A FLINTSHIRE-based group fighting for the inclusion of people with disabilities said, despite recent setbacks, that it was “stronger than ever”.
The FDF, formerly Flintshire Disability Forum, is a user-led organization based in Mold and spanning Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire. The group provides advice, information, advocacy, friendships and social groups and equipment rental as well as campaigns for the most vulnerable adults with disabilities in society.
The FDF, who are based at Mold Town Hall, gathered at the Parkfields Community Center in Mold’s Ash Grove for their annual general meeting.
Jan Thomas, the group’s chief executive, said at the previous meeting in 2018 that without core funding following a tender process from Flintshire County Council which failed to receive a grant, the social group would cease to exist and the last 20 years of work they have done throughout the region would count for nothing.
A packed house of about 40 people thought it would be the end of the group, but, twelve months later, Jan returned to the community center with firm statements that the group was “reborn from the ashes.”
She said: “We never left, in fact the FDF is stronger than before and our work is much more important now.
“The FDF is committed to breaking down all social barriers, so that all people with disabilities are not judged simply on the extent of their disabilities or differences and can truly become independent and equal in society, with choice and control of their own life.
“Inclusiveness is not about ramps and steps, but people with disabilities who want to feel fully equal to their non-disabled peers in the community – with the same rights and aspirations as everyone else. ”
Jan also raised points about barriers in transportation and technology being key elements that she regularly encounters when working with people with disabilities.
Group members spoke about their own experiences of measures for people with disabilities that deprive them of independence, such as access to the train station and sanitation facilities for people with disabilities not available or up to standard.
For more information visit the FDF base at Mold Town Hall on Earl Street or call 01352 756618