Claire Bradley and Carrie Anne Rainey of The Cedar Foundation pictured with Minister of Health Edwin Poots and Lisburn Mayor Brian Heading at 'Disability - Challenges and Change' at Lagan Valley Island. US0812-104A0
LISBURN City Council and its partners recently hosted the successful 'Disability - Challenges and Change' event, which took place at Lagan Valley Island.
The Community of Interest Disability Group and Lisburn Access Group worked with the Council to organise this event, which included both presentations and an exhibition on the services and assistance available to those who have a disability.
Councillor Brian Heading, the Mayor of Lisburn, who officially opened the event, said: "It was very encouraging to see so many attend this pilot' event to hear about the good work being undertaken within the Lisburn area on disability issues right across the disability spectrum. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the event as a speaker, delegate or exhibitor and I hope you found the event beneficial.
"The Council was very pleased with both the attendance figures and the feedback received; and it would like to see similar events become a regular occurrence within the Lisburn area. Such events provide the ideal occasion for groups to share information and identify best practice within the field of disability."
Health Minister, Edwin Poots MLA attended the event and delivered a speech on providing health services to everyone who needed them; and the importance of the impending review of the current adult social care system in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the event, he said: "In setting my vision for the future of health and social care services, I have stated an overriding concern to drive up the quality of care for clients and patients to improve the outcomes and make sure that they have the best possible experience in every aspect of their care. One of my key priorities is to involve individuals, communities and the independent sector in the design, delivery and evaluation of health and social care services.
"I am here to mark the first of what I hope will be many exhibitions to highlight the work of local community and voluntary groups in providing support and assistance to people with disabilities in the Lisburn area.
"I am sure that this event will provide an excellent platform for organisations and individuals to share information and identify good practice within the field of disability." Cohn McKenna, Chairman of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust spoke about the Trusts reform and modernisation programme, including the physical disability strategy for adult disability services. The idea is to personalise services with a person centred, inclusive and empowerment approach for maximum independence.
In terms of 'on the ground' projects YMCA spoke about its learning disability project which empowers individuals to have the confidence to engage with local services and learn new skills; and Lisburn in Focus spoke about its work to date making the Lisburn area more accessible for blind and partially sighted people.
Translink spoke about the accessibility of its buses, trains and the respective stations. The Lisburn South Eastern Regional College informed delegates about the work of its learning support unit which can work with a broad range of disabilities.
In advance of the digital switchover scheduled for October the organisation responsible talked about the scheme and how certain individuals i.e. over 75s, those registered blind and those who receive certain benefits will incur no costs during the switchover.
Benefits are very important to those with a disability and their carers so the Council was very pleased that Sharron Carlin, Head of Benefit Entitlement at the Social Security Agency spoke at the event on financial assistance available to them from the government.
The Lisburn Citizens Advice Bureau also spoke about benefits and money and the role it can play in assisting people.
Lisburn City Council and its partners would like to thank everyone who took part in the 'Disability - Challenges and Change' event.