Sammy Lamb, Rachel Jones (Transforming Care, Kent and Medway), Michael Lillis, Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman - bemix Co-Chair, Jobs Champion, Supporter (Music and Media), Expert by Experience (Care and Treatment Reviews) & Self-Advocate

Steve says “We need more speaking up, and training so people learn to ask the right questions about what is being done to support them. I’m excited about joining up with other groups to do this.”

Sammy Lamb - Expert by Experience (Care and Treatment Reviews) & Self-Advocate

Sammy is a member of the Be Seen Be Heard group in Dover which campaigns in schools. She took part in the recent protest in London against the over-use of long stay secure hospitals. She has also just been trained as a panel member in Care and Treatment Reviews.

Michael Lillis - Expert by Experience (Care and Treatment Reviews), Supporter (Sportsnet) & Self-Advocate

Michael is a a sports leader with a learning difficulty who works independently without needing support. "At the end of each session I always give the group a choice of what they would like to do the week after. That way the leader is not taking control - it is about people's choices - what they want to do"

Self-Advocacy news

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