We are where we are today because of all of our incredible members, Steering Group members past and present and volunteers who have helped us develop policies, procedures and more. Thank you to all of you.
Our finances are held with Open Collective which is “a legal and financial toolbox for grassroots groups.” It’s all about transparency and allows anyone to check our finances at any point. As you can see, most of our expenses are to ensure our meetings and events are accessible.
The Access Group was formed in March 2022 and there’s been no shortage of things to get our teeth into! Including:
- Looking at planning applications for new developments and changes being proposed for existing streets and buildings. This ranges from traffic crossings to big infrastructure plans such as the Roman Quarter development.
- We also get quite a lot of organisations asking our advice as they are putting together their ideas, for example, a community centre wanted to know if we had any ideas about making their play facilities more accessible. Where such requests come from businesses, we advise them to employ an access consultant as it’s not our job to provide professional advice. But we like to help where we can with small groups with limited funding, drawing on our lived experiences and sometimes being able to suggest other places and people to try.
- We were also pleased to be involved in both shaping the job description for the new Access Officer post at the Council and to be involved in the selection process. The Access Officer, who is himself disabled, is now in post and will have his work cut out as there is much to do! But we welcome the chance to work with him and hopefully see things start to improve.
- Some members contact us direct with their experiences and the access challenges that they’ve encountered. We welcome that as we take it up where we can and it anyway helps us build a picture of access in York.
- We’ve put pressure on the Council regarding pavement cafes, with the Council now looking to take action when cafes breach government guidelines.
- We’re also part of the Reverse the Ban coalition to get the permanent blue badge ban overturned.
- And there’s more!
If you want to get involved with our Access Group, get in touch. We currently meet once a month on Zoom and would love to have you!
Stop Disability Hate
As part of our Stop Disability Hate project, we’re part of the York Hate Crime Partnership which is convened by City of York Council and includes members from North Yorkshire Police, York CVS, two universities, York Racial Equality Network, etc.
With York CVS, we organised ‘Stand By ME’, Bystander intervention training which looked at hate crime, its impact on people and communities, and what practical steps you can take to stop hate, in a safe way.
And we launched our podcast series which aims to foreground disabled people’s views and experiences of disability hate. If you’d like to be interviewed for the podcast, or have a chat about it, get in touch.
When it comes to health, we’ve represented YDRF members at a variety of meetings including:
- Physical health and mental health working group
- York VCSE Assembly
- Neurodiversity and Mental Health working group (Connecting Our City)
- And a variety of other meetings about mental health
Obviously we’ve not covered all of the things we’ve been up to this year – we’ve held a few open meetings, social events and more!