We’re planning our work for the months ahead and we want to know how things have changed for you. What you tell us really matters – it shapes our work and helps to improve life for other disabled people.
In this blog, read how we turn your experiences into projects and find out how you can help to shape our work for this coming year.
In 2019, Hetal, another member of the Development Team, and I were sitting with residents of John Grooms in Norwich, discussing how difficult it can be for disabled people to get around Norwich. They told us how difficult it can be to access suitable taxis, citing inaccessibility, unfair charges and restrictive timetables.
When we got back to the office, Hetal and I decided to ask our members about this, so we could establish if this was something people living in residential care experience differently to those living independently in the community.
We surveyed our members and used what they told us to create a project to try and help tackle this barrier. We contacted every taxi company in Norfolk to rate them on criteria you helped us to set, we offered them training and created this handy guide:
This is just one of the ways we are user-led. What you tell us shapes the way our services operate and what we can offer.
In 2020, we reached out to find out how the pandemic was affecting you. When surveyed, you told us that one of the most significant impacts the pandemic was having on you was isolation and loneliness. We used your feedback to help us find funding and with the support of the Norfolk Community Foundation, we were able to bring Lisa in – who you now know as our Membership Officer. Lisa initially joined us as a COVID19 Support Officer, and our ‘Chat To’ service was born.
Lisa supported members through those uncertain times with a listening ear. (By the way, we actually have a vacancy for a volunteer in the Chat To service, for more information contact us here: https://www.equallives.org.uk/volunteer-for-us)
In 2021, our survey showed that what you were missing was community groups. 2020 caused many groups to have no option but to cease operation. In 2021, we worked with Inclusion London and other partners to help fund Disabled Peoples Organisations and Member Groups, as well as set up new groups.
Not only does your feedback help us to shape our membership services but it helps us design new and improved services in areas like Advice and Advocacy. It helps us to shape campaigns and present them to the government and it helps us hold businesses and services accountable when interacting with disabled people.
I think you can probably tell where this is heading…! It’s that time again. The Membership Survey is now open.
We’re planning our work for the months ahead and we want to know how things have changed for you. How can we be the organisation that you need us to be?
If you’re already a member, you will have received the survey via email or post. If you are not yet a member and would like to contribute, please join here:
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the survey, or if you haven’t received it and would like to take it.
What you tell us really matters, and helps in so many ways