Group & Self Advocacy Spring/Summer 2023 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 or Yolande or for Talk Together contact Jane

New members welcome!

To download a PDF copy of this update: Group Advocacy Update Spring Summer 2023

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. The group enjoyed a fabulous Christmas lunch at MyLahore in Bradford.

BAVIP are currently planning their AGM in June. The group are looking at funding in a drive to increase their membership.

Several of the group are taking part in Co-production meetings with the Co-production partnership working groups. One of the members sits on the Accessible Information group.

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 well-being café Christmas meal was at the Golf Club in Cleckheaton where they spent the evening enjoying each other’s company, nice food and entertainment. The café regulars took part in an event at St George’s Hall to celebrate the arrival of the Windrush generation. The café is working with the City of Culture on plans for an artwork linked to the 75th anniversary of the Windrush.

The group had Public Health come and talk to them about Health Needs Assessments.

Disabled People’s Action Group

Bradford 2025 City of Culture

Some members of the group were invited to take part in a consultation with the volunteer coordinators of Bradford 2025 City of Culture. They wanted to find out how they could make volunteering for events through the year accessible and welcoming to disabled people.

Cost of Living Crisis – The Impact on Disabled People

On Wednesday 29th March the group held an open meeting about how the Cost of Living Crisis was impacting on disabled people. Rick Burgess from Greater Manchester Disabled People’s Panel came and gave an interesting and informative talk about the findings from the Greater Manchester Big Disability Survey. Rick then went on to outline some of the recommendations to address the concerns raised in the survey. Some of the audience recounted some of the difficulties they had faced when trying to cope with rising prices and accessing benefits.

We were then joined by Jonathan Brearley from Equality Together who outlined some of the help that people might be able to get particularly from the voluntary sector and foodbanks.

People’s History Museum

The steering group is hoping to arrange a visit to the ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ exhibition at the People’s History Museum in Manchester over the summer. The exhibition looks at the history of disability rights and activism.

Speakout Bradford and District

Speak Out Find Out

In December the group arranged the ‘Speak Out Find Out’ meeting to bring together people who lived in supported housing or had experience of homelessness with representatives from various housing related organisations. The aim was to try and identify what some of the key issues around housing are for these groups. The Speakout group had already circulated a survey and it was hoped the meeting would supplement the findings of the survey.

The meeting covered a wide range of issues, and many different points were raised but, for both groups of people, the homeless and people living in supported housing the issues were narrowed down to 3 main areas:

  • The lack of affordable and accessible housing
  • Difficulties with the process of applying for, moving and getting information about social housing – making it exclusively online means for some it is hard to access, the system was described as rigid and it was hard for people to find help navigating through the process.
  • Lack of support with other issues – Many of the people in these groups face disabling barriers for example mental health issues, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, drug, and alcohol addiction etc. This can mean they are often more susceptible when faced with issues related to their housing situation: problems with benefits, disputes with neighbours, isolation and bullying were all mentioned. The lack of support with these issues often exacerbated them.

The Speakout group hope to use these findings together with the information that came from the survey as the focus of their campaigns going forward.

Women2Women Group

Our women’s group meets monthly, on the third Thursday of the month. The group likes to focus the session around a craft activity, this provides a space for people to share experiences and provide mutual support. In January the group made some Valentines gifts. In February they celebrated International Women’s Day by creating artworks based around describing themselves in positive words. In March the group tried their hand at creating some cute Easter baskets.

The group will be making jewellery at the next meeting in April.

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, quizzes, colouring and pool.

The group have had recent visits from the Health Partnership and Carers’ Resource.

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.