My DPULO Ambassador colleagues in the north west have published an article for their various networks explaining who they are and what they do. I thought it would be useful to replicate that article here for anyone interested in the Strengthening DPULOs Programme.
On July 20 Maria Miller MP, the Minister for Disabled People, launched the new programme to support Disabled People’s User Led Organisations (DPULOs).
This is a £3million investment over four years that aims to promote the growth and improve the sustainability of Disabled People’s User Led Organisations. It will give DPULOs the opportunity to build their expertise and improve local services, as well as bid for money for specific projects from a £3 million fund.
The Programme has been established by the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) to further build the strength, sustainability and capability of DPULOs and enable them to thrive. To do this it brings together a number of different types of people to work together and across boundaries to catalyse, facilitate and deliver change.
The first and most crucial group of people are Ambassadors. These individuals are highly networked and credible individuals – drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds and from across the public, private and voluntary sectors – who can catalyse and facilitate change and in doing so act as external agents to help empower local people and embolden them to make changes.
Of the twelve ambassadors appointed three will cover the North West geographical area.
Aidan Toomey will be working with DPULOs in Merseyside, West Yorkshire and Manchester. Aidan started his career as an Access Officer with Chester City Council working on projects specific to the disability community and improving Chester as an accessible city. He then worked at the Disability Rights Commission on web and software access projects. In addition he has a background in training and teaching on D/deaf equality.
Lynne Turnbull will be working with DPULOs in Cheshire, Staffordshire, and Derbyshire. Lynne has worked within the disability field for the past 8 years, campaigning for equality, choice and independence for disabled people. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Cheshire Centre for Independent Living, a highly regarded DPULO. She will bring extensive experience, skills and passion to the role of Ambassador.
Tom Hendrie will be working with DPULOs in Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Lancashire and Blackpool. Tom is currently working on the delivery of Equality Act Training with Cumbria Disability Network, the development of a CIL and a Social Enterprise controlled by disabled people in his local area, working with a consortium of several DPULOs. He hopes to bring his skills from local government supporting DPULOs and his 25 years experience as an activist in the disability movement to his role as an Ambassador.
They can be contacted initially at email@example.com.
Further information about the programme is available here: http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/dpuloprogramme