Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

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14.01.2021 weekly update

Welcome to the weekly email update.  This edition includes:

1.  Coalition Update

2.  Social/peer support groups coming up

3.  Importantinformation regarding Covid-19 vaccination for people who employ a PA or receive care at home

4.  Help coproduce the physical disability and sensory impairment strategy

5.  Sight Village online

6.  Survey on Surrey Learning Disability and Autism Partnership Board Website

7.  Physical Activity

8.  Policing Your Community – Virtual Events

9.  Disability Rights UK E Newsletter

1.  Coalition Update

Please complete our survey to contribute your experiences of Covid! – Last week we sent you a copy of the Covid Diaries which contained the experiences of our members from the first two lockdowns in 2020.  We would really like to add members experiences of the current lockdown to this document, so we have put together a really short survey for you to share your experiences.  We would like as many members as possible to complete the survey so we can provide valuable feedback to Health and Social Care services and also help us to ensure we are providing the support that our members need most.  Please use this link to complete the survey:  your experience during the Covid-19 pandemic  Angie Taylor (our Engagement Officer) is contacting all our members who do not have digital access so we hope to get a good picture of the experiences of our members.

I am sure you will have all heard about the Covid-19 vaccination programme.  The Coalition, and other partners, have been involved in creating the Equality and Impact Assessment for the programme and the Surrey Heartlands team are working their way through the actions that need to be taken.  If you would like to add anything to this process then please do let us know, either by completing this survey: Please raise this with the vaccination team  

2. Social/peer support groups coming up

Virtual café – This week members discussed where they would like to virtually visit in future.  There were lots of great ideas including Wisley, musuems, theme parks and boat trips.  If you have a great idea for a virtual trip please contact Yasmin so she can look into this.  Join us for a chat and a cuppa on Mondays at 11am.

Craft and chat – Our craft group will be celebrating Burns night on Tuesday 19th January at 12. 00 noon. There will be a short talk about its traditions and poems and craft activities. Please have coloured paper and scissors ready if you would like to join in the craft activities. We look forward to seeing you. 

Book Chat – This week, 13th Jan, we looked at ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’  an American book by Delia Owens. We observed how Kya struggled with adversity and abuse, how she overcame and ultimately how she was judged. A ‘whodunnit’ with many extras.

Next week we are looking at a lighter subject and using a shorter book.  Join us at 2.30pm on Wednesday 20th for an hour as we discuss Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore. An everyday story of a cat with too many homes. Sid is a cat who is addicted to having six meals a day and glories in this lifestyle. Manipulative, persuasive and a charmer he has wrapped everybody round his little paw – each owner believes that Sid belongs to them only… until the day he is found out!

Quiz – Do you want to test your knowledge, stretch your skills? Try the Thursday Quiz at 2.30pm. Th quiz covers a variety of subjects find out if you have it to be a quiz champion, or just come along for the enjoyment us this link. Nothing too hard. We look forward to seeing you.

3. Important information regarding Covid-19 vaccination for people who employ a PA or receive care at home – see the new guidance released yesterday – particularly page 38, paragraph 5.22.  In a nutshell, if you are in the ‘Extremely Clinically Vulnerable’ group, the PA or support worker you employ for care at home should be included within the second priority group (after residential care homes and those over 80).

4. Help coproduce the physical disability and sensory impairment strategy – Surrey County Council is asking residents with physical disabilities and/or sensory impairments to share their views on the support available to them, and access to universal services.  All feedback will be used to coproduce the new Physical Disability and Sensory Impairment Strategy, which will drive the support and services offered over the next five years (2021-2026).

The council’s adult social care service wants to understand the need and experience of local residents, which will enable services to offer a more personalised approach while continuing to promote wellbeing and independence.   If you or someone you know has a physical disability or sensory impairment (aged 18 or over), please do feed in your views and have your say. You can take part in the survey via Surrey Says.  Residents have until 31stJanuary 2021 to share their experiences and help shape the future support available.

Alternative accessible formats such as easy read, braille, large print or plain text are available and can be obtained by contacting:

Email:  Phone: 0300 200 1005 SMS:  07527 182 861

5. Sight Village Online – Please see the attached document regarding Sight Village Online, which takes place on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 January.  The document includes information on the seminars being held via a YouTube stream.  It also includes the web address to visit to register for any seminar you might want to attend!

6. Survey on Surrey Learning Disability and Autism Partnership Board Website – Surrey County Councilare inviting you to share your thoughts on the Surrey Learning Disability and Autism Partnership Board website.  The survey will offer the chance to provide feedback on the quality of information on the website, including questions on what could be improved or added.  There are additional questions around equality and diversity.  The survey should take around 20 minutes to complete.  The closing date for responses is 5th February 2021

7. Physical Activity

Our colleagues at Active Surrey have asked us to share the following information regarding virtual physical activities for disabled people.

WheelPower release 10 NEW Inclusive Workouts for Young Disabled People during Lockdown – WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, is delighted to announce the forthcoming release of 10 new online workouts, aimed specifically at primary and secondary aged disabled children. It is hoped that these videos will assist parents and teachers with the provision of PE during Lockdown 3.0, and provide new and exciting opportunities for disabled children to stay fit and healthy during this challenging period.

The 10 new workout videos will be split into two age groups. Five will be primary focussed, and five secondary focussed, and each comes with its own unique theme, meaning that every workout is different and varied. The videos will be available on the WheelPower website and our YouTube Channel and can be accessed for free at a time that suits your needs. Please use the following web links:

Workouts for Young People:


Para Dance UK, Inclusive Dance videos, January 2021 – What is your New Year’s Resolution? Do you want to learn something new? Be more active? Feel uplifted and inspired? Then look no further as Para Dance UK has you covered.

Each week Para Dance UK will be releasing four fun-filled dance videos for wheelchair users and the wider disability community throughout the month of January 2021, which will include a selection of lyrical, non-genre and ballroom & Latin inspired sessions for you to enjoy at home.

Whether you have never danced before in your life or have been enjoying dance for years, our inclusive dance sessions are suitable for everyone and provide a wonderful opportunity to have some fun whilst improving your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

This project is supported by EMD UK and has been made possible through National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund.  Please share/forward this on to your contacts who may be interested so they can join us too! 

To sign up for this amazing opportunity and dance away those January blues please click here and fill out the short Registration form.  You will then receive a confirmation email which will include a link to a taster inclusive dance session that you can try at home.

Additional videos will be sent out to you on the following dates so put these dates in your diary to look forward to:

Wednesday 13th January 2021

Wednesday 20th January 2021

Wednesday 27th January 2021

8. Policing Your Community – Virtual Events – Surrey Police’s ‘Policing your Community events’ are set to return but this year virtually! Over the last two years, Chief Constable Gavin Stephens and PCC David Munro have travelled around the county meeting local residents, joined by the local Borough Commander. These events are an opportunity to hear what the Force is doing to support local residents and it is a chance for communities to ask questions.

Interested in attending? The eleven events are taking place:

Mon 18 Jan – Runnymede Borough: 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Mon 18 Jan – Surrey Heath Borough: 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Mon 25 Jan – Epsom Borough: 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Mon 25 Jan – Spelthorne Borough: 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Wed 27 Jan – Mole Valley Borough: 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Wed 27 Jan – Tandridge Borough: 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Mon 1 Feb – Elmbridge Borough: 5.30pm – 6:30pm
Mon 1 Feb – Guildford Borough: 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Wed 3 Feb – Waverley Borough: 5.30pm – 6:30pm
Wed 3 Feb – Woking Borough: 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Thu 4 Feb – Reigate and Banstead Borough: 5:30pm – 6:30pm

More details on how to register are available here

9.  Disability Rights UK E Newsletter

Happy New Year – News Round-up
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Guidance – Updated Government guidance for people who have been identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ has been updated today (Thursday 7th January 2021). Please click here to access it. Letters will be sent by post over the next week to everyone in this group. Women and Equalities Select Committee: pandemic has had “profoundly adverse effects” on disabled people’s access to services Disabled people have suffered a range of profoundly adverse effects from the pandemic, including starkly disproportionate deaths, says a report published today by the Women and Equalities Committee. Committee Chair, Caroline Nokes MP, said “Disabled people who already faced substantial barriers to equal participation in society have suffered a range of profoundly adverse effects. Our inquiry heard extensive evidence from disabled people of the profoundly unequal adverse effects: our report makes the case for an independent inquiry into the causes.” You can read more by clicking here. Shaping Our Lives Publish Report Highlighting Disability Issues raised by COVID-19  Lived Experience Alliance members Shaping Our Lives have published a series of key reports highlighting the disability issues that COVID-19 raises. “The voices of disabled people were getting lost, even while their “vulnerabilities” were mentioned almost daily in the news” This article highlights the need for action, and for a louder collective voice, which the Alliance are actively developing, along with our partners and allies. You can read more hereCOVID-19 Vaccination: What do people with sensory and physical disabilities most need to know? Lucy Wills, our new Lived Experience Alliance Manager, has written a blog on the vaccination roll out and key information for disabled people. Rail Replacement Vehicles: extension of non-accessible period to 30 September 2021 The government has agreed to allow coach and bus operators who provide rail replacement services, to apply for time limited special authorisations for a period of up to 9 months from 1st January 2021 to 30th September 2021. Disability Rights UK’s new Rail Policy Adviser, Stephen Brookes, said “I think everyone saw this coming. We seem to be busy saying ‘I told you so’ over so much going on particularly with Covid creating a reoccurring theme where accessibility is a growing victim of policy change and cost cutting. This is just not acceptable.” You can read more by clicking here. Blue Badge Permit ‘Shocking Disparity’ Revealed A BBC investigation has revealed that people with hidden disabilities and conditions such as Autism and Parkinson’s Disease are much less likely to be approved for a Blue Badge. Of 109 councils who responded to a BBC Shared Data Unit Freedom of Information Request, 80% had higher approval rates for physical conditions. In ten councils the disparity between physical and hidden conditions was more than 50%. Disability Rights UK’s Head of Policy, Fazilet Hadi, said “The unequal treatment of disabled people with non-visible impairments in the blue badge application process is truly shocking. Councils need to urgently review their processes.”  “The current failure to provide blue badges to people with non-visible impairments is discriminatory and causing real hardship”. You can read more by clicking here. Government recruiting Disability and Access Ambassadors The Cabinet Office has announced it is recruiting Disability and Access Ambassadors to “help ensure businesses are doing all they can to support their disabled customers”. The fourteen posts will support government with their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and also feed into the National Disability Strategy. You can read more and access information on the application process by clicking here.
Get Involved
Seeking Views on Consultation on Rural Transport The government aim to make technology underpin radical changes in transport in the next 10 years, with profound implications for transport users and businesses including those living and working in rural areas. At Disability Rights UK we want to advise Government on the challenges and opportunities for our towns, villages and more remote areas – making it easier for people to access jobs, education or healthcare. However, these changes will not happen without partnership between industry, government and local communities, especially disabled people. We insist that new transport policies are inclusive and practical for all who live in our villages, towns, and more isolated locations. We are contacting academia, industry, new mobility operators, local authorities and other stakeholders to understand the challenges facing rural areas, and to identify existing good practice. We need you to help us ensure that we are able to gather and present the views of all those with the barriers you face, and how you feel our rural communities can benefit from transport innovation. So, please email Stephen Brookes, our new Rail Policy Adviser, at by 25th January. Benefits Training Courses  DR UK is pleased to offer two online courses in partnership with the Benefits Training Company. Each course costs £112.50 + VAT per person for DR UK organisational members. After booking you will receive a Zoom link and supporting materials by email.   These courses sell out fast so early booking is encouraged! Introduction to Welfare Benefits will be held on 10 and 11 February. The course is aimed at professionals who work in advice or advocacy who need to know more about – or need a refresher on – changes to welfare benefits and social security.  As above, the course will be run in two parts, using Zoom and facilitated by an experienced benefits trainer.  Part 1: The structure of the system and the importance of health & disability benefits – Wednesday 10 February 9.45 – 12.45  Part 2: Universal Credit, the wider benefits system and maximising income – Thursday 11th February 9.45 – 12.45  Click here for more information and to book your placePreparing for an Appeal Tribunal will be held on 25th and 26th February. This course is aimed at professionals who work in advice or advocacy who need to know about how to prepare an Appeal Tribunal. A working knowledge of Personal Independence Payment and the Work Capability Assessment is assumed.  As above, the course will be run in two parts, using Zoom and facilitated by an experienced benefits trainer.  Part 1: Assessing the case, reviewing the DWP decision – Thursday 25 February 9.45 – 12.45 
Part 2: Composing effective written submissions, preparing claimants for appeal hearings – Friday 26 February 9.45 – 12.45  Please click here for more information and to book your place#IncreaseDisabilityBenefits Survey The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), of which DR UK is a member, have released a survey to support their £20 uplift to legacy benefits campaign. The survey asks for disabled people to share what the £20 uplift would mean to them.  You can share your story by clicking #IncreaseDisabilityBenefits Survey  Get Yourself Active has now released the timetable and is starting to post videos for the new Active at Home series that have been developed alongside Sense and Durham University. These are accessible pre-recorded videos developed from research to support disabled people to get active at home during the Coronavirus outbreak. The videos have been designed using the experiences and feedback of 450 disabled people and people with long term health conditions. We would love for you to take part and also to share the timetable and YouTube channel with your network to ensure our videos reach as many disabled people as possible. Visit the Get Yourself Active Youtube channel. CQC Launches Strategy Consultation The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have published a formal comsultation on their new strategy. Informed by more than 10,000 stakeholder interactions, the four themes of the strategy are People & Communities; Smarter Regulation; Safety Through Learning; and Accelerating Improvement.  You can read more by clicking hereHelp Citizens Online research the impact of the pandemic on digital support for people aged 50-70 Apologies to our younger readers here for this age specific request. Isolation and disruption to care and health services have brought an increasing reliance on remote access and digital tools. While this has increased accessibility for some people, for others it has led to greater exclusion and difficulty – just when such services are needed most.  These two surveys aim to uncover a better picture of who is being left out and how, and what would need to be done to address this: Participants required for Research Project Serena MacLeod is a Trainee Sport and Exercise Psychologist, researcher and inclusivity advocate who provides sport and exercise psychology support to individuals of all abilities. As part of her research through the University of Roehampton, she is looking to recruit individuals with acquired disabilities (e.g. via spinal cord injury, amputee, stroke), who have been discharged from rehabilitation within the last six months. Participation consists of one 45 minute virtual interview, to discuss the barriers and facilitators of engaging in physical activity post-rehabilitation. 

The aim of this research is to create a community-based physical activity, based on the findings of the interviews, to bridge the gap between discharge from rehabilitation and engaging in long term physical activity. If you feel you are appropriate to participate in this study, please contact Serena directly:
Handbook and Updater price reduction
Handbook reduced to £18 and Updater reduced to £4 Every aspect of life has been touched by the coronavirus outbreak. The benefit system is no different.   The changes wrought on it over the past few months have been unprecedented. In particular, the way that things are done has changed from one week to the next: offices close down; phone and virtual contact becomes the norm; support comes and goes; and policy is decided just before it is introduced.   Don’t panic! We can keep you up to date on all the changes to the benefit system through our Updater.   Every issue of Updater contains not just the latest amendments, but all the changes that have occurred since the Handbook was published in April. It’s never too late to subscribe!
Available for just £18. Order now Available for just £4. Order now
Our Helplines
Our helplines are operating as normal: Personal Budgets Helpline Telephone: 0330 995 0404 Opening hours: 9.30am -1.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays Disabled Students Helpline Telephone: 0330 995 0414 Opening hours: 11am-1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays Welfare Rights Helpline for Member Organisations Telephone: 0203 687 0779 Opening hours: 10.30am-12.30pm Tuesdays and Thursdays
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