It’s spooky season here at Disability Equality North West (DENW), so if you’re heading out make sure that you stay safe. We’ve organised a Halloween event at the Disability Equality office on the 31st of October at 10am, fancy dress is optional – but there’ll be a prize for the best dressed. If you’re not going out over Halloween and prefer not to be disturbed, we’ve included a “Sorry, no trick or treating here” poster if you want to print it and use it.

It’s also that time to get your nominations in for the Lesley Finley Award – we want to hear about disabled people who have overcome their own personal challenges to make a positive impact upon the lives of other disabled people.

We’ve also got some new staff members, and they’ll introduce themselves to you.

Download a PDF version of the bulletin here: DENW-Bulletin-29-October-to-December-2023.pdf

Listen to the bulletin online: https://denw.podbean.com/e/bulletin-29-october-to-december-2023/

Bulletin Contents

Preston Pride

Preston Pride was a fantastic day, with us at the start of the first ever Preston Pride parade. The event was a success with many a laugh and smiles throughout the day. Here are some pics from the event:

Lesley Finley Award 2023

Photograph of the late Lesley Finley smiling towards the cameraWe are delighted to launch the Lesley Finley Community Award for 2023. We want to hear about disabled people who have overcome their own personal challenges to make a positive impact upon the lives of other disabled people. This year we particularly want to reward disabled people who have helped other disabled people to be safe either in the community, in their home or in their relationships. The award is in recognition of Lesley Finley, the former Chair of Disability Equality who sadly passed away in 2013.

The closing date for nominations is 3pm on Tuesday the 14th of November 2023 and the awards will be presented at DENW Annual General Meeting on the 7th of December 2023 (see below for more AGM details).

Contact us today for more information or a nomination form on 01772 558863 or email heather@disability-equality.org.uk

Peer Support

What is the Lancashire Peer Support Network?

The Peer Support Network (PSN) was set up in March 2022, to encourage more people to consider direct payments to pay for their care and support needs, and to provide ongoing support for direct payments users, carers and family members, and employers of personal assistants (PAs).
There is a vast wealth of direct payments and employment knowledge throughout Lancashire, and we wanted to connect people with experts with experience, to give them the confidence to take up direct payments themselves, as the process can seem extremely complicated and time-consuming at first, and many people decide to stay with commissioned services, or to receive no support at all.
Peer Support is an important part of supporting people through their direct payments journey, and we believe more people will choose this option, if they speak to other people who successfully use direct payments to employ their own staff.

How do I get support?

We have a friendly online peer support group. Peer support enables people to draw on their own experiences and offers great opportunities to meet with other people who have or want to find out more about direct payments. It’s a great way of meeting other direct payment employers, sharing ideas and supporting each other.
It is an opportunity to ask questions, offer advice, and to talk to professionals, who we have invited to attend future peer support meetings.
We can arrange for a peer support volunteer to speak privately with someone who would like more advice and support before they approach social services.
We holding online get-togethers using Zoom every couple of months, and we are hoping to arrange face-to-face meetings at the DENW office in Preston on Wednesdays. The next online meeting is on November the 15th – get in touch using the details below to receive the joining link.

I’d like to get involved. Where do I start?

Peer Support is available from 11am-2pm every Wednesday, on 01772 558863 option 1.
Alternatively, you can email lils@disability-equality.org.uk with the subject header “PEER SUPPORT REQUEST

Are you struggling?

Are you struggling physically, mentally or financially? We hold:

  • Face to face, telephone, email or video advice sessions available Monday to Friday 9am – 4pm, email hello@disability-equality.org.uk to book a slot;
  • Friendship Fridays every week where you can get together with other people to have a chat and a brew;
  • Direct payment advice from LILS;
  • Food parcels.

During these tough times, food parcels are available for those that are experiencing hardship and are disabled or are parents of disabled children. For further information, contact Des.
Telephone: 01772 558863
Text: 07709 710195
Email: hello@disability-equality.org.uk

Visually Impaired Protocol

Lancashire Constabulary logo.Lancashire Police are introducing a safeguarding protocol for visually impaired members of the community who are in contact with their officers. It is to allow them to verify the identity of officers who call at their address.

There are two scenarios when the Visually Impaired Protocol will be carried out, the first when a service user requests the attendance of police officers – reporting a crime, giving a statement etc. A one-time password will be agreed with the service user by the Force Control Room and added to the log, and then be made available to the radio dispatcher and officer attending.

When the officer attends the home of service user, they will give that password at the door as a means of identifying themselves as an officer before being allowed into the property. If officers attend the property of a visually impaired person without an appointment – for example during house-to-house enquiries – the service user can ring the switchboard and mention the Visually Impaired Protocol. The identity of the officer can then be checked through their collar number and their mobile phone number. This second scenario wouldn’t require a password.

Disability Equality AGM

Our Annual General Meeting is being held on the 7th December from 1:30pm until 3:30pm at Plungington Community Centre, Brook Street, Preston, PR1 7NB. Guest speaker this year is Amanda Parker, DL, Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Lancashire.

We’re also still looking for trustees – email Heather (details below) for an application pack.

You are invited to Disability Equality NW'S Annual General Meeting for 22/23 Date: Thursday 7th December 2023 Time: 1:30-3:30pm Venue: Plungington Community Centre, Brook Street, Preston PR1 7NB Presentation of the Lesley Finley Award 2023 Guest Speaker: Amanda Parker, DL, Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Lancashire Festive light refreshments Booking not essential but advised for catering purposes If you have any access needs, please contact us Email: heather@disability-equality.org.uk or post: Disability Equality NW 103-104 Church Street, Preston PR1 3BS

If you have any access needs or dietary restrictions, please contact heather@disability-equality.org.uk or call 01772 558863.
If you aren’t a member, simply follow this link to become one (it’s free): https://disability-equality.org.uk/members/

Volunteers Update

We’re still looking for some more volunteers to be based in reception on a Tuesday, Thursday or a Friday. If you are interested in volunteering, and haven’t been in touch already, get in touch with Dean and he’ll get an application form to you.
Email: dean@disability-equality.org.uk
Text: 07841 017472
Telephone: 01772 558863 (option 2)

New Staff

We’ve got a few new members of staff! Find out what they do below:

Keith – Specialist Adviser to the Deaf and HOH Community

Headshot of Keith looking towards the camera.I am an experienced adviser who aims to provide holistic and practical support that can help with advice on a wide range of issues. Information and advice is core to supporting people to lead healthy, independent lives where they have choice and control. As an Adviser for DENW we can offer information, support and advice. My specialist field is Welfare benefits, representation and helping people through the benefits maze.

Maria – Safety First Project Worker

Headshot of Maria looking towards the camera.I work with the team on the Safety First project. We help people with disabilities stay safe in the community, at home and in relationships – giving advice if it is needed. I also help run the Friendship Friday group where we have lots of chats and laughs, we have speakers that come in to talk.

Matt – Events & Activities Co-ordinator

Headshot of Matt looking towards the camera.I will be representing DENW as Activities Coordinator at our in-house activities, and as Events Officer across our service areas in the North West. Many reading this may have already met me at our local outreach Community Events this past month, or at a Friendship Fridays event at our head office on Church Street. I love socialising, bringing together communities, and taking on projects of all forms with the aim of bridging gaps within society.

Disability Equality Services

Lancashire Independent Service (LILS):

LILS offers Direct Payment information, advice & payroll support to local people who are in receipt of a Direct Payment from Lancashire County Council.

Safety First:

The project supports disabled people from Preston, Chorley and South Ribble to maintain their safety at home, in the community and in their personal relationships.

Supported Banking:

If you’ve had a Social Care Assessment, or are in receipt of Direct Payments or Personal Budgets from a Local Authority or the NHS, and you’re: struggling with the paperwork, worried about dealing with staff payroll, timesheets, etc. then our experienced and dedicated Supported Banking team can help.

General Enquiries:

If you need general / benefits advice or support with renewing them, we can help.

Dates for your diaries – all FREE!

Please note that all meetings and activities are held at DENW unless otherwise stated. We will promote each event separately with exact locations and venue details nearer the time via our membership and on social media.
Please contact hello@disability-equality.org.uk for further information.

26th October Half Term Event with Let’s Grow Preston
The Hub, Grange Park, off Mitton Drive (PR2 6QW).
11am – 2pm
27th October Halloween Art Session at DENW. 1pm – 3pm
31st October Halloween Event – Prize for best dressed. 10am – 1pm
3rd November Bonfire Art Session at DENW. 1pm – 3pm
7th December DENW AGM at Plungington Community Centre, Brook Street, Preston, PR1 7NB. 1:30pm – 3:30pm
December Dates TBC Organised Walks in Preston and Southport. Details TBC
Oct 2023: 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th Drop in for a chat with good company, a free hot drink and a bite to eat every Friday from 1pm – 3pm at Disability Equality, 103 Church Street, Preston, PR1 3BS.

The last Friendship Friday for 2023 will be on Friday 15th December 2023, 1pm – 4pm and will be Festive themed

1pm – 3pm
Nov 2023: 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th
Dec 2023: 1st, 8th, 15th
30th October, 13th November, 27th November, 11th December. Autism Connect – an Autism, ADHD and Hidden Disabilities Peer Support and Social Group held every other Monday from 1pm – 3pm at Disability Equality, 103 Church Street, Preston, PR1 3BS. 1pm – 3pm
Oct 2023: 24th, 25th, 31st Meet the Medics – come and talk to our placement medical students Maryam or Zeiad about your lived experience of Disability. A warm brew is always on offer. Contact Us to book a slot.
Nov 2023: 1st, 7th, 8th