Group & Self Advocacy Autumn/Winter 2023-24 Update

Equality Together supports a number of groups as part of its Lot 2 funding. These have been set up by and for people who face disabling barriers. The groups are shaped and led by their members with support from Equality Together. Below is a summary of their current activities.

If anyone you know is interested in joining any of these groups, please get in touch with Sandra sandrab@equalitytogether.org.uk or Yolande yolandeb@equalitytogether.org.uk or for Talk Together contact Jane janew@equalitytogether.org.uk

New members welcome!

Download a PDF copy of this update: Group & Self Advocacy Autumn/Winter 2023-24 Update

Bradford Association of Visually Impaired People (BAVIP)

BAVIP is a self-led group of people with visual impairments.

The groups future meetings will now be bi-monthly at Morley Street.

In August Jonathan Dolby from Stronger Communities Partnership spoke to the group about their work and asked the group members some questions about their community and how they felt about it.

Chris Bedford, an engineer from Bradford Council also came and spoke with the group about the work that was going on in the city centre. The group gave some feedback about how the work might affect people with visual impairments.

Seeing The Light

In November BAVIP put on an event called ‘Seeing The Light’ at Kala Sangam. The meeting was funded by Cnet. The aim of the meeting was to share experiences and tips on living with a visual impairment especially for those who are newly diagnosed. It was also hoped the group could recruit new members. About 50 people attended the meeting. John from Bradford City of Culture 2025 spoke about how visually impaired people will be included in the city of Culture. Guy from Bradford and District Visually Impaired Community encouraged people to take up sports like cricket and tennis for visually impaired people. There was a demo via Zoom of assistive technology with Dinos from RNIB. The group also participated in a dance session from Sandrine Dance Company. Feedback from the meeting was very positive.

African Caribbean Well-Being Café

The Black Health Forum, with support from Equality Together, hosts the well-being café for African and African-Caribbean elders.

The group is continuing to meet face to face on a monthly basis at St Pauls Church, Manningham, doing exercises both in person and on zoom, wellbeing talks, crafts and other social activities.

The group visited York in August and particularly enjoyed a tour around the York Chocolate Factory.

In October as part of Black History Month members of the group took part in a reminiscence session at St George’s Hall. The Black Health Forum also organised a video showing of the play Unseen Unheard – The untold breast cancer stories of black women in the UK as part of Black History Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Disabled People’s Action Group

People’s History Museum

Some members of the group went by train to the People’s History Museum in Manchester in September to visit the ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ exhibition. The exhibition was co-curated by one of the DPAG members and looks at the history of the Disability rights movement.

Street Access Audit Meeting

In October DPAG hosted an open meeting to discuss planning a street accessibility audit somewhere in the district. The meeting was shown a dvd made by Access Action about 20 years ago that looked at the issues faced by disabled people when going around town. The meeting felt that many things hadn’t improved and it was important to look at what changes had been made and which of these things worked.

Orange Card

Erica Ward from West Yorkshire Metro contacted the group as Metro were redesigning travel information cards for disabled people. She asked for the group’s input into the wording of the cards and if they wanted to add anything. Sandra explained that Metro were also introducing a new orange wallet that disabled people could keep their travel cards in and would alert bus drivers that they may need extra assistance.

City Centre Works

Chris Bedford, who is a lead engineer from Bradford Council working on the improvements to the City Centre came to speak with the group about ensuring any changes did not negatively impact the accessibility of the city centre for people with disabilities.

Speakout Bradford and District

Speakout is a small group who campaign around issues with housing and homelessness.

Open Meeting – As part of the DPAG open meeting members came along to meet Incommunities Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team to talk about housing issues that disabled people face.

Women2Women Group

In the last 6 months the group have had visits from Rachel from Cnet whose role is gathering people’s experiences in healthcare settings.

Julie from United People’s Movement spoke to the group about an event they were having to bring people together, share their experiences, stories and ideas for a better world to live in.

The group also enjoyed a Mindfulness session and meetings where they tried their hands at different crafts such as jewellery making and Christmas crafts.

Men’s Group

The men’s group meet every Tuesday in Manningham Mills. The group provide mutual support in a non-judgemental environment. They take part in various activities such as board games, table football, quizzes, colouring and pool.

For their Christmas celebration the group members enjoyed a bowling and pizza social in December.

Talk Together

Talk together is an online group, who meet on Wednesdays, 10-11 am, on Zoom. It’s a chance for those who struggle to get out and about to have a chat with others in a similar situation.  Topics up for discussion include: everything from world affairs; where to find an accessible dentist / hairdresser / theatre; what services are out there to help; and chance to share the stuff members are struggling with. The sessions are run by the Peer support team. There’s no judgement, no-one telling you what to do, just people who’ve lived it, sharing the hints & tips that have helped them.

If you prefer speaking to someone one-to-one, we now have three new Peer Support volunteers.