*New* peer support drop-in dates for Jan 2019

About

Making Change Happen is our new peer support project funded by The People’s Health Trust Active Communities Programme, using money raised through The Health Lottery South West.

The project will set up four new groups across Bristol and each group will meet once a month. The aim is to spread the four monthly meet-ups so that, in one area or another, there is a meet up almost every week. 

What each group does will be decided by its members. They might want to socialise and meet new people; share experiences, advice and information; discover support and activities in their area; or campaign on local issues. Whatever they decide to focus on, each group will be supported by a Forum Development Worker and at least one local volunteer.

Who can attend?

The groups are open to anyone who identifies as Disabled or is an elder with impairments, and considers themselves to be on a low income.

Where and when

We are holding some drop-ins in January 2019 so that you can:

  • Find out more about the project
  • Meet people and share your ideas      
  • Have your say on the issues that matter to you

Please join us…

South Bristol

Friday 18th Jan

10.30 am till 12. 30pm

The Café, Gatehouse Centre, Hareclive Road, Bristol BS13 9JN

Central and West Bristol

Wednesday 23rd Jan

10.30 am till 12. 30pm

The Watershed Café, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5TX

North Bristol

Thursday 24 January

11.30 am till 1.30pm

Henbury & Brentry Community Centre, Machin Road, Bristol BS10 7HG

East Bristol

Monday 28th Jan

10.30 am till 12.30pm

IKEA Café, Eastgate Rd, Bristol BS5 6XX

All groups are free to attend. Just drop by, or for more information please contact us:

E-mail:            mike.bristoldef@gmail.com

Tel:           0117 914 0528        

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New peer support project launched at AGM

This year, the Forum’s AGM saw the launch of Making Change Happen, our new peer support project funded by the People’s Health Trust Active Communities programme. The aim of the project is to help Disabled people and elders from four of the most disadvantaged areas of Bristol get together to meet new people, share information, and address issues that matter to them.

The project will set up four new peer-support groups across the city and each group will meet once a month. The aim is to spread the four monthly meet-ups so that, in one area or another, there is a meet up almost every week. Although the groups will be supported by a Development Worker and a local volunteer, the great thing about this project is that the people who join each group will decide what it does, and how it does it.

If you’re interested in Making Change Happen and would like more information about the project, please contact:

mike.bristoldef@gmail.com

or call 0117 914 0528

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24 Nov 2018 – Bristol celebrates Disability History Month

 

Disability History Month runs from 22 November to 22 December and this year the focus is Disability and Music.

To celebrate, The Forum invites you to join us at the M Shed on 24 November.

Running order 

 

12.00     Registration

12.15     Welcome and Introduction to the day

12.30     Raquel Messenguer

12.35     Beth Richards

13.05    Electric Storm Ensemble

13.35    Break for people to buy a drink or food in the café.  There will also be a                   playlist of Disabled people’s music throughout the break.

14.05   Welcome back

14.10    Interview with Barrington Chambers about his experiences as a                                Disabled musician

14.35    Symbiosis

15.05    Speaker and performance by Mind Your Music

15.45     Final words

16.00     Event Ends

Information about the performers and speakers.

 

Raquel Messenguer – Raquel is a local arts activist who will be talking about her work to encourage venues to be accessible to people who can’t sit or stand in the same position for long periods of time by enabling them to lie down.

 

Beth Richards – Beth is a researcher at the University of Bristol and active member of The Misfits, a local theatre and spoken word group of and for people with Learning Difficulties.

 

Electric Storm Ensemble – The Electric Storm Ensemble is a group of Disabled musicians supported by Drake Music.  They are an inclusive band of musicians based in Bristol who play and write music together and perform live at venues around the city.

 

Barrington Chambers – Barrington is a local musician who plays in the Bristol Reggae Orchestra and has been involved in a number of other groups over the years.

 

Symbiosis – Symbiosis is an emerging local band of Disabled singers, song-writers and instrumentalists who will be performing acoustic music.

 

Mind Your Music – Mind Your Music is an inclusive music project aimed at enhancing the mental health of survivors of mental health difficulties and those in recovery from alcohol/drug addiction.

 

Please note: BSL interpreters will be available. For more information, or if you would like to discuss your access needs, please email bristoldef@gmail.com or call 0117 914 0528

 

 

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Would you like to become a Forum Advisor?

It’s that time of year again when we are planning our Annual General Meeting (AGM). Before our AGM we need members to stand as an Advisor in our next elections. Advisors are the people members elect to our management committee (now called a trustee board). Sadly, we have lots of spare places as a number of Advisors experienced poor health and/or worsened impairments over the past year.

This year we have the following vacancies:

East Bristol: 1 Advisor post

Central and West Bristol: 1 Advisor post

City Wide: 2 Advisor posts

Organisations FOR Disabled People: 2 posts

Organisation OF Disabled People: 4 posts

This is an exciting time to become an Advisor as we are moving into a new phase with lots of opportunity to re-think what we do and develop new work. While we welcome applications from all, we are particularly keen to recruit people with experience in:

  • Marketing
  • HR
  • Fundraising
  • Business Development

So, if you identify as a Disabled person and are interested in becoming a Forum Advisor, please take the time to read through the nomination paperwork below and send us your nominations via post or email. We look forward to receiving them by 1pm on 27 October.

If you have any questions about becoming an Advisor or require any of the paperwork in a different format, please contact the office on 0117 914 0528 or email bristoldef@gmail.com

Advisor Role descriptions:

Area and City Wide role description

Trustee role description

Nomination forms:

Nomination form for individuals

Nomination form for organisations of Disabled People

Nomination form for organisations for Disabled People

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Nominations wanted for the Rowen Jade Award 2018

We are looking for nominations for the Rowen Jade Award 2018.

This award is given annually to a Disabled person who lives in or near Bristol who has campaigned for the rights of Disabled people, or who has, by example, shown how Disabled people can play an active role in society.

Rowen Jade died in September 2010. She was a Disabled woman who worked tirelessly with and for Disabled people nationally and here in Bristol. Rowen was also a Forum Advisor, so we created this annual award in her memory.

The memorial bowl, engraved with the name of each year’s winner, will be presented at our AGM later this year.

Could it be you or someone you know this year?

To nominate someone for this award, please contact the Forum with the name of your nominee, a seconder and some information on what the person being nominated has done.

email: bristoldef@gmail.com

tel: 0117 914 0528

address:  Bristol Disability Equality Forum, St Pauls Learning and Family Centre, 94 Grosvenor Road, Bristol BS2 8XJ

Nominations must reach the Forum by: Thursday 8 November

There are criteria for the award which we can send, on request.

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

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Pavement Parking Campaign

1,000 days is a long time to wait when your safety is put at risk by dangerous pavement parking.  By September, that’s exactly how long it will have been since the UK Parliament promised to find out how a new law on pavement parking would work.

In August, the Guide Dogs charity will be taking to the streets across the country to collect signatures for an open letter calling on the Government to end the thousand days of delay on pavement parking.  Would you like to join them?

All you need is a spare a couple of hours on any day during 13-19 August and to sign up here to help in your local area.

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Student research into transport barriers for people with hearing loss

Every day, thousands of people use public transport to get to work. However, people with hearing impairments face many barriers that can make travel by public transport difficult, or even impossible.

As part of her Masters programme in Transport Planning at the University of Leeds, Liliana W.Jonni  is looking for participants to take part in a short survey. The survey includes questions about the transport difficulties faced by people with a hearing impairment and the extent to which transport creates problems in relation to employment or employability.

If you are able to support Liliana’s work by completing the survey it would be much appreciated. You can find it here:  https://bit.ly/2tnUSKX

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Restore the Access to Elected Office Fund!

The Government is facing a legal challenge to restore the Access to Elected Office fund (AEOF) which helps Deaf and Disabled candidates, of all parties, with the extra costs of standing for election. The legal challenge is being brought by 3 Disabled would-be MPs from 3 different parties and is being supported by the cross-party campaign group More United.

There are over 13.9 million Disabled people in the UK, that’s 21% of the British population. Fair and accurate representation of all demographics is an essential part of any healthy democracy. However, just 5 Disabled MPs were elected to the House of Commons at General election 2017. Together, they make up less than 1% of Parliament.

A major reason for the under-representation of Disabled people in Parliament is the additional financial barriers faced by Disabled candidates when seeking to stand for election. The AEOF was set up in 2012 to allow Disabled candidates to campaign on an equal footing to their non-disabled counterparts. The fund offered grants between £250 and £40,000 to cover extra costs such as BSL interpreters, assistive technology or extra transport.

But in 2015 the government froze the fund and it was put ‘under review’. Three years on, there are still no plans to restore the fund, despite a recommendation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) for it to be restored. Without the financial support provided by the AEOF, many Disabled would-be MPs are effectively prevented from standing for election.

Now more than ever, Disabled people’s voices need to be heard. If there are not enough Disabled MPs who truly understand the barriers and discrimination we face, decisions will continue to be made against our interests. The recent cuts to Personal Independence Payments, the narrowing of social care criteria and the closure of the Independent Living Fund demonstrate this.

Standing for election should be accessible for all. The AEOF must be restored to level the playing field and allow more Disabled candidates to stand for election. Please join Labour’s Emily Brothers, Liberal Democrat David Buxton, the Green Party’s Simeon Hart and More United in their call for the Government to reopen the fund.

Join the campaign and sign the petition here: https://www.moreunited.uk/restore-the-fund

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Access For All Southmead

Inclusion Southmead is a friendly group of Disabled and non-disabled residents, working to make Southmead inclusive and accessible for everyone.

We are working with Bristol Disability Equality Forum and The Care Forum on a number of issues, including a lack of access to some of Southmead’s shops, parks and services.

At the top of our current list is access to McColl’s Newsagents and Post Office in Arnside. Although the shop has double doors, these are locked. The only way to get into the shop and Post Office is through a single heavy door, which has a step. There are also displays and shelving blocking access in the shop. This means that some wheelchair users, and other Disabled people are often left outside, whatever the weather. Disabled and older residents have also told us that they have been forced to rely on family or friends to do their shopping, pay their rent or do their Post Office banking for them.

We do not think this is acceptable. All residents should have equal access and choices, no one should be excluded from such an important service in our community.

We have written twice to McColl’s asking for something to be done. After several months we were told that McColl’s had done a site survey, and then put an ‘ask for assistance’ sign and a bell outside of the shop. However, the bell is too high for some to reach, and this had made some people feel even more frustrated and left-out.

McColl’s also said that they cannot do anything in the ‘immediate future’ due to ‘planning consent’. However, Equality law means that businesses must think in advance about what Disabled people need to use their services, and we know that other McColl’s branches are not accessible, including the recently refurbished branch at Pen Park.

So, Inclusion Southmead has decided to hold an ‘Access For All Day’ (A4A) outside McColl’s Arnside on Saturday 21st April, from 11am to 1pm.

We will be asking people to sign a petition to help raise these issues and get Access For All. Please come along, we plan to make this into a fun event for all. We will be there come rain or shine, please join us!

We are also talking to the Council and other groups about the lack of access to Doncaster Park, so that Disabled people no longer have to wait outside whilst their children and grandchildren are playing inside. We want all residents, of all ages, to be able to enjoy Southmead’s parks and community space.

For to find out more, e-mail Deana at zazu@sky.com , or Mike at mike.bristoldef@gmail.com or call 0117 914 052.

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