Earlier this week, the Department for Work and Pensions published a press release about the first set of awards we’ve made through the Strengthening Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations programme. So far, we’ve made awards at a rate of about one a week since the programme started at the end of July.
You can read the press release here.
I wanted to share some of the feedback we’ve had from successful organisations – much better to hear the difference it will make directly from them, rather than through me!
Clare Evans, Chair of Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living:
This Grant will give us the opportunity of enabling more disabled people to gain the confidence and skills to contribute and take a leading part in Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living as we take on a key role in supporting the Personalisation Agenda and Localism.
The Personalisation Forum Group are over the moon with the Facilitation Fund grant. The funding will enable us to develop a stronger model of peer support and become a real asset within our community. We will be able to gain the skills we need to demonstrate an innovative approach to community empowerment. The funding will allow us to show what can really be achieved by a true service user group – developed by Doncaster citizens for Doncaster citizens.
We hope to be able to share our work to inspire and support others. We guarantee that the Facilitation Fund will be proud to support our work. This is the beginning of a whole new journey for us.
Vinny Cowling – service user chair – said: “I am thrilled with the award. It has given us a new level of motivation and enthusiasm. We will now be able to achieve our goals and it is all thanks to the support from the Facilitation Fund… it is more than gaining money its about being recognised, valued and supported with our contribution. Its great to be believed in… I can’t explain the difference this support will make.”
Jude Cowie – service user treasurer – said: “We have faced many barriers as an unfunded group. This help will mean that we can concentrate on moving our work forward and showing the real value of service user led organisations… I am particularly pleased that we can use the funding to gain essential training. This will mean we can give better peer support and continue to build our members skills and confidence. I am really optimistic about our future.
Melanie Close, Disability Equality NW:
We are delighted to receive funding from the Facilitation Fund to enable us to take forward our work around support planning – a key aim in our strategic plan. We hope this will help us support disabled people, with another key aspect of independent living, and to become more sustainable in the future.
Paul Scarrott, Trustee of My Life My Choice:
The award of this grant has been a significant step in helping us to realise our dream of running our own StingRadio show. My friends and me can now play music from people with learning disabilities, speak up for our members, give out important information, and ask decision makers the big questions. As a result of this money our voice will be louder, clearer, and better understood. Thank you – this award makes a big difference.
Ibukun Olashore, Organisation of Blind Africans and Caribbeans:
We are delighted to receive this funding. This money will go towards training and coaching, which will help our staff to gain up-to-date skills. We will be able to offer a better service to disabled people in our community, and ensure our business grows and becomes less dependent on statutory funding”
Barry McDonald, Bromley Experts by Experience:
The grant from the Disabled People’s User-Led Organisation Facilitation Fund will be really useful for setting up our own User Led Organisation. It will be used for things like, the development of a Peer Led Website, Promotional Information, Disability Equality training, Awareness Raising Events and of course the Launch Event.