Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

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17.06.21 weekly update

Welcome to the weekly update.  This update includes:

1.  Coalition Update

2.  Social/Peer support coming up

3. Has The Pandemic Made Us More Or Less Aware of Online Risks?

4. DAiSY Commissions for disabled artists

5. The Welcome Club

1.  Coalition Update

Empowerment Training – This week 10 members took part in our Empowerment Training provided by the excellent trainer Nicky Gregory.  Over two mornings members looked at effective communication, how to get the most out of attendance at meetings and how best to communicate their lived experience to professionals and others.  Feedback from the training was extremely positive with members keen to take part in future training and put the skills they have learnt to the test at meetings. 

Co-production opportunity – we need you! – Surrey County Council are currently designing a new way to work closer with care homes to access beds for older residents.  They are also reviewing the list they use of things that the care home must provide (the specification).  The purpose of this work is to make sure that people get the right care, in the right environment when they need it so that they can live a happy and healthy life.

Join us for an informal discussion on 23rd June at 10am or 1st July at 10am, to help to decide what we want the outcomes to be for older people who are in residential care or nursing homes.  We will be looking at parts of the specification and helping to make it better.  You can join by Zoom, phone or SMS text.  Click here to join on the 23rd June. Please see the attached document for more details.

Hard of Hearing Forum – Members of the Hard of Hearing Forum will meet next Thursday 24th at 10.30am.  If you have a hearing loss and would like to join the meeting please let Yasmin know.

Do you want to use your voice but struggle to be understood?  We are working with the Karten Network to assist a small group of our members to work with, and help improve, the ‘VOICEITT’ app – this is an app that uses Artificial Intelligence to learn voice patterns of the individual as a communication aid.  The app also works directly with smart technology at home.  All participants will have all equipment supplied to them on long term loan and they will be fully supported by one of our Tech Angel volunteers to learn how to use it!  If you are interested in getting involved in testing and using the VOICEITT app, please contact:   

2.  Social/Peer support coming up

Friday Virtual café – To celebrate Learning Disability Week, our café this Friday will focus on Friendship and what it means to us.  Come and join the chat on Friday at 11.30am.

Get More Active Group – Join us for more chat about all things active on Zoom on Friday at 2pm. Last week we had an interesting discussion about accessible walks in Surrey, with a little bit of history thrown in! This week we will be talking about the upcoming disability cricket days and how you can try the sport for free.  Please see the attached documents for more information.

Tech Support – Don’t forget you can access Tech Support on Mondays in our virtual café.  Join us at 11am.

Rhymes and Rhythms – After an emotional hour of music and poetry at this week’s Rhymes and Rhythms, where we listened to Dylan, Baez and other folk, Jonathan was inspired to write a poem about his life in the Surrey Coalition of Disabled people. We had spoken about poetry and music as a form of resistance and memory, we discussed protest music, and the power of words to make a change.

A member of the Surrey Coalition for many years, this poem is an account of Jonathan’s experiences and joys as a part of this community over the years – all the way from hearing of our activities for the first time, to becoming a board member. These memories and stories of community, action and love are vital, and we are incredibly grateful for his beautiful and droll words. A perfect topic for a poem.

Perhaps Jonathan’s words, his poetic account in rhyme and metre, will inspire you – reader and coalition member, just as they have inspired me: to strive for community, empowerment, joy… and to tell the stories that we make along the way. To write the songs that keep us together.  Thank you Jonathan, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your story with us. You can view Jonathan’s words here.

Rhymes and Rhythms with Maya runs every Monday at 2:30, we talk all things music and poetry (and lots of other things besides)

3. Has the pandemic made us more or less aware of online risks?

Along with their Cyberhood Watch partner, Avast, the Neighbourhood Watch Network have launched a new survey to understand whether the Covid-19 pandemic has changed attitudes towards certain aspects of cybersecurity and privacy since the first lockdown in March 2020.

The findings from the survey will be used to inform ongoing Cyberhood Watch awareness initiatives for the Neighbourhood Watch community and draw attention to important cybersecurity and privacy topics though the media to help UK citizens improve their knowledge of, and protection from, cyberthreats.

The survey of 16 questions will take you less than 5 minutes to complete and all answers are anonymous. The survey will close on Sunday 27th June 2021. If you’d like to take part, please follow the link below:

4. DAiSY Commissions for disabled artists

DAiSY have just announced their commissions scheme for emerging artists in Surrey. DAiSY have three commission funds available, and for two of them they have partnered with Watts Gallery and RHS Garden Wisley.

DAiSY are looking for emerging disabled artists working in any art form who live, have a base, or work in Surrey, and who are keen for some support to progress their artistic development. The deadline for applying is 9am Friday 2nd July, with successful applicants being contacted by the end of the next week.

More information and the application form can be found here:

5. The Welcome Club at the Hunter Centre

Are you caring for someone with dementia?

Do you feel isolated? Would you like someone to talk to, who knows how you’re feeling? Pop down to the Hunter Centre on a Tuesday afternoon, from 13th July 1.30 – 3.30pm either on your own or with the person you are caring for. Please see the attached document for more details.

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