Healthy Minds has been working in collaboration with Rethink Mental Illness to tackle mental health inequalities in Calderdale and to shine a spotlight on the organisations which work with those who do not usually access services. We awarded grants to various organisations across Calderdale to support their work and good practice.
Each month, we'll be highlighting one of the recipients of our Spotlight Development Grants.
This month, we got in touch with Accessible Calderdale to learn more about the organisation and how they're improving inclusion and wellbeing for people with disabilities and access needs across the borough. Read what Director & Co-Founder Katie Clarke had to say about the social enterprise:
Visits Unlimited launched the Accessible Calderdale Project in February 2019 after working in Hebden Bridge and setting up the Hebden Bridge Disability Access Forum.
For too long, disabled people and family carers have felt ignored and not listened to. For many during the pandemic, they reported feeling invisible and forgotten.
The systems that are there to support us are far too complicated and broken. Many disabled people and families are struggling financially, coping with increased stress and talking about their trauma and isolation.
In 2017 the All-Age Disability Strategy says there is an estimated 37,600 residents in Calderdale with some form of disability: each and every one of those people deserves to be able to access good support and opportunities.
Disabled people and families want good lives; we want to go places non-disabled people go, walk, have fun, go to concerts, eat out, stay in hotels, go to festivals, take part in arts and culture, do sports, keep active, and go to beautiful places. Disabled people are parents, sisters, brothers, friends, fellow work colleagues, volunteers, partners, wives and husbands. They include all the protected characteristics. They may be transgender, of different faiths, refugees, homeless people, heads of services, own businesses, consultants, advisors, local councillors, teachers, TV stars, pianists, comedians, and dancers.
This is not something we can ignore. We need to get it right for everyone, for our community and for society. This is about being human and being compassionate and setting an example. It is safe to say that accessibility benefits all members of society including disabled people. Improving accessibility brings about increased quality of life; creates more independence and better social integration. It also leads to better health and can result in cost savings in a number of areas.
The Accessible Calderdale Disability Access Forum (ACDAF) is crucial to making a difference and improving accessibility and inclusion.
Our work is far-reaching and includes Countryside, Transport, Culture, Tourism, the Direct Payments User Group, and our monthly Meet and Eat group with Healthy Minds.
We want people to feel well enough to leave their homes, to feel confident to overcome the huge barriers disabled people and carers face every day. We take a holistic approach to accessibility.
For more information on our work and how to become a member, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or phone: 07596707795