The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has given £1.5m of funding to support grassroot DPOs across the UK to help deal with issues caused or made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Disability Wales has collaborated with Disability Action Northern Ireland, Inclusion Scotland, and Inclusion London to distribute this funding.
Here in Wales we are also very happy to say that the Welsh Government has awarded Disability Wales additional funding which is being used to boost the fund so we can support 9 DPOs in delivering their exciting projects.
We are very excited to be supporting these DPOs, many of whom have not had access to much funding before, and we look forward to seeing the results of their work.
Meet The Organisations
Let us introduce you to the 9 DPOs that we’ll be supporting, and how they’ll be using the funding.
Celf – Able Limited
Celf-Able is an inclusive disabled and volunteer artist led organisation in Montgomeryshire. They provide opportunity for people to get together and do art in a social and supportive environment. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic Celf-Able are holding sessions on Zoom, which have been very successful with a third of their 65 members attending. However not all the members have the technical equipment, skills or the Internet to be able to join.
Thanks to the funding that they have received this has allowed Celf-Able to:
- Purchase iPads with cellular data for members who don’t have the tech and the Internet. Members will get taught how to access Zoom and use the iPad.
- Tackle isolation through weekly artist workshops on techniques and materials chosen by members that are feasible for teaching online
- Send material kits for people so that they have the appropriate materials when the virtual sessions are held
- Hold an online digital exhibition of the artwork that the members have completed.
Disability Arts Cymru
Disability Arts Cymru (DAC) uses the arts to educate, challenge attitudes and remove barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people to live independently and equally in society. This project seeks to encourage disabled artists and practitioners to grow in confidence, learn new business skills and continue in their arts practices by understanding how to develop their work from a business perspective, gaining opportunities to understand their arts specific nuances, learn new business skills, promote and gain income for their work through pitching for opportunities such as commissions & funding applications and how to use the current digital methods to continue to work on-line
Thanks to the funding that they have received this has allowed Disability Arts Cymru to:
- Provide assistance to creative practitioners/artists in specialist skills training and coaching. This in turn will develop the employability and knowledge of DAC members
- Provide equipment to creative practitioners/artists experiencing digital poverty to gain access to digital tools and communications, which in turn will increase connectivity for key opportunities, and support those by reducing issues related to cold spots
- Secure the services of a experienced Disability Arts Creative Industries Specialist to develop an online creative business tool including development of Business Plan and connect the creative practitioners/artists with the right support opportunity.
Pembrokeshire People First
Pembrokeshire People First is a member-led organisation. Their work focuses on emotional resilience through self advocacy groups, projects and collective advocacy through campaigning on issues of specific concern to people with an LD/ASC.
Thanks to the funding that they have received this has allowed Pembrokeshire People First to:
- Fund staff and activity costs
- Fund emotional resilience training which allows members to work on their fears and anxieties about taking part in new activities and venturing out
The FDF Centre for Independent Living
TheFDF’s Centre for Independent Living (CIL) is a grassroots organisation that provides a wide range of equipment, services and social activities, as well as, impartial, confidential, information, advice, guidance, comfort, support and practical help to people living in Wales who have a physical and / or sensory impairment, including their families and their carers.
Thanks to the funding that they have received this has allowed the FDF Centre for Independent living to employ an additional Independence Support Worker for 30 hours per week, enabling them to take referrals during evenings and weekends at those times when people feel more isolated and alone
Disability Can Do
Disability Can Do is an independent, local charity whose main aim is to support disabled people and carers to break down the barriers, big and small, that restrict their life choices and opportunities. The Charity is passionate about providing volunteering opportunities and attracting the support of volunteers from the local community, with their knowledge and experience enhancing projects and providing direction for service delivery.
Thanks to the funding that they have received this has allowed Disability Can Do to:
- Maintain a small team to address Welfare Benefit support combined with help with financial planning
- Combat isolation and improve independent living conditions for members
- Deliver support via telephone, email and in last case scenario a home setting (in line with Covid-19 regulations: PPE and social distancing)
Accessibility Powys is an organisation that aims to make lasting changes in society that have a positive impact on the lives of disabled people, ensure disabled people have the resource to participate equally as full citizens, run an efficient, financially viable and compliant organisation
Thanks to the funding that they have received this has allowed Accessibility Powys to:
- Pay for staff to provide the 1:1 Support to clients on a full-time basis
- Deliver a 1:1-person centred service to respond to the urgent requests for support from disabled people because of Covid-19
- Tackle isolation and loneliness through linking people with local befriending and social groups
- Supporting members to connect digitally for improved digital inclusion
British Deaf Association
The British Deaf Association (BDA) is a high profile, national ‘Deaf People’s Organisation’ with a strong presence throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They operate in a fast-paced, politicised environment dealing with complex and often controversial social issues with multiple stakeholders. The BDA empowers Deaf people to embrace independence, culture and identity. It champions the rights of Deaf people, the interests of the Deaf Community and the use of British Sign Language.
Thanks to the funding that they have received this has allowed British Deaf Association to:
- Launch a BSL Covid-19 Response Team to provide news, guidance and information in British Sign Language specifically for Deaf people living in Wales. This is needed to keep people up to date with COVID guidelines and restrictions
- The BSL Covid-19 Response Team will provides COVID-19 specific advice, support and information for Deaf people in British Sign Language.This is done via frequent, regular and timely digital communication.
RCT People First Limited
RCT People First aims to relieve and support people with learning difficulties living or working in the Rhondda Cynon Taf and surrounding areas. This is done through services which enable people with learning difficulties to obtain their full rights and privileges as citizens. In turn, this also informs the general public about the educational, physical, emotional and psychological needs of people with learning difficulties. They also aim to advance and promote education of all people with learning difficulties through training, workshops and group work.
Thanks to the funding that they have received this has allowed RCT People First to:
- Increase the funding of staff who work on increasing skills of those who have been issued iPads and provide them with training for Facetime, Zoom, teams and Skype
- Produce iPad training manuals about FaceTime, zoom, teams and skype
- Provide information about internet safety and illustrated updates on Covid-19 rules and procedures
Aubergine Cafe and Events (CIC)
The Aubergine Café is the vision of a small team of autistic adults to empower other autistic people through accessible environments and innovative working practices while providing ethically sourced, nutritious and affordable plant-based food to local people in the wider community.
Alongside being a food business, they are also an arts organisation; their café space hosts a variety of exhibitions, workshops, and performance events featuring the creativity of the autistic community in Wales. They aim to reduce isolation and promote resilience in autistic adults through developing life skills and building mutual support networks.
Thanks to the funding that they have received this has allowed Aubergine Café to:
- Run more creative workshops which are hosted by austitic artists
- Run bicycle maintenance classes and guided cycle rides
- Hold virtual cooking classes
- Offer a weekly peer support group