Action on Disability was set up in 1979 as Hammersmith and Fulham Action on Disability by local disabled people. It has different services all based on the different needs that have been expressed in the borough. It has, for example, a youth service which works with young disabled people anywhere from 11 to 25. It is licensed to deliver the Duke of Edinburgh Awards; it partners with the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, and also delivers term-time and holiday projects throughout the year. It assists with welfare benefits, direct payments, and a supported internship partnership employment service with West London College.
What does the Our Place Project partnership with ECIFF entail?
Terry: Last week was the premiere for ECIFF’s film To A Cinder. They offered free tickets to our members, so we had six come. They’ve also given us work experience opportunities for two of our members. They worked as part of the To A Cinder showing and they’re going to be involved in the festival as well. They’ll be doing paid work experience and there’ll be more events happening during November and more ticket opportunities.
What does that mean to you as a charity…
Terry: It’s been an opportunity for the Our Place project specifically to have members go out and do things in a community sense, which is fantastic. But we’ve also had conversations about potential workshops or other involvements around film in general. We’ve had discussions about maybe even running some of the films at our centre. It’s really quite open at the minute. What I’ve loved about talking with Caroline is that she’s very open to everything
ECIFF have also invited us to have a presence at the film week and giving us a chance to speak. Obviously a big part of charity work is getting people to know what you do and spreading that word and that awareness.
What’s the fundamental premise of your Our Place Project within Action on Disability?
Terry: The purpose of Our Place Project is to deliver a resource hub for disabled people that is run by disabled people. It’s really about co-production and having disabled people take ownership of groups, space activities, involvement, expressed needs. My role amongst that is to help to facilitate it: Looking at how can we bring that in or how can we get people involved.
What’s great about it is that things aren’t being done to disabled people. It’s disabled people being involved and having a say in what they want to be part of, as well as finding out whether they want to lead groups and volunteer or have skills they want to offer. It’s about finding connections amongst people.
Maybe somebody wants to go out to, say, the theatre for example, but doesn’t necessarily want to go with a paid carer or they don’t want to have that kind of support, but they’d love to know other people that are interested – and bridging that gap. So getting people to meet each other and socialise.