Disability Equality North West (DENW) are celebrating 20 years in their current base on Church Street in Preston.Advertisement
The centre have seen businesses open and close on the street while they have continued to support people with Disabilities in the North West.
Formerly Disability Information and Services Centre (DISC) and Preston Information Project before that, the charity offer a wide range of services at their accessible home in Preston.
The move to Church Street was a massive turning point in their history, giving them a larger premises to offer and expand more services.
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The charity began life as Preston Information Project in July 1996, it was initially housed in an inaccessible, one room, basement office located on the outskirts of the City Centre, with one member of staff, admin support and 2 volunteers, for this reason it could offer only a telephone advice line.
Now, 24 years later, the charity has a North West reach with 22 staff, 20 volunteers and have gained the respect of the disabled and non disabled community of Preston.
Mel Close, Chief Executive of Disability Equality NW said, “This building was instrumental in changing our future and developing our services and the support we can offer people, together with our landlords and key partners, the building has also had significant investment to maintain it.
“The building, like DENW, is a key part of the history of Preston and the history of the disabled people’s movement in the North West.”
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Disability Equality NW’s Information & Advice service now receives an average of 200 enquiries a month, as well as offering further services to support its wider objectives of furthering the human rights of disabled people and removing the disabling barriers put in place by society.
They also offer Activity Groups for older, isolated disabled people, a Consultation group, Volunteer Project, Self Advocacy Project for the Learning Disabilities partnership board, Capacity building for groups, Strategic & Consultancy work on disability issues, and Disability equality training.
The group also work with Preston City Council, the Preston Strategic Partnership and Lancashire County Council – making a significant impact insuring inclusion of disabled people’s views in local strategies and policy documents.
DENW are looking forward to their next 20 years, supporting disabled people and their user-led services.
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