Speak as 1 is a politics discussion group for people with additional needs. It is hosted by us (Shiu-Ming Man and Jack Lewis) – the two co-founders of the group.

United Response helps us promote the group, by informing their users about us, publicising our activities on their website and promoting our work to their contacts. They also help us attract guest speakers who are involved in political life, such as Munira Wilson.

The group allows people with additional needs to have a greater say in both local and national politics. The group has shared its views with the Cabinet Office on accessible voting in general elections, and easy-read manifestos for people with additional needs.

Talking with local councillors

At its fortnightly meetings, Speak as 1 also offers people with additional needs a direct channel to local councillors and local authority engagement workers, who regularly attend Speak as 1 meetings on Zoom.

Munira Wilson, who has been the Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham since December 2019, attended the 26 June Speak as 1 meeting and answered many questions from the group’s members.

Questions regarding Black Lives Matter, the Government’s response to COVID-19, and local issues were raised.

The group also had an interesting insight into the life of a newly-elected MP, and we learned about how she was first motivated to enter politics in order to fight injustice.

Everyone in the group was very pleased to talk to Munira, and we all appreciate her commitment to United Response and other local charities. We hope that she will be able to attend an in-person meeting of Speak as 1 in the future, when this is safe to do.

Find out more about Speak as 1

Our meetings take place on Fridays, on a fortnightly basis. The next meeting will be held over Zoom on Friday 10 July, from 1 until 3pm.

If you, or someone you know, would like to find out more about Speak as 1 or attend one of our meetings, please send an email to speakas1@outlook.com.