Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

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Weekly Update 28th March 2022

Welcome to the weekly update.  This edition includes:

  1. Coalition Update
  2. Social/Peer Support coming up
  3. UK’s first firefighter wearing a bone anchored hearing aid joins Surrey Fire and Rescue
  4. Adult Social Care Monthly Briefing 22 March
  5. Diabetes Type 2 Programme Woking & Staines
  6. The Macular Society Support Groups
  7. April’s Descriptive Zoom from Royal Collection Trust 5 April, 2pm
  8. Draft Surrey Heath Local Plan: Preferred Options (2019 – 2038) Regulation 18 Consultation
  9. Sight for Surrey Let’s talk tech Windows 10

If you prefer to listen to the update, the recording is below

1.  Coalition Update

Have a cake and cuppa on us at the Virtual Café on Monday 4th April – Surrey County Council are conducting some research into the support and services that are offered by local organisations, including the Coalition.Rachel from an organisation called Locality would like to come to the virtual café on the 4th of April to ask the questions outlined below.  We would really love it if as many of you as possible could come along to give feedback! Normally a meeting like this would include at least a cuppa and a bikkie, but as it’s virtual, everybody that lets Yasmin know in advance they are coming (if you are a member or join as a member) will receive a £10 voucher so you can purchase your own treat! Please contact Yasmin to confirm you can attend!  Rachel will be asking the following questions:

  • In your experience, do Surrey’s charities, social enterprises and similar organisations do a good job in supporting / advancing the interests of disabled people? (Any stories about your own experience finding support?)
  • How did you discover Surrey Coalition, specifically, and what support have you received from them? What is your overall impression of the support / services provided by Surrey Coalition? 
  • What does an empowered and thriving community in Surrey look like, where no one is left behind? What changes could be made to enable the voices and rights of disabled people to be heard and included?

Free tickets for Wisley Gardens Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June 2022

Wisley Gardens have given our members the opportunity to visit Wisley Gardens free of charge.

Create a buzz this May half term at RHS Garden Wisley and learn how to encourage these fantastic pollinators into your garden.

There will be a garden trail, daily activities and interactive performances to help you discover more about our busy-buzzing garden visitors.

Bookings will be on a first come, first served basis, so we advise booking as soon as possible using this link:

Wisley ask that the offer is used solely by the groups that they have contacted directly so that all of the community partners have the chance to visit. 

Each booking session generates a booking reference number, please bring this booking reference number with you and present this at our main entrance. 

  • Dates: Sat 28th May – Sun 5th June 2022
  • Times: Event Opening Times 10am–5pm
  • Please bring your 6-digit booking reference number with you on the day.
  • Booking enquiries: Email and include your booking reference
  • Mobility scooter booking – 01483 224234

We have huge demand for these tickets so if you sign up and are unable to attend please pass the ticket on to somebody who can use it or just let us know and we can share the ticket with others.

Then Barbara Met Alan – Then Barbara Met Alan is a 2022 British television drama film about Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth, the founders of DAN, a disability activism group. It is written by Jack Thorne and Genevieve Barr and stars Ruth Madeley and Arthur Hughes. It was broadcast on BBC Two on 21 March 2022 so should be available on iPlayer to catch up if you missed it!

2.  Social/Peer support coming up

I hope everyone has managed to enjoy the warmer, sunnier weather this past week. Read about some activities that are returning for spring in the attached article.

Join us here on Friday at 11.30am to share ideas of what how we can get more active in the spring

3. UK’s first firefighter wearing a bone anchored hearing aid joins Surrey Fire and Rescue Service – Surrey Fire and Rescue Service’s On-call Trainee Firefighter Dave Newman is the UK’s first bone anchored hearing aid wearing firefighter.  Dave is currently taking part in a modular firefighter training course. He has been supported through some high-risk exercises this week to ensure he, and many others like him, can fulfil their dreams of becoming firefighters.

The tests were to ensure he is safe and well whilst in extremely hot situations. Over the course of an hour Dave entered the fire behaviour training containers four times which were recording typical fire temperatures of between 250 and 270 degrees at head height.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service’s Senior Health and Safety Advisor, Lucie Attwood supported the exercise, she said: “This was a high-risk exercise, but with the additional control measures in place I’m delighted that it has enabled Dave to continue in his new career with us. He reported no tingling nor any pain or discomfort throughout the exercise, he thoroughly enjoyed it and felt fine throughout.”

Chief Fire Officer, Steve Owen-Hughes, said: “I am so thankful to Lucie, Dave and the team who conducted this exercise. Not only does it mean that we can welcome Dave and others who may have the same hearing aid into the service, it’s a breakthrough for all UK Fire and Rescue Services.

“As an industry, we’re all working hard to make our services more diverse and inclusive so that we can better represent, communicate and engage with the people who we serve – therefore keeping them safe. This is an example of how we can think and work outside of the box to achieve this.”

Dave said: “I hope this encourages other people who are living with single sided impairment or are part of the diverse and underrepresented community to apply to join blue light services because I am thoroughly looking forward to my new career.”

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service is currently recruiting on-call firefighters, visit their careers page here. The service is due to open their doors for wholetime recruits in the coming weeks. Follow the service on Facebook and Twitter for announcements.

4. Adult Social Care Monthly Briefing 22 March 2022 – Please see attached document

5. Diabetes Type 2 Programme Woking & Staines – With funding from Surrey Heartlands, Active Surrey are looking for adults from ethnically diverse backgrounds who live with type 2 diabetes, or who are prediabetic or anyone who lives with somebody from these 2 groups. There is a £20 voucher for those who attend.

People from Black African, African Caribbean and South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi) backgrounds are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes from the age of 25, much younger than people from a white background whose risk increases from 40. The aim of the focus group is to understand how to help improve understanding of the condition, including the role of physical activity.

Following feedback from the focus groups and working with partners, Active Surrey will set up 12 week activities and will also be making recommendations to Surrey Heartlands regarding improving education, intervention take up and advice on nutrition.  There is an online Survey  for those who would rather help this way Those who complete this will have the opportunity to win a £40 voucher of their choice (as a thank you for participating).

6. The Macular Society Support Groups – Meet others with central vision loss, share thoughts and a cup of tea.

The Macular Society groups in Guildford, Camberley, Staines on Thames, Cranleigh, Caterham and Banstead have now returned to face to face meetings. Other groups in Haslemere, Redhill, Woking, Leatherhead and Dorking hope to return soon.

We also have Regional Calls running twice a month, join from the comfort of your armchair:  the speakers booked over the next few months are the Citizens Advice Bureau, Nat West on Scams and General Eye Health.

Call Stella Black 01306 644908 for more information.

7. April’s Descriptive Zoom from Royal Collection Trust 5 April, 2pm – For the April Descriptive Zoom from Royal Collection Trust we will be examining a female Old Master, describing Self-portrait as an Allegory of Painting by Artemisia Gentileschi – image attached.

Artemisia was invited in 1638 by Charles I to come to London to join her father, Orazio Gentilieschi, who had been working in England since 1626. This self-portrait will shortly be on display with 29 other Old Masters at The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh.

If you have not already registered to join the Zoom please email Amy The Zoom details, as always, are:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 904 476 9010

Passcode: 624813

8. Draft Surrey Heath Local Plan: Preferred Options (2019 – 2038) Regulation 18 Consultation – Surrey Heath Borough Council is producing a new Local Plan that will guide development in the Borough up to 2038. The plan sets out the Council’s preferred planning policies to guide the amount and location of new homes and employment development up to 2038, and covers matters including the Green Belt, design and heritage, climate change and biodiversity.

The Council is consulting on the Draft Surrey Heath Local Plan: Preferred Options (2019-2038) and supporting documents from 12:00 noon Monday 14th March to 12:00 noon Monday 09th May 2022.

The documents published for consultation include:

  • Draft Surrey Heath Local Plan: Preferred Options (2019 – 2038)
  • Mapping Booklet
  • Interim Sustainability Appraisal, and
  • Non-Technical Summary of the Sustainability Appraisal

If you would like to comment on the ‘Draft Surrey Heath Local Plan: Preferred Options (2019 – 2038)’ or any of the supporting consultation documents, please visit the consultation homepage at This will provide information on how to comment online. Please use the ‘Online questionnaire’ to respond to the consultation.

Alternatively, let them know your views by emailing, or by returning the paper questionnaire that is available on our consultation website by post, to:

Planning Policy and Conservation,

Surrey Heath Borough Council,

Surrey Heath House, Knoll Road,

Camberley, Surrey,

GU15 3HD

Paper copies of the consultation documents will be available to view at the Council offices main reception at Surrey Heath House, or within the Bagshot, Camberley, Frimley Green and Lightwater libraries during normal opening hours.

Further information on the consultation events being held during the consultation period can be found on the Council’s website at:

If you are unable to view the Draft Local Plan either online or at any of the above locations, please contact the planning policy team via email at or telephone the customer contact centre on 01276 707 100.

The Council will consider all comments submitted to us and your comments may be published with your name, but not personal details, such as email or postal address. Please note that verbal or anonymous comments cannot be taken into consideration.

9. Sight for Surrey Let’s talk tech Windows 10 – In this webinar, Gary Eady, Sight for Surrey’s Technology Trainer will discuss and demonstrate the range of features built-in to Windows 10 designed to help people with a vision impairment. These include the Magnifier, high contrast colour schemes, large mouse pointers, using dictation and the built-in screen reader called Narrator.  Please contact Rebecca Dorkins for more details

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