Two new centres for independent living are a step closer

Is excited to be involved with the creation of a Centre for Independent Living for north Wales with FDF.

PRESS RELEASE FROM DISABILITY WALES

Two new groups have been selected to run centres for independent living. The selection was made by Disability Wales and their project partners, The Wales Co-operative Centre, and the Dewis Centre for Independent Living. The centres will be located in Ceredigion and Flintshire. ‘The FDF’ will operate the site in the North, and a combination of Disabled People Together, Mencap Ceredigion, and Creative Lifestyle Solutions will run the centre in Ceredigion. Taken on Monday 26th September 2016, the decision will support the Welsh Government’s Framework for Action on Independent Living, and the centres will increase access to independent living.

The successful groups will now receive more intensive and bespoke training from the Wales Co-operative with Dewis Centre for Independent Living also supporting them. The focus will be on equipping them with the business planning skills to turn their idea from an early stage concept into a reality. They will be sorting out the detail of their plans, and setting up the centres.

Rhian Davies, Director of Disability Wales, said:

“We are delighted that following an eighteen month long programme of training, development and coaching working with 65 disabled people across Wales, we have achieved our goal in being able to select two emerging Centres for Independent Living and support their development over the remainder of the Enabling Wales project. CILs are social enterprises that deliver services run by disabled people for disabled people and offer a new and creative model of provision in line with what people actually need to achieve independent living and well-being as well as maximise scarce resources.

The Ceredigion centre will focus on providing information and advice. Its services will be based at ‘Y Hwb’ and be provided directly by ‘Y Hwb’ or its three key partners, Mencap, CLS, and DPT. At the site there will be training and workshops; disability equality training; self-advocacy; signposting and referrals; a disability forum; a one stop shop; satellite services; a weekly drop-in for parents and carers; a ladies’ club; a men’s club; and a young person’s club; Help Llaw; social events; members’ discos; gateway clubs; support brokerage; social enterprise development; allotment space; lifetime advocacy networks; support on hate and mate crime; campaigning; lobbying; and fundraising.

Rhiannon Hicks, Project Officer for Enabling Wales at Disability Wales, said:

The Ceredigion Group were successful as they showed a strong understanding of organisations led by disabled people for disabled people. They also have a strong commitment to the social model of disability, as well as good partnerships with relevant third sector bodies.”

The Flintshire centre will provide: equipment hire; help with managing personal budgets; empowering and campaigning; transport; recruitment and training of personal assistants; befriending; social groups; respite for carers; Buzz, an 18 – 30s group; blue badges; technology; and assistance completing application forms.

Of “The FDF”, Rhiannon Hicks added:

The FDF were successful as they have a strong track record of project delivery, and of securing funding. They also have strong partnerships. I very much look forward to working with both groups in the next stage of the project.

Carl Sargeant AM, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children at the Welsh Government said:

Congratulations to the two groups who were successful with their proposals to establish Centres for Independent Living. This is the culmination of the Enabling Wales project which has been funded over the last 3 years by our Equality and Inclusion Grant. I am sure that, with the support of the Wales Cooperative Centre and Dewis CIL, they will develop and grow into sustainable enterprises which will promote independent living for disabled people and provide them with the services they need to support their well-being.” 

As the successful groups become centres for independent living, they will be able to support other groups on their path to become CILs. While these centres are being set up, Disability Wales will produce a toolkit for the process, and eventually, the hope is to see a centre for independent living in each of Wales’s counties.

The two new centres will open in March 2017.

The runner up in the process will continue to receive support through the project ‘Enabling Wales’. Disability Wales is spearheading ‘Enabling Wales’ with its partners Dewis Centre for Independent Living and the Wales Co-operative Centre. It seeks to promote independent living throughout Wales via development, training, coaching and consultancy. The selection of two new centres for independent living is the final stage of the Enabling Wales project, which has been funded by the Welsh Government.

The Social Model of Disability asserts that social barriers are the main causes of disabled people’s problems, rather than their impairments. Those barriers include people’s attitudes to disability, as well as physical and organisational barriers.

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