SeeAbility, one of the oldest disability charities in the UK, is airing a broadcast appeal which explores the experiences, anxieties and needs of people with learning disabilities and autism.

The film features three stories about Kiyana, Connor and Beatrix. Kiyana is a fun-loving little girl with Down’s Syndrome. SeeAbility helped Kiyana by providing her with specially-fitted glasses, allowing her to live the active life that means so much to her.

The second story is about Connor, who has cerebral palsy and a learning disability. Connor found it challenging to live in a residential home, so the charity supported him to apply for his own flat. Now he has achieved his dream of living independently.

The final part of the film features Beatrix’s story, who despite her willingness to work, was not able to get a job for seven years. With support from SeeAbility, Beatrix, who is autistic, was able to get a job within just two months at an award-winning restaurant.

The appeal hopes to raise awareness of the charity and the vital work they do

Although the charity has been delivering support for disabled people for more than 220 years, SeeAbility still has relatively low brand recognition. It is hoped this appeal will help increase awareness of the charity and enable them to continue to deliver valuable support that is needed by so many.

The charity says the opportunity has come at a timely moment, as it is currently partnering with other organisations in the sector to change the narrative around social care and empower those who receive social care support.

Lisa Hopkins, CEO of the charity said: “SeeAbility’s self-advocacy, influencing, supported employment and digital inclusion programmes mean more people with disabilities can participate and contribute to society, whilst also challenging assumptions, attitudes and policies.

“I’m hoping that our BBC Lifeline Appeal will strike a chord with like-minded people, who are equally passionate about supporting our work and encouraging people with disabilities to challenge what they expect from life, from themselves and from wider society so that they can live, love, thrive and belong as equals in an inclusive society.”

“It’s time to break down the barriers in society and challenge assumptions about what people with disabilities can and can’t do”

The appeal will be broadcast on 21 November and will be presented by TV presenter and journalist Helen Fospero, who became involved with SeeAbility in 2019 when she took part in a fundraising trek to the summit of Mount Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains.

Helen said: “I share SeeAbility’s passion to create opportunities for everyone to feel included in their communities. It’s time to break down the barriers in society and challenge assumptions about what people with disabilities can and can’t do, and I hope that as many people as possible will be inspired by the BBC Lifeline Appeal to support SeeAbility’s work.”