Disability Oswestry’s 2019 events

For anyone who finds themselves or a loved one living with a disability, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Disability Oswestry (DO) is a great place to start with it’s ‘DO directory’ and monthly support meetings that are open to all.

Founder Penny Rice explains more about DO – aka ‘we can do’ and presents their 2019 programme of events.

 Who are DO?

DO is an inclusive, welcoming group of people that supports local groups who support people with disabilities. These include people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties and disabilities, dementia, and those who have been in contact with mental health services.

DO produces and regularly updates their ‘DO Directory’, which details all of these groups. This directory is produced electronically, and also in paper form which can be found in local libraries, and as A5 booklets which can be taken away.

DO also hold monthly meetings with a speaker and the chance to meet others.

Setting up new groups, sign-posting people and generally supporting people with disabilities are also involved.

What else?

They are also organising a ‘We can do’ day at Oswestry Library, on Saturday 15 June from 12 noon – 3pm. This is to show what people with disabilities can do, raise awareness of local groups and also promote DO (of course!). A number of activities in which the public can participate are planned. Watch this space for more details.

So what does ‘disability’ mean?

The 2010 Equality Act says that “a disability is a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day- to-day activities”.

This boils down to a condition that stops you living a normal everyday life. Things like washing, getting dressed, cooking, eating, talking, hearing, walking, or being able to understand what is happening.

So many people associate the word with a wheelchair, which only accounts for one tenth of the total. There are other obvious disabilities, such as needing a guide dog. But there are so many hidden disabilities as well – like people with dementia, fibromyalgia, or a stoma. All of these conditions can severely affect how these people cope on a day-to-day basis, but we may not be aware of their difficulties. Public toilet doors may now have a notice saying ‘Not all disabilities are visible’, but one hears accounts of the public being abusive towards people who genuinely need to use them.

And why does this affect us? One in five people in this country has a disability. That means about 3,600 in Oswestry itself, let alone all the surrounding villages.

A lot of us!

The 2019 DO programme

March 27th – Macmillan Cancer Support’s Shropshire Services.

Jean Garner and Caroline Morris will be talking about Macmillan services for people living with and affected by cancer.

April 24th – Dementia Friends Training. With George Rook and Val Brown, both experienced Dementia Champions.

May 22nd – Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Mr. Ravi Bhakhri (Chairman of the Community Engagement Group MPFT.nhs.uk) telling us about their work.June 26th – Living with two disabilities – Margaret Chamberlain speaking about her experiences.

July 24th – Shropshire RCC Hearing Loss Support. Susann Mitchell, their Development Officer, describing their work.

August 28th – No Meeting.

September 25th – Guide Dogs. With Lin Stapley and Declan her guide dog.

October 23rd – ‘Practical caring for the disabled’ – with Michelle, Steve and Josh Turnbull

November 27th – Christmas get-together.

December 25th – No meeting

DO meet at 10.30am on the fourth Wednesday of every month in the back room (wheelchair accessible) at Hope Church, Laburnum Drive, Oswestry, SY11 2QR. Everybody is very welcome, whether they have a disability or not.

If you would like to know more, can offer help, or would like a Directory, please phone Penny Rice on 01691 680382 or e-mail disabilityoswestry161@gmail.com