Over £1m of Government funding awarded to grassroots disability organisations #dpulo

Below is a copy of a press notice issued about the Strengthening Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations, which has recently passed through a key milestone – over £1m awarded to DPULOs.

Over one million pounds has now been awarded as part of a programme to help bolster small grassroots disability organisations, the Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey announces today.

The programme is now set to be extended to Northern Ireland so that other organisations can benefit from the GBP3million fund which was launched last summer.

Esther McVey MP, Minister for Disabled People, said:

“Disabled Peoples User Led Organisations are run by and for disabled people and play a vital role in making sure disabled people have their voices heard at every level.

“In many cases DPULOs already provide support and services alongside those provided by the public sector and often they are better at doing so as they can draw on their own first hand experiences of a disability.  They have clear ideas about what works and what doesn’t.

“The idea of the fund was based on feedback we had received from small disability organisations that a little funding at the right time can make all the difference to the support they are able to provide to disabled people.

“We still have millions of pounds left, so if you are already part of a DPULO, then this is an opportunity to raise its profile and build on the successes you have already achieved.”

The DPULO programme is making a significant difference to grassroots organisations and their local communities through awards from the Facilitation Fund to organisations such as the Communication for Blind and Disabled People.

One of the DPULOs received an award after developing a smart phone navigation app for blind people. The app – called “Georgie” – has since won the “Google Outstanding Use of Technology in the Field of Diversity” award at the European Diversity Awards 2012 at the end of September.

Roger Wilson-Hinds of Communication for Blind and Disabled People thanked the DPULO programme and said:

“Without you it wouldn’t have happened!”

Cheshire Centre for Independent Living was awarded £28,735 to develop an online peer support forum in the north west. Lindsey Walton-Hardy, Deputy Chief Executive of the Centre, said:

“We’ve wanted to develop our peer support offer to disabled people locally for a long time. This welcome award provides us with the opportunity to turn our idea into reality. Not only will this be of great benefit to disabled people locally, but it will also support Cheshire CIL to become more sustainable.”

Any organisations wishing to bid for money for specific projects and help shape the future provision for disabled people, can do so by visiting – www.odi.gov.uk/dpuloprogramme or www.facebook.com/dpulos

Note to editors:


British Heart Foundation’s online community work

I wanted to point people in the direction of RKTalk’s great post on his and his team’s experience of building the British Heart Foundation’s community online.

[F]eedback from [a] review told us in no uncertain terms that our supporters wanted to connect with people in similar situations. Similar sentiments were coming in from all areas; focus groups with our Health at Work practitioners were telling us they wanted to talk about delivering Health at Work with other practitioners online. Our eventers wanted to share tips and meet others going on treks or taking part in marathons online. Our Facebook audience was increasing at a phenomenal rate (from 20,000 12 months ago to 98,500 today) and they wanted to share their stories and how they were feeling and we wanted to build these relationships between our supporters and with us…

We didn’t want the community to be an add on or a second thought, but rather a hub of conversation about people’s experiences and what people were doing so that people could build relationships with each other and with us.

It’s a nice example of how an organisation is seeking to engage with its wide range of stakeholders. It put me in mind of some of the principles behind Networked Non-Profit – a book I’d recommend to anyone to read. It’s also a really nice example of someone sharing some of their tacit knowledge, having been through a learning process over the last few months.