*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        

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

Update: Annual General Meeting and Open Forum 11 Dec

We are pleased to invite you to our AGM and Open Forum on Tuesday 11 December, 1pm – 4pm at The Foundation, Triodos Bank, BS1 5AS.
We always combine our AGM with an Open Forum on that year’s theme.  This year it is transport and we are delighted to have secured James White, interim Director of Transport at the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).  James has a very thorough knowledge of the local Joint Strategic Transport Plan.  Given the transport difficulties – whether on foot, bike, by car, bus, train or taxi – Disabled people experience, this is a perfect opportunity to tell him what needs to be done to achieve the accessible transport we need.
On a lighter note, we will then launch our new peer support project ‘- with cake and coffee!
This new project, ‘Making Change Happen’, will set up four groups across the most disadvantaged communities in Bristol so that Disabled people can come together and establish what their needs are and how, as a group, they want to address them.  For some groups, it might be an opportunity to socialise; others may swap information and advice; and others may have particular barriers/issues they want to address within their own community.
The first meet-ups are in January so why not come along and find out where and when they will be, take away a few flyers for other Disabled people and older people with impairments that you know, and sign-up to make sure you get regular updates as the project progresses.
BSL interpreters, PA support and refreshments will all be provided.  Unfortunately we can no longer pay transport costs for every member.  However, if you have need for accessible transport, please contact us with more details and we will do our best to help.
It would be great to see you, so do come along!
If you have any questions or to tell us about your access needs, email bristoldef@gmail.com or call 0117 914 0528

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

 

 

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

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!

Inaccessible Rail Travel

Since Tanylee Davis gave her account about an upsetting train journey on social media, there have been a flood of news reports on the inaccessibility of rail travel.

A guard insisted that Tanylee move her mobility scooter when a mother with a pushchair then boarded the train.  He then proceeded to inform all passengers via the tannoy that the train was delayed due to the woman with a mobility scooter refusing to move.

Ms Davis, a comedian reported that the confrontation left her feeling humiliated and tearful for the rest of the journey.

GWR later admitted that they’d made an error and that a wheelchair space is for wheelchairs not for luggage or pushchairs.  However Sara Harvey experienced similar problems:  https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/train-company-faces-calls-to-rip-up-scooter-policy-after-latest-shameful-episode/

Speaking about the incident Tanylee has said she just wanted to highlight problems she had been encountering for the last 15 years.  A statement that many of us would whole-heartedly agree with!

There’s many reasons why train travel can be stressful for Disabled people including inaccessible booking, toilets, platforms, lack of ramps, inconsistent support to get on and off trains and at stations.

I relayed a tale where I booked assistance for a journey which worked well at the outgoing station, was absent at a connecting station whilst the final station was unmanned. Many DEF members nodded in agreement and obviously had their own horror stories to tell.  Such inconsistencies mean people can be stranded at stations or miss vital connections.

Leonard Cheshire research says 1 in 3 Disabled people face rail misery and have called for the government to improve accessibility on train journeys and is encouraging the public to sign their petition: https://www.leonardcheshire.org/about-us/latest-news/press-releases/one-three-disabled-people-face-rail-misery

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is calling for legal action against the government over its failure to ensure an accessible rail service.

Transport For All (TfA) campaigns for affordable, reliable and accessible transport as a right:  http://www.transportforall.org.uk/

In Bristol problems can be reported to the Public Transport Group, if you email me I can inform the group.

sarah.howard@brandontrust.org

Tanyalee is a fiesty performer, catch her if you can! https:/tanyaleedavis.com

 

 

The Right Trousers: developing the tech for robot assisted trousers

BDEF Co-chair, Suaad Walker, recently attended The Right Trousers event at UWE’s Future Space in their Robotics Lab. The event centred on a research project into robotic trousers to help those with impaired mobility.

The location was fully accessible. The event was a showcase/feedback for some of the research that is being collaboratively worked on by several universities: Bristol, UWE, Leeds, Loughborough, Nottingham, Southampton and Strathclyde. Funding is a mix of EU and UK health funding to look at ways of using robotics to improve independent living. This event particularly focused on the use of robotics to overcome restricted mobility in terms of getting out of a chair/walking as well as reducing the problems associated with drop-foot syndrome. Bristol showcased their work with focus groups of elderly and disabled to identify exactly what kind of help is needed in a variety of different scenarios as well as helping the researchers to better understand the experience of impaired mobility. This feedback suggested that assistive trousers would need to be light-weight, cheap, comfortable, and easy to take on and off plus be washable!

Research so far has:

  • Resulted in a specialist 3D printer that combines viscous silicone with a hardener to produce a substance that is textile like and has the potential to act like an artificial muscle when stimulated.
  • Precision motion capture technology that concentrates on joint functionality and has a built in feed-back similar to, but a major improvement, on current ‘health-wristband’ technology.
  • Several different varieties of artificial muscle:
    • A flat plastic, folded like a strip of origami paper that unfolds when electrically stimulated to simulate muscle activity.
    • A flat tube of plastic that fills with air pressure to simulate muscle activity.
    • A sequence of connected plastic beads that fill with air pressure to simulate muscle activity.
    • An ‘activator’ small enough to clip onto a belt that contains enough compressed air for 100 ‘doses’ of ‘muscle activation’.
  • A ‘slim’ sock designed to overcome the problems of foot drop incorporating a further form of artificial muscle.
  • A pair of trousers incorporating many of the above developments.
  • A pair of trousers that can be remotely lowered or raised when activated.