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Weekly Update 27th June 2022

Welcome to the weekly update.  This edition includes:

  1. Coalition Update
  2. Social/Peer support coming up
  3. Sight for Surrey is seeking to appoint a new Chairman of the Board of Trustees
  4. Transport for the South East (TfSE) draft Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) consultation is now live!
  5. Community Connections Recommissioning engagement
  6. 999 BSL launch a first for the Deaf community
  7. My Money Matters update
  8. Introduction to Sighted Guiding Virtual Programme Launch
  9. Volunteering Opportunities
  10. ASC Information and Engagement Update 22 June 2022

If you prefer to listen to the update, please click on the link below:

1. Coalition Update

Have your say on the new mental health hospitals in Surrey – There’s still time to have your say on the new mental health hospitals in Surrey.

We want to hear from you if you use Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SABP) services, or if you care for someone who does.

If you’ve already completed our survey we’d like to thank you. If not, why not take the opportunity to tell us how mental health hospitals could feel safe, welcoming, calming and therapeutic, what facilities you think should be included, and how to make the experience better for people who visit or need to stay in one? Your views will be presented to SABP to influence the new hospitals they are building in Chertsey, and later in the East of Surrey.

Please complete this survey by 30th June to tell us what’s important to you

Ear Wax removal – The Hard of Hearing Forum met on Thursday and a member raised that many people in Surrey are having difficulty accessing Ear Wax removal services in Surrey.  The group are planning to write to the CCG and NHS England about the issue.  In the meantime, the RNID have a survey on Ear Wax Removal.  It would be great if as many people as possible could fill this in  

If you have any specific feedback about services in Surrey, please contact Yasmin.

2. Social/Peer support coming up

Get More Active Update

With our focus this month being on cycling I’d like to recognise our Get More Active Organisation of the Month – Wheels for Wellbeing.

Named as one of the Queens Platinum Jubilee sustainable initiatives, Wheels for Wellbeing is an inclusive cycling charity based in Brixton, south London. They were founded in 2007and are a grassroots disability organisation, running five sessions a week at three inclusive cycling hubs with a fleet of over 200 cycles (handcycles, tandems, tricycles, recumbents, wheelchair cycles, side-by-sides and bicycles). They are also the UK’s leading campaigning organisation on behalf of Disabled cyclists with the vision of a world where Disabled people are able to cycle whenever and wherever they wish – whether for transport, leisure or exercise. They campaign against the physical, financial and cultural barriers that prevent more Disabled people taking up cycling in the UK with 5 areas of focus.

  • Cycle Infrastructure – Improving the infrastructure to remove physical barriers such as steps, narrow cycle lanes, barriers and potholes which reduce accessibility for non-standard cycles and those who may not be able to lift, carry or walk their cycle.
  • Cycle facilities – Increasing the available parking and storage facilities for non-standard cycles.
  • Cycles not recognised as mobility aids – Many Disabled people find cycling easier than walking. However, under existing legislation cycles are not listed as mobility aids meaning Disabled cyclists may be asked to dismount in designated non-cycling areas despite the fact that walking, wheeling or lifting a cycle may not be possible for some.
  • Cost – Non-standard cycles are typically more expensive than standard bikes with access to hire and loan schemes also limited.
  • Imagery language and perception – Representations of non-standard cycles and visibly Disabled cyclists are absent from most cycling literature. Encouraging the use of cycle rather than bicycle to represent all cycles and challenging the perception that cycling is for the fit and athletic that lead to many Disabled people assuming, wrongly that cycling is not an option for them.

You can find out more about them on their website here: Wheels for Wellbeing website and you can read our guide to Inclusive Cycling in Surrey here: Activity Guides « Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

Last October, Coalition member Jane had a great time at Wheels for Wellbeing’s Croydon hub. Her blog about the day is attached for you to read again and it might just tempt you to join us for our next Get More Active Get Together at Alice Holt Inclusive Cycling. The Get Together is this Thursday the 30th June at 11am and it’s not too late to join us. Contact Katy by phone or SMS text on 07434 865062 or by email katy.hubbard@surreycoalition.org.uk

You can also read about the experiences of Michael Bonney in the attached article. Michael is a mountain biker who had an accident that caused a C3 spinal injury and in this article for Cycling UK he explains how he has returned to cycling.

3. Sight for Surrey is seeking to appoint a new Chairman of the Board of Trustees – If you are interested in this position please see the attached documents for details.  Sight for Surrey are also looking for Trustees, please contact them  for more details.

4. Transport for the South East (TfSE) draft Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) consultation is now live! – TfSE have launched a consultation on their draft Strategic investment Plan for the South East of England.  This plan provides a framework for investment in strategic transport, infrastructure, services and regulatory interventions in the coming three decades. Respond to the TfSE consultation.

5. Community Connections Recommissioning engagement – Do you have experience of any of the following services in the past two years?

Community Connections

Safe Haven

In Reach

Mental Health Citizen’s Advice Bureau (C A B)

Surrey County Council (SCC) want to hear about your experiences to help to improve services. Join SCC at one of their engagement sessions, either in person or online.  Please see the attached document for more details.

6. 999 BSL launch a first for the Deaf community – Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey hosted a party for the Surrey Deaf community last Friday 17 June to showcase and celebrate the launch of 999 BSL, the UK’s first ever Video Relay Service (VRS) connecting Deaf people to the emergency services (police, ambulance, fire and coastguard) via a remote British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with Sight for Surrey staff were Surrey Police, Surrey Fire & Rescue & South East Coast Ambulance Service showcasing the new service and answering any questions or queries the local Deaf community have about downloading and using the app.

The new service, which will be provided by interpreting and communication support provider Sign Language Interactions, has launched as an app (iOS and Android) and web-based platform. The service, which will be funded by private telecoms companies, will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and will be completely free of charge to Deaf users and is an important breakthrough in equality for the Deaf community.

While a text relay service already exists, video relay will enable Deaf callers across the UK to make video calls to the emergency services in their own language – British Sign Language – for the first time ever, without needing to use English or ask a hearing person to make a call to 999 on their behalf.

This is another major milestone in improving access for the estimated 90,000 Deaf people in the UK, following the recent historic decision by Parliament to recognise British Sign Language as a language of Great Britain for the first time. The British Sign Language (BSL) Act passed into law on 28 April 2022 after decades of campaigning by the Deaf community.

7. My Money Matters update – Visit our website My Money Matters Survey « Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

8. Introduction to Sighted Guiding Virtual Programme Launch – Guide Dogs has recently launched a new service called “Introduction to Sighted Guiding”. This training is for anyone who is keen to learn the basics of how to guide someone who is blind or partially sighted.

This hour-long training is available to anyone over the age of 18 and is delivered in a live, online session by one of Guide Dogs expert staff. It will cover:

These new sessions are not replacing their Friends and Family training offer, which will continue to run as a longer and more in-depth session for those with a friend or family member with a vision impairment. The “Introduction” sessions are aimed at the wider general public with the hopes of increasing general awareness and making society more accessible.

More information on these sessions can be found at the following link: https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/how-you-can-help/sighted-guiding-training/

9. Volunteering Opportunities – Citizens Advice Guildford and Ash have a number of volunteering opportunities for

  • Advice Assistant
  • Assessor
  • Receptionist

Please see the attached documents for more details.

10. ASC Information and Engagement Update 22 June 2022 – Please see attached document.

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