Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

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Weekly Update 14th March 2022

Welcome to the weekly update.  This edition includes:

  1. Coalition Update
  2. Social/Peer support coming up
  3. Help to improve the Disability Rights UK website
  4. Council Tax 2022/23
  5. Can you help a PHD Student research the Smartify app
  6. New service survey: carers of people with mental health needs (including mental health derived from other conditions)
  7. Runnymede Borough Installation Update

You can listen to the weekly update by clicking the link below:

1.  Coalition Update

Blogs – We have a couple of interesting blogs to share with you this week.  First is a blog about a group session for digitally excluded women in Woking click here and the other is a blog about animal webcams click here.  If you have a blog post you would like to share, please contact Yasmin.

Direct Payments Group – A quick reminder that we would like to invite people in receipt of Direct Payments and/or their carers to attend a Direct payments Group to help SCC Commissioner Chris Esson to write the new Direct Payments Strategy following the engagement work.  The meetings will take place once a month for 6 months, with the first on Tuesday 19th April at 10am.  If you would like to be part of this group, please let Yasmin know.

2.  Social/Peer support coming up

Brooklands Museum Virtual Trip – On Tuesday, members enjoyed a trip to Brooklands Museum.  We were able to view quite a lot of different things including Formula one cars, motorbikes, bicycles, and planes! Our next trip is scheduled for Friday 22nd April to Hever Castle!

Get More Active Update

New Pan Disability Football sessions in Kingston: Adult sessions every Wednesday 6.00-7.00pm at the Weir Archer Athletics and Fitness Centre on Kingston Road. Sessions are free but you need to book via . Please contact Katy if you would like support with this. Email or SMS text or phone on 07434 865062

Volunteering opportunities at a 2 day boccia competition taking place at K2 Crawley on the 19th and 20th of March. The role involves using iPads on court to time and score each boccia match. No prior knowledge of boccia is required (full training provided) and it’s a great opportunity to experience a unique Paralympic sport. All volunteers will receive lunch, refreshments, a t-shirt and travel expenses. Please contact Katy if you are interested in volunteering at this event.

Join us on Friday in the virtual café here for more Get More Active chat!

3. Help to improve the Disability Rights UK websiteWork is continuing on the website redesign, launching later this year.  Disability Rights UK would be incredibly grateful if you could take part in a short exercise where you are given tasks and asked to select where you think you would go to find that piece of content. Help improve the website by taking part in the exercise.

If you have any problems accessing the link, please email

4. Council Tax 2022/23 – Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council ‘Surrey County Council has confirmed the budget for this next financial year and it’s important to show you what your Council Tax pays for, and why. Surrey’s ultimate ambition is that no one is left behind. That means helping those who need us most and improving quality of life for everyone. SCC commit to you that every penny of your Council Tax is spent on this ambition, making Surrey a better place’.

Information will be sent to Surrey households during March 2022.  A copy of the digitally accessible Council Tax leaflet 2022 is available on the Surrey County Council website.  SCC are also pleased to attach the Easy Read version of this information.  If you need this information in a different format please contact Surrey County Council as follows:

Telephone: 03456 009 009 Text: 07860 053 465 Textphone: 18001 03456 009 009 Email:

5. Can you help a PHD Student research the Smartify app – We have been contacted by Vanessa who is doing some research about an app called Smartify®. The research will include anyone who is Deaf, deaf, deafened, hard of hearing, or living with tinnitus, those who use BSL, wear hearing aids or have cochlear implants. People who take part in the research will either enjoy visiting museums and art galleries, or they would like to visit in the future.

Vanessa will ask everyone about their experiences of visiting museums and galleries. Can you access information or not?  Vanessa wants to ask people how they think mobile phone apps can be made better to give more information and make access better for D/deaf people.
Finally, the research wants to find out if the app is easier to access when changes to the app have been made. Is it clear to use? Can you access information better?

You don’t have to take part, it is voluntary. You can take part in Part 1 of the research, Part 2, Part 3, or more than one or all three parts.

Part 1 – You will need to visit Watts Gallery Artists Village in Compton Surrey. You will be the only group there at that time. Everyone will download the Smartify® app onto their technology. This can be smartphone/mobile, iPad, or tablet. It will need to be connected to the internet (there is free WIFIi at the gallery). You will walk around the gallery and take screenshots/photos of what you are looking at on your phone / iPad / tablet. When you are walking around, someone will take photos of you, maybe draw a picture of you, take videos and audio record you. This is to keep a record of your visit.  The visit to the gallery will start with an introduction, then the walk around, followed by a chat at the end. It will last about 1 hour. On another day, you will meet online, through Microsoft Teams. During this meeting, you will be asked what you think about the Smartify® app, this will take about 45 minutes.

Part 2 – People who take part in the research will be asked to help find ways to make the Smartify® app better. Part 2 will be with staff from Smartify® and staff from Watts Gallery and the researcher. This will be at Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey. Vanessa will do whatever she can to make this meeting easier for you to take part in, she wants to know what you think.

Part 3 – People will visit Watts Gallery again. They will be the only group at the Gallery at that time.  If you have not got the Smartify® app, you will download it onto your phone/iPad/table. People will walk around the gallery and take screenshots/photos on your phone/iPad/tablet. This visit will take about 1 hour.On another day, you will meet online, using Microsoft Teams. You will be asked to say what you think about the Smartify® app. The Smartify® app will be different this time after some changes have happened to make access to the gallery better, this will take about 45 minutes.

It is important to know that when you are taking part in the visits to the gallery, you will have your photo taken, pictures will be drawn of you, and videos will be taken and audio recordings.  The photos and pictures are only for the research team. No one’s real name will be used.
A BSL interpreter will be available whenever anyone needs one.  If you have any questions, or if you want to know more about the visits to the gallery, please contact Vanessa.

Vanessa Cumper, PhD Research Student, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH.

6. New service survey: carers of people with mental health needs (including mental health derived from other conditions) – Surrey County Council (SCC) in partnership with the NHS are looking to pilot service(s) for carers of people using Mental Health Support. This is a new service building on existing mental health services for carers and arising from feedback received during the development of the Carers Strategy.  

SCC really wants the views of carers with lived experience to help better understand the needs of carers and to shape the new service(s). This is an initial survey and for those interested, there will be other opportunities to participate on the project. Please click here to fill out the survey.  Please note the closing date is 15th March!

7. Runnymede Borough Installation Update – Please see attached document

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