Disability Partnership Main

Disability Partnership


About the project...

Disability Dynamics developed a partnership of organisations delivering a wide range of support to help Bolsover district residents (including those with disabilities) to find jobs, become self-employed or undertake voluntary work and training.

A series of partner meetings and training sessions were delivered to improve organisations’ and local employers’ understanding and support of disabled residents.  An on-line directory of local support and progression routes for people wanting to move off benefits was also developed with partner input.

The Disability Partnership's bid for European Union Progress (PARES) funding was successful and the project will now be able to continue operating within Bolsover district for a further 18 months, extending into Chesterfield Borough with the continued aims of:

• Increasing positive outcomes
• Reducing client withdrawals through more cross-referrals
• Filling provision gaps
• Reducing cost-inefficient duplication


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Disability Partnership - Contacts


Project Manager 

Penny Melville-Brown
Disability Dynamics Limited
Laylands House
25 Catisfield Road
PO15 5LP
Tel: 01329 841814

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Executive Summary
Provider Directory
Barriers to Employment

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Disability Partnership - Updates


Partner Updates

Partner Updates March 2012


Project Closing?

If your project is closing at the end of March when funding comes to an end, you mau be looking for future support for your clients. The new Helpt to Work Plus project will be starting soon after April and will provide one-to-one mentoring plus a wide range of suppoer from other partners. This project is open to people with long-term health conditions/disabilities who are residents in Bolsover District and Chesterfield Borough and who are unemployed.

If you have eligible clients who need futher assistance, please pass their contact details on to Penny and she will make contact with them as soon as possible.


Help to Work Directory

Please check out the directory at www.helptowork.bolsover.gov.uk. It includes partners' provision, eligibility criteria and contact details. If the free support that your organisation offers to unemployed residents of Bolsover District or Chesterfield Borough is not already featured, please get in touch to get your information included. If your organisation is already covered, please check that the details are still correct - and let Penny have any changes, additions or deletions.


Partner Updates February 2012


Support for People with Mental Health Conditions

This support may be just what some of your clients need - alongside your own employment support. Rethink Floating support service in Bolsover is for clients who have mental health problems. The service works with clients who want to tackle issues such as day to day living, debt, housing, relationships etc. but also includes returning to work or maintaining their current occupation.

Application for Rethink Floating Support


Time to Change grants fund - now open for applications

The grants fund will make awards to approximately 75 community projects across England between May 2012 and March 2015. It funds projects that tackle stigma and discrimination by bringing people with and without mental health problems together.

Lots of unemployed people have mental health conditions so this could be something that supports your activities.

For more information click here.


Age Concern Diversity in Practice project.

Age concern is developing a social enterprise intending to improve the way that disabled people are treated whilst accessing shops, services and places of public resort within the Chesterfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire areas.

In order to gain further information to develop a business plan for the project a series of facilitated focus groups are being held, inviting disabled persons to attend and give their views on accessibility of premises and quality of service offered.

The focus groups are:

  • Physical Disbility Group - to include but not limited to stroke, head injury, amputee, wheelchair users. This group will be held on Friday 30 March 2012, at 10.00-14.00.
  • Sensory Disability Group - to include but not limited to blind and partially sighted, deaf and hearing impaired, speech impaired. This group will be held on Friday 13 April 2012, at 10.00-14.00.
  • Learning Disability Group - Full range of learning disabilities. This group will be held on Friday 20 April 2012, at 13.00-16.00.

The venue for all of the focus groups is at Fairplay, Alexander Road(W), Chesterfield, S40 1NP.

Attendance at the focus groups is limited to 20 delegates at each event so please act early.

Diversity in Practice information

Booking Form


Personal Empowerment course for disabled people

Building self-confidence is a major step on the road back to work so this free five day course offered by Disability Derbyshire at their Shirebrook offices may be ideal for your clients.

For more information telephone - 01623 744664.

Personal Empowerment Flyer


Grant Opportunity

Grant Programme - Understanding and combating fuel poverty.

Eaga Charitable Trust provides financial support for work that contributes to combating fuel poverty and ensuring services are fair and accessible for all groups in society. The main focus of the support has always been to promote a better understanding the causes of fuel poverty, how to prevent in and which groups are most likely to suffer fuel poverty.

The Grant priority areas include: fuel poverty and disability, fuel poverty and young children, links between fuel poverty and migrant communities, and more.

Grant Programme Information


Debt and Disability

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) report highlights a number of issues including how disabled people in financial difficulties face additional problems when service providers (both public and private) fail to recognise their needs or make reasonable adjustments in a consistent way, despite the requirement under Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 to do so.

CAB Double Disadvantage Report


Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has revised its guidance on the Public Sector Equality Duty to reflect the final version of the specific duty regulations made last year for England. As well as a summary guide providing an overview of the equality duty requirements, there are documents which provide more detailed guidance on key areas, and advice on good practice, namely on:

  • Meeting the equality duty in policy and decision making
  • Engagement and the equality duty
  • Equality objectives and the equality duty
  • Equality information and the equality duty

The guidance is in Word format, and can be accessed via the Commission's website.


Partner Updates January 2012


Accessible Transport Campaign

You and your clients can complete a questionnaire and follow this campaign to improve public transport access for disabled passengers and their carers:

Web - http://www.surveymonkey.com/A2BForAll
Facebook - www.facebook.com/A2BForAll
Twitter – www.twitter.com/A2BForAll


Money Advice

A4e currently offer the face to face Money Advice Service in their offices, so should individuals wish to be seen face to face rather than internet/telephone A4E would be happy to arrange regular sessions at your sites. Contact Niki Freeman on 01332 542800


Lincolnshire Funding Opportunity

Lincolnshire County Council as part of The East Midlands Local Authority Consortium (LAC) launched two new European Social Fund (ESF) tenders on January 9th 2012. The closing date for receipt of tenders is 17th February 2012 summaries below:

Provision to support young people age 19 - 24 that are LDD and are at risk of being NEET (CS1) - To develop and deliver customised support packages that will meet the needs of young people age 19 - 24 that have Learning Difficulties & Disabilities (LDD) and are either Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) or are at risk of being NEET.

To Develop a programme of customised skills and training to support vulnerable young people aged 16-19 (16-25 LLDD) who are in work to sustain and progress in employment (CS2) - To develop and deliver customised training and skills packages that will meet the needs of employers and individual vulnerable young people aged 16-19 (16-24 for LLDD) already in employment who need extra up-skilling to ensure more sustainable employment outcomes with increased employer buy in.



Disability Training Workshop

8 February, 10.00-13.00, Bolsover Assembly Rooms.
If you are delivering employment support in the Bolsover District, it is particularly important that your team understand disabled people as they are the largest group of unemployed people locally.  This workshop will provide the basics, legal definitions, reasonable adjustments etc plus the chance to raise questions specific to your organisation.  Please contact Penny on 01329 841814 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book places by 31 January - first come, first served.


Disabled People's Mentoring Project

Disability Derbyshire Coalition for Inclusive Living are delivering a free 3-day mentoring training course. If you are a disabled person who has overcome barriers to live a more independent life your skills and life experience will be invaluable in helping other disabled people achieve their goals.

Monday 23, Wednesday 25 and Friday 27 January 2012
Venue: Shirebrook DCIL Office, Lower School Site, Langwith Road
Time: 10.30-15.00 each day.

Disabled People's Mentoring Project Flyer


Money Advice Service

A new national money advice service has been launched, offering 1-to-1 face-to-face financial advice sessions across the UK. It is a free service that offers independent, sales and jargon-free information on all matters relating to personal finance and provides clear, unbiased money advice to help people make informed choices.

It is suitable for people over age 16 (with an adult or over 18).  For more information about the Money Advice Service click here: http://www.lsp.bolsover.gov.uk/images/documents/News/money%20advice%20leaflet.pdf


Influence Government Policy

The government has recently published the Fulfilling Potential paper that outlines three main areas for discussion: realising aspirations, increasing individual control and changing attitudes and behaviours. It seeks practical ways of making a real difference to disabled people's lives.  Your comments are sought by 9 March 2012 to contribute to a new national strategy to be published in Spring 2012.

Download the discussion document and find out more about funding on the Office for Disability Issues website: www.odi.gov.uk/fulfillingpotential, http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/odi-projects/fulfilling-potential.php

Partner Updates December 2011

Web Directory

Don't forget that this is a great resource for finding extra support for your clients.  New entries have been submitted for Ingeus and Probation Trust and awaiting inputs from DNCC (Work Programme) and ReThink. If you are not included yet, please get in touch.

Partner Updates November 2011

International Day of Disabled People – 3 December

The International Day of Disabled People on 3 December also marked the last 12 months during which local residents with long-term health conditions and disabilities have been given high priority by Bolsover Partnership.  Nearly 40 partner organisations have contributed to a directory showing the free support that is on offer – from help with health conditions, to getting back to work.  The directory is available on-line at www.helptowork.bolsover.gov.uk and through Jobcentres and Citizen Advice Bureau e-kiosks.

Mandy Chambers, Chair of Bolsover Partnership, said, “Bolsover District has a higher level of disabled people than the East Midlands or the country as a whole, so we recognise that they are a very important group locally.  We have been working to pull together all the available support so that it is easier for people to find.  During the last 12 months, we have involved over 100 representatives of local support organisations in training, briefings and meetings so that they have a better understanding of disability and its consequences.  This means that we are improving the support infrastructure and programmes across the whole area.”

If your organisation wants to get involved and improve the lives of local disabled people, contact project lead, Penny Melville-Brown on 01329 841814 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


FIT notes

Thanks to Yes Minister:  The Department for Work and Pensions has published a report of findings from qualitative research with General Practitioners (GPs) to examine their views on the Statement of Fitness for Work – the fit note. The report provides detailed information about how the fit note has influenced GPs’ certification practice, and GPs’ views on their role in sickness certification.It is part of a wider programme of research to evaluate the fit note, including research with employers.

Key findings of the report:
• The fit note has become a consultation tool that GPs use to initiate and guide negotiations with patients about returning to or commencing work. GPs use the fit note to justify why they have initiated discussion about work and to prompt them through the process of questioning patients about their work-related capabilities.
• GPs perceive that the fit note is most effective for patients with conditions such as ME/chronic fatigue syndrome, mild-to-moderate mental health conditions, and musculoskeletal conditions.
• GPs are less confident in using particular options on the fit note, like the amended duties and workplace adaptations tick boxes. Some reported difficulty in understanding and distinguishing between the four return-to-work tick boxes and confusion over date fields.
• Barriers to the successful use of the fit note include GPs’ confidence in dealing with conflict and their perception that it could damage their relationship with their patients. GPs are also less likely to drive for a return to work if they perceive the patient’s job to contribute to their health condition.
• Many GPs believe that motivating their patients to return to work is an integral part of their role and that the fit note has helped them to do this. It has also helped some GPs to adopt a stricter role with their patients.


Reducing the cost of sickness.

Thanks to Yes Minister: Health and Business experts Dame Carol Black and David Frost have presented a report to the government of the results of an independent review aimed at reducing the cost of sickness to employers, taxpayers and the economy and proposes:
• For employers tackling sickness absence a key barrier to getting people back to work is the fit notes. The Review recommends a new Independent Assessment Service (IAS) that employers and GPs can refer long-term sickness absence cases to.
• The Review recommends that the State introduces a new Job Brokering Service for employees on long-term sickness absence who are unable to return to their current employer. This service could save the State up to £300m a year by reducing the benefits bill.
• The Reviewers observed that the current benefits system fails claimants with ill-health by directing too many people to Employment and Support Allowance but subsequently declaring most fit for work after a long delay. The Review recommends the removal of the assessment phase for claimants of Employment and Support Allowance.


Accessible websites.

Here are some top tips from Abilitynet:

  • Quick accessibility check. Get an estimate of how accessible you site is now.  You can use a tool or have an audit of a sample number of pages
  • Publish an Accessibility Policy. Express your intent to be accessible.
  • Provide a Contact Us function. Enable users to tell you easily about accessibility issues on your site.
  • Add jump to content link. Simplify user navigation to page content
  • Ensure tab sequence is logical. Ensure page navigation is simple using a keyboard etc
  • Add alternative text to pictures and links. Provide necessary information for blind users
  • Ensure text sizing works. Allow users to increase text size.


Free mentor training for clients.

This short course might help any of your clients with long-term health conditions/disabilities to build their confidence, develop their CVs and open up new employment opportunities.
Disabled People's Mentoring Project flyer


Benefit back-log.

Thanks to Yes Minister: The Times and Daily Telegraph have reported  that the backlog of appeals by welfare claimants against the removal of their benefits is now long enough that the government has had to hire 84 new judges to deal with it.  Both the Times and the Telegraph write that for the first time extra posts have been needed since 2007, when only ten Social Entitlement Chamber judges were recruited to oversee welfare appeals. In recent months 84 have been hired to help to deal with the caseload, at a pro-rata salary of £101,000 per year.

Under the programme to check whether all 2.6 million people on incapacity benefit are actually fit to work, about 11,000 claimants a week are being reassessed.

Judges have warned about the growing queue of people appealing against being taken off benefits.

In 2010-11 the number of appeals in the Social Entitlement Chamber, where welfare appeals are heard, were 23 per cent higher than the preceding year and 72 per cent up on 2008-09.

Supporting BitC to deliver NEA to BDC and CBC clients.


People who have been receiving JSA continuously for more than six months may now be eligible for the New Enterprise Allowance if they choose self-employment as their route to work.  With more disabled people being moved on to JSA following Work Capability Assessments, we are delighted to be working with Business in the Community to assist eligible clients to make the best of this opportunity: they can be eligible for the allowance for 26 weeks as the business starts trading and may also be eligible for loans.  If you have a client who might be interested, please let us know and we can help move them forward.


Disability workshop
8 February 2012 1000-1300 Bolsover Assembly Rooms (George Bratt Room)

Session will cover:

  • understanding who is protected by the Equality Act and prohibited conduct;
  • The Disability Dynamics model;
  • guidance on practical issues;
  • reasonable adjustments.

Contact Penny on 01329 841814 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 30 January to book a place.


Accessible web sites

Thanks to the E-Access Bulletin, here is some very low cost training for those responsible for web information.  Live Essentials: The UK's first e-learning course, delivering a national qualification in web accessibility went live this week. The Web Accessibility Essentials course was developed by digital inclusion charity AbilityNet with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT). For a fee of just under £50, it offers a minimum standard by which web developers and managers can demonstrate their basic competence and commitment to accessibility:



Tight deadline for funding applications

Social entrepreneurs in England who have ambition, drive, determination and a vision to bring about social change are invited to apply for practical and financial support through the UnLtd Millennium Awards.


Level 1 - awards of between £500 and £5,000 for individuals who need help getting their project off the ground. Support is available for project running costs. Applications for Level 1 Awards may be made at any time.

Level 2 - awards of up to £15,000 are available for individuals whose project can be scaled-up to create a sustained impact within their community. In England, the deadline for receipt of applications for the autumn 2011 round is 21 November 2011.



Partner Updates October 2011


Characteristics of ESA claimants

Thanks to the Yes Minister blog: The Department for Work and Pensions published a report on 22 September detailing the findings from a survey of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants. The report provides detailed information about the characteristics of people who claim ESA and changes in their employment situation over a period of around 18 months.   One of the key findings from the report was that half of people claiming ESA had been in paid work immediately before their claim, and the vast majority of these (85 per cent) had been in employment for most of their working lives.  Half had a health condition which was of recent (2008/09) onset.

Those people who were not in work before their claim were found to have a particularly disadvantaged socio-economic profile.  Almost one-third had never worked or were long-term unemployed, 41 per cent had no qualifications, 25 per cent had literacy problems, and only 23 per cent were owner-occupiers.  The report describes how relatively few claimants had entered work a year to 18 months after their initial claim, regardless of their employment origins.  A quarter of people who were in employment before claiming ESA had returned to work by the time of the follow-up survey wave but only nine per cent of those previously out of work had entered employment by that time.

Source:  http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2011/sep-2011/dwp112-11.shtml


National Development Team

The National Development Team for Inclusion is a not for profit consultancy and training organisation. The organisation is concerned with reducing social exclusion among the most disadvantaged groups in all aspects of life, including employment. They produce a range of useful briefings which people can download from their website http://www.ndti.org.uk/

If you would like to be included in the NDTi database and receive information about events, training days and news please complete the questionnaire on this link. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Ui9O8rZ_2bTIKDcq_2fNm7AI4A_3d_3d


Working Families Everywhere

Derbyshire County Council has recently gained funding to deliver the ESF Working Families Everywhere initiative. The powerpoint link below offers an overview. Please not that this is different to the Families Initiative.

ESF Working Families Everywhere Powerpoint


Perceptions of Universal Credits

Thanks to Yes Minister:

A report based on qualitative research by the Department for Work and Pensions has been published to explore the views of claimants, staff, employers and the wider public about Universal Credit. This is the first in a series of reports on research commissioned to inform the design and deliver of Universal Credit. In total, over 200 respondents in a range of circumstances were engaged through a mixture of focus groups, case studies and in-depth interviews. Research was conducted in six locations across Britain between December 2010 and January 2011.


  • A broad consensus on the need for reform to the welfare and benefits system
  • Broad support for most of the underlying principles of reform, particularly the aim of increasing fairness, which was interpreted by respondents as the ability to discriminate between those with genuine need and those without
  • However, awareness of Universal Credit was low at this early stage.
  • Respondents felt Universal Credit should positively incentivise work to ensure that it is unquestionably more rewarding to work than receive benefits.
  • The degree of financial incentive, however, was not seen as sufficiently compelling.
  • Reactions to the single, integrated payment were mixed. The prospect of a ‘one-stop shop’ was favorably viewed but a potential was also seen for increased risks of placing ‘all eggs in one basket’ in terms of having all benefits issued by one entity in case something goes wrong.
  • The possibility of monthly payment emerged as a significant concern for many and there was strong preference for an option to be provided for more frequent payment.
  • There was a perception that the online service delivery channel could lead to lower compliance and increased fraud. In addition, online delivery was an issue for those without access or confidence in using the internet.


BASE half price membership

BASE is the membership association for organisations that provide specialist employment support to people with a disability (of any kind) or other economic disadvantage.  One of their key roles is to inform and influence policy at national and regional levels. BASE are offering membership to new organisations at half price for the remainder of their membership year - a chance to discover the benefits withour commiting to the full cost. Contact: E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone the office 01204 880733.


Clowne Community Care Farm

Clowne Community Care Farm is a new social activity in North Derbyshire. Based on a three acre smallholding, the farm offers a range of exciting activities and the chance to gain work experience in a variety of areas. They offer long term work experience placements for adults with learning, physical disabilities, or mental health issues working as part of a team in one of our community enterprise businesses. Support is available at competitive prices, and can be paid for by Direct Payments, from your personalized budget, or SDs money.

Open pdf documentClowne Community Care Farm Leaflet


Partner Updates September 2011


Equality duties for public sector organisations

If your organisation is part of the public sector, it will need to comply with these new duties by January 2012. There is more information at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/2260/contents/made


Personal empowerment course for disabled people

Disability Derbyshire is providing this free course at the end of October.

Personal Empowerment Course Flyer


New Remploy contract

Remploy Employment Services have been selected as preferred bidder to deliver the mental health support service for DWP's Access to Work programme - helping people with mental health conditions to stay in employment. They will be providing from December 2011:

  • A personal counselling service, mediation or other tailored mental health support for the individual;
  • Provision of a personalised action plan, progress report and exit report;
  • Employer education;
  • Assessing an individual's needs and identifying coping strategies;
  • Identifying reasonable adjustments within the workplace or within the confines of working practice.


Partner Updates August 2011


European Funding Application Submitted

An application for Eurpean Union PARES funding has been submitted.  The project focuses on how different organisations providing elements of employment support can work together. The project will be managed by the Shaw Trust and letters of support have been received from several partner organisations wishing to be involved. In a nutshell, the project will:

  • Promote and advertise the recruitment of unemployed disabled people
  • Provide clients with a Guide who will help them navigate through what the support partners offer and maintain regular contact until they start work
  • Provide an Employer Engagement specialist who will help to place them in jobs


European Social Fund Support (ESF) for Families with Multiple Problems

This provision is aimed at individuals in multi generational families with multiple problems that require support to move into employment.  The ESF provision will require a whole family approach to tackling the entrenched worklessness and complex need of these families.  To be eligible, families will have to have at least one member on out of work benefits and a history of worklessness in the family.

The primary aim is to help individuals progress towards work by achieving progress in specific areas, identified and tailored to the individual throughout the time they are participating in the provision. Recognising that many of the participants will be far from the labour market, a further aim will be to prepare some individuals for entry to the Work Programme.

More information will be available in mid October.


How is the recruitment industry treating disabled people?
Anecdotal stories suggest that the recruitment industry does not have a great reputation with disabled people but the reality may be rather different: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/recruitmentindustrysurvey


Mobility review.
An independent review looking at how the personal mobility needs of people living in state-funded residential care are met is underway. There may be some partners with clients in such situations whomay like to contribute:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. telephone 0203 242 0373. For more information http://lowreview.org.uk


Remploy on-line petition.
You might consider signing the petition concerning sheltered and supported employment for disabled people: http://www.saveremployfactories.co.uk


Demands for “voluntary” payments from bus pass holders.

Extract from a recent note from the Department of transport:  It seems that in parts of the UK, some concessionary passengers are being asked to make a voluntary contribution towards their fare, rather than showing their ENCTS pass to allow carriage for free. We understand that on some routes passengers are being told that the bus route is under threat of withdrawal unless money is raised through voluntary contributions.

It is not clear if this is occurring due to a decision made by a bus operator or a Travel Concession Authority. Regardless, it is the Department’s view that this practice should not be taking place.

As some of your clients may have such bus passes, if you hear that such requests have been made, it should be brought to the attention of the Derbyshire County Council (Transport Department) immediately.


Funding for disabled user forums.

On 20 July Maria Miller, the Minister for Disabled People, launched the new programme to support Disabled People's User Led Organisations (DPULOs). This will be a £3million investment over four years that will aim to promote the growth and improve the sustainability of user led organisations.  Read more: http://www.varotherham.org.uk/voices-network/voices-network-news/3723-lost-chord-summer-newsletter


Dates for your diary:

13 September - Partner meeting
1145-1400 Sherwood Lodge, Bolsover

14 September - Disability in the workplace training session
1000-1300 Bolsover Assembly Rooms
Free training for HR specialists and anyone involved in recruitment.
Disability in the Workplace Flyer

4 October 2011 - Aspects of Mental Health, supporting people in employment
1300-1630 Pleasley Landmark Centre (Main Hall)
This session provides an overview of some elements of mental health awareness with a practical focus on how organisations and staff can offer support.
Aspects of Mental Health Flyer

7 October 2011 - Aspects of Mental Health, supporting people in employment
1300-1630 Bolsover Assembly Rooms (George Bratt room)
This session provides an overview of some elements of mental health awareness with a practical focus on how organisations and staff can offer support. 
Aspects of Mental Health Flyer

29 January 2012 - Self Advocacy Support Skills Conference
This conference will enable staff supporting people with learning difficulties to build knowledge and skills in encouraging and developing self advocacy.
Self Advocacy Conference Flyer

Partner Updates July 2011


Funding Opportunity! 
A potential bidding opportunity has arisen through the European Commission to progress the work that the Partnership is already doing.  A link to the relevant section of the website is included below.  The specific page for the Employment strand (PARES) is: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=630&langId=en&callId=307&furtherCalls=yes

One partner has already expressed willingness to become a lead for the bid, and other organisations are invited to.

Organisations interested in taking part should contact Penny Melville-Brown by close of play 8 July.


New additions to the Help to Work directory: Elmton and Creswell Village Company, Derbyshire Community Health Services, Landmarks Specialist College.  More coming soon.


Legal action against Disability Living Allowance (DLA) changes.
Extract from Yes Minister blog regarding DLA.

In a formal announcement on Sunday 3 July Disability Alliance and Unity Law announced they have issued a ‘letter of claim’ (a precursor to possible legal action) to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The organisations cited three government proposals that have led them to launch action against the Coalition:

1.  Abolition of low rate care DLA support which is received by 652,000 people who have provided evidence of impairments/health conditions and are acknowledged to be ‘disabled’ by DWP

2.  Reduce projected DLA expenditure by 20% (or £2.17 billion)

3.  End to DLA mobility support for disabled care home residents without clarity on how potential losses in support for the 78,000 people directly affected (and their families) will be mitigated of particular relevance to our work regarding employment, a survey undertaken in relation to this action found that:

• 56% of the people in work (27% of the respondents who answered this question) said they would have to stop or reduce work if they lost DLA
• 16% suggested cuts to DLA will result in higher NHS use
• 14% suggested a likely need for more use of council services
• 62% highlighted the link from DLA to other support and fear reform will cut the link and increase exclusion and poverty
• 9% of the first 900 responses emphasized that losing DLA may make life ‘not worth living’


Employability assessment.
Tools to help assess clients’ employability:


Survey – housing for disabled people.
Local authroities in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire have commissioned this survey.  Disabled residents with physical, mobility or visual impairments might like to take part and influence future planning – this can be done on-line or by phone: http://www.ecoryssurveys.com/disabledhousingneeds

Phone survey: Emma Brooker on 01782 753230 - Emma will ring back when convenient.


Support with your business development.
You can follow the example of partner Elmton and Creswell Village Company by getting reasonable cost help from the Nottingham University 'ERDF Postgraduates Placement Project/ Social Enterprise Internship Programme'.  
Contact: Neil Brown, Social Enterprise Programme Co-ordinator, phone: 0115 8468117, E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Welfare Reform conference.
Links to the video and the presentations from this conference are at:
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHD_snzZANg&feature=channel_video_title
Presentations: http://www.cesi.org.uk/Events/Current_events/EV470+Welfare+to+Work+UK+Convention


Partner Updates June 2011


Launch of Help to Work on-line directory! Help to Work image
The Help to Work tool is now available on-line and is being promoted to the public with a press release and flyers - it will be in Citizen's Advice Bureau kiosks in mid July and is also being made available to Jobcentre Plus staff so that they can advise clients too.  Recent additions include: Nottingham Trent University, LEO Business support, West Nottinghamshire College, Chesterfield College, BTCV, BLACA and HMRC.  Soon to follow: Elmton and Creswell Village Company.
Help to Work Flyer


Dates for your diary:

13 July - Partner meeting
1130-1400 Committee Room 1, Bolsover District Council offices. One goal of this meeting is to share ideas on what employers want when they are recruiting and how to engage them to take on disabled people and others who have been long-term unemployed.  Ian Bates of the Bolsover Employment and Training Initiative and Julie Brunger of BTCV will lead on this.

20-29 July - Personal empowerment course
Disability Derbyshire is promoting this course in July for disabled clients who have been isolated at home.  It encourages them to look at goals they want to achieve.
Personal Empowerment course flyer

29 September - North Derbyshire Jobs and training Fair
Book stands before 15 July for this fair at the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield.  Contact Sue Dixon at   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Useful information:


Update on Work ClubsJob surf images
The Family Employment Initiative provide a Work Club, called Job Surf, at Bolsover Methodist Church on Tuesday mornings.  CVP are working in partnership with them to open two in Shirebrook and then one in Clowne.  The Shirebrook ones will be launched on 22 June at the Adult Education Centre on Carter Lane and on 7 July at Pear Tree Community House.  They are currently looking for a suitable venue in Clowne so that one can be launched in September or early October.
Job Surf flyer



Mandatory Work Related Activity comes on stream
From 17 May 2011 Jobcentre Plus advisers will refer jobseekers that need additional support to get back to work onto mandatory work activity.  Advisers have the power to refer job seekers to a four week placement if they believe a jobseeker will benefit from experiencing the habits and routines of working life.  The scheme will be delivered by a range of private, voluntary and third sector organisations. Every work placement will offer:

  • The opportunity to gain fundamental work disciplines
  • Will be of benefit to the local community

Participants will be expected to spend up to 30 hours a week, for 4 weeks on their Work Activity placement and will be required to continue to look for work.  Customers who fail to complete a placement without good cause will lose their Jobseeker’s Allowance for a minimum of 3 months.


BASE Practitioners awards
Here is a chance to gain some recognition if your organisation provides support to people with disabilities or other disadvantaged groups to secure and maintain paid employment in the open labour market.  Further details of the awards can be found on at http://base-uk.org/awards

BASE is the membership association for organisations that provide specialist employment support to people with a disability (of any kind) or other economic disadvantage.  One of their key roles is to inform and influence policy at national and regional levels.  They seek to work closely with other organisations to improve the employment opportunities for people at risk of exclusion from the workplace.  BASE actively consult members about their policy position and represent members on a collective basis.  They have regular dialogue with Ministers and senior officers across the various Government departments.  They are also represented on several task groups and provider forums;  and facilitate seven regional networks for their members and these are active in engaging with regional policy makers.

As an independent membership organisation, it is open to any agency delivering supported employment services in the UK.  Affiliated membership is open to any individual or organisation who is interested but not directly delivering supported employment services.

For more information, please follow this link http://base-uk.org/membership/join or go to http://www.base-uk.org and have a look round.


Partner Updates May 2011Diagram of Social Model of Disability

Another interesting Partner Meeting took place on 19 May with excellent speakers; and good responses were also received following the training session on 20 May.  Useful handouts are available below:
Medical and Social Models of Disability
Seven Needs of Independent Living
Concessionary Travel in Derbyshire
Disabled People in Bolsover District


TV exposure? 
ITV2 are currently looking for communities that might have something in mind that they need help with.  This may be a great chance to raise the visibility of what you are doing and help to overcome difficulties. Contact: Vicky Maitland of "Peter Andre: Here to Help" on 020 7467 9000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Graduate recruitment grants from Hot ProspectsDiagram of Medical Model of Disability
SMEs requiring highly qualified team members may be eligible to access a grant of up to £1,000 towards graduate recruitment costs.  In addition, if any project work is related to environmental sustainability, the business could claim 25% cash back on the graduate’s salary for up to a year.  This is available on a first-come first-served basis and there are only 8 slots left.  For more information, contact Elizabeth Andrzejewski-Wilson on 01522 695011 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Partner Updates April 2011


Dates for your diary:


10 May - Remploy Event
1100 at Remploy’s Derby Branch, Gower Street, Derby, DE1 1SB.  To provide further insight into what Remploy offer disabled and other people under the Work Choice programme.
Remploy Work Choice Event Flyer

11 May - European Regional Development Fund Priority Axis 2 Launch
0930-1230 at The Towers, Mansfield.
ERDF Priority Axis 2 funding is targeted on areas of disadvantage and aims to increase sustainable economic and enterprise activity.  Launch event essential for organisations  seeking funding for provision in Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield and Mansfield.  Information about the eligible activities for funding, priorities and the application processes.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by 28 April.

19 May - Partner meeting
1130-1400 Committee Room 1, Bolsover District Council offices.
Specialist speakers will cover topics including:

  • The social model of disability and independent living
  • Travel and transport issues - and some solutions
  • Disabled people in Bolsover district now and in the future - discussion on the recently released Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2010

20 May - Partner workshop
1000-1300 George Bratt Room, Bolsover Assembly Rooms.
Interactive session introducing the 'Human Givens' tool that can help assess client's emotional and psychological needs and innate strengths - what may need further development in order to achieve sustainable work or training outcomes.  Part of the session will focus on how straightforward and easy changes can be made to one-to-one and group work with clients in order to support those developments.  Places are limited to 2 representatives from each partner organisation. For more information about Human Givens, visit www.hgi.org.

7 and 8 June – Disability in the workplace training workshops
1300-1600 Pleasley Landmark Centre 
1000-1300 Bolsover Assembly Rooms
This workshop will assist those supporting disabled people in to jobs and cover:

  • Understanding the protection for disabled people in the workplace under the Equality Act
  • Recruitment (job specifications, application processes, interviews)
  • Sustainable jobs
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Access to Work support etc

29 June and 12 July - Aspects of Mental Health
29 June 1300-1630 Bolsover Assembly Rooms (George Bratt room)
12 July 1300-1630 Pleasley Landmark Centre (Morton Room)
About 20% of the UK population have a mental health problem and that, often, people who are unemployed due to one health condition go on to have depression.  This training session, delievered by a professional in the field, provides a chance to get a better understanding of those clients so that support services can be more successful.


Useful Information:


Two Job Opportunities for People with Learning Disabilities
Clerical Worker, Matlock
Clerical Worker, Chesterfield


Work for Yourself
See the evaluation summary for this Working Neighbourhoods Funded self-employment programme for disabled people.
Work for Yourself Year 2 Evaluation


British Association for Supported Employment
If your organisation supports people with learning disabilities, you may want to have a look at the attached newsletter and consider joining this Association.
Base Newsletter March 2011


Hardest Hit Campaign
A campaign against disproportionate impact of welfare reform on disabled people has just been launched. For details visit www.ukdpc.net.


Fit Notes
Several people have raised the issue of how GPs use “Fit notes”.  Thee website below provides guidance for GPs on how they might assess patients and their fitness to return to work.  http://www.healthyworkinguk.co.uk/decisionaid

Partner Updates 11 March 2011Image of Disability Partnership members learning basic sign language

The first meeting on 9 March was very productive and extremely well attended.  So much so that not all interested parties could be included - the room was rather full!  Copies of the Provider Directory were issued at the meeting and more are being posted out.  Electronic copies are also available and it is hoped that an on-line tool will be developed by the end of March. The next meeting is on 19 May.
Provider Directory


Dates for Your Diary:


17 March - Shaw Trust recruitment event for Chesterfield Residents
Also opportunity for other providers to promote their activities – contact Alison Corbett on 01246 271087. Shaw Trust recruitment event flyer.

18 and 25 March - Support for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities 
If you can contribute to helping this client group, please see the attachment for details of the Derbyshire County Council events.  Derbyshire County Council events flyer.

30 March - West Notts College Logistics Academy – Access for All Event
From 4.00pm until 5.45pm at the Construction and Logistics Skills Academy, Station Park, Kirkby-in-Ashfield. They will be showcasing the world’s first forklift truck adapted for wheelchair users, amputees and those with lower limb disorders or dwarfism. For more information, e-mail Stephanie Hoult at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

6 April - Incapacity Benefit and Income Support Re-assessment – the Customer Journey
Phoenix Enterprises is hosting a further briefing event at Bolsover Library from 1400-1530 which is open to all partners.  To book a place, please e-mail Michelle Cooper at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and take along promotion material to share with others.


Useful Information:


Jobcentre Plus changes
A range of papers have been provided to update partners on the changes.

Work Choice Customer Leaflet
Enterprise Club Guide
Disability Living Allowance Reform - Easy Read Guide


Gold card help with travel
Lots of partners have said that travel and transport is a problem for their disabled clients.  A specialist speaker has been invited to suggest some ideas at the partner meeting on 13 July.  Meanwhile, your clients might be eligible for the Gold Card although the disabilities covered are quite limited. www.derbyshire.gov.uk/community/goldcard

Accessible Census
This is a good opportunity to see how information can be made accessible for as many disabled people as possible.  Visit www.census.gov.uk/2011accessibility.

Accessible information
Producing documents in Easy Read for people with learning difficulties and disabilities can be daunting.  Here is a company that has been producing some housing leaflets and will be shortly doing some on health matters - look for details of their Easy Docs.  The latter might be particularly useful for partners in the NHS and all those working with young people and adults with learning disabilities. http://www.inspiredservices.org.uk/newsletter/march2011/2011mar01.html.

Benefits update
The latest Social Welfare Training newsletter covers recent changes on Blue Badges and the Incapacity Benefit linking rules and more. To subscribe to the newsletter email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject field.

Matching skills to jobs
This can be a challenge especially when clients don't always recognise what they have to offer.  Why not use the Skills Health Check to find out about the skills and abilities that clients have, and how they can help them to get the job that they want https://nextstep.direct.gov.uk/planningyourcareer/skillshealthcheck/Pages/default.aspx

Mental health in the workplace
SHIFT is an initiative to tackle stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues in England.  Amongst other things, they have published a Line Manager’s Resource booklet to aid employers in the management and support of staff with mental health problems.  They also have a set of DVD’s and other resources available. http://www.shift.org.uk/

Partner Updates February 2011


Dates for your diary:

22 February - Eating Disorder Awareness Week
One-off event in Nottingham focusing on recent developments in eating disorders.
Eating Disorder Event Flyer


Useful information:


Opportunity to support people looking for work – in your own workplace
Phoenix Enterprise has a number of clients looking for 4-week work placements (up to 30 hours per week) in any sector.  This can benefit organisations or businesses by the client providing an extra pair of hands while they gain work skills and more confidence.  Phoenix can help/advise on any insurance issues, supports the client’s travel to work and provides some supervision.  They also undertake a Health and Safety assessment.  There is no expectation that the placement will result in a permanent job.  For more information, please contact Kirsty on 07810 366709 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Organisations wishing to be better at making electronic information (including websites) more accessible, might care to subscribe to the E-Access bulletin.  To subscribe to this free monthly bulletin, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with 'subscribe eab' in the subject header.


Derbyshire County Council success in supporting people with mental health conditions in to voluntary and paid work
Visit: http://www.valuingpeoplenow.dh.gov.uk/webfm_send/409


Partner Updates January 2011

Initial interviews with over 20 organisations have already taken place or are scheduled.  The information gathered will form the basis of the Provider Directory being constructed.


CV writing
Guidance for people with gaps in their work history (including templates and an audio version) is available http://www.businessability.co.uk.


Diary dates

  • Disability workshops. 1300 -1600 16 February and 1000 -1300 17 February at Bolsover Assembly Rooms.  Provided as part of the project and a chance to update your knowledge.  Please contact Penny to book a place on 01329 841814 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Partner meeting. Working lunch 1200 -1400 9 March at Bolsover District Council offices.  Opportunity for networking and sharing information.



  • Jobcentre Plus in the East Midlands ran two excellent phone conferences last November on benefits and, particularly, the future re-assessment of Incapacity Benefit clients.  Records of the question and answer sessions are available from Andy Scott at Jobcentre Plus This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Social Welfare Training produce a newsletter to update professionals on changes within the world of benefits. You can subscribe for future issues by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - include Subscribe in the subject line.
  • Changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Firstly, visually impaired people may be able to claim the higher rate of mobility depending on their level of visual acuity.  They may need to have medical confirmation as to that level and should be contacted by the Disability and Carers Service in the next few months.  More significantly, the Department for Work and Pensions is currently consulting on changing DLA to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which has prompted some strong reaction so far.  Visit http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2010/dla-reform.shtml within the next couple of weeks.


The Equalities and Human Rights Commission is gathering evidence about home care for older people (over 65) and welcomes your input by 4 February.  For more information, visit www.equalityhumanrights.com/homecareinquiry or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Public sector equality duty
This duty has been changed by the Equality Act and new requirements come in to force in April.  These changes are important for all parts of the public sector and, potentially, voluntary and private sector organisations undertaking public sector contracts.  Visit http://www.equalities.gov.uk/equality_act_2010/public_sector_equality_duty.aspx.


New Enterprise Allowance (NEA)
Regional Business Link organisations are due to be replaced by a website and national call centre in November 2011.  The NEA will assist business start-ups - it is likely to be limited to people who have been on Job Seekers Allowance for over six months and will offer business mentoring, an allowance while the business is established and help with business finance.  Visit http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/enterprise/docs/b/11-515-bigger-better-business-helping-small-firms.pdf.


Communications network
If you provide advance notice of your events, training opportunities and other activities that can be shared with other organisations or with their disabled clients, please send the details and they will be promoted through a network of over 150 local contacts. Contact Penny on 01329 841814 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read more ...

Disability Partnership - Outputs


Outputs 10/11 11/12
Client progression map version 1 updated version

Provider map (directory)

version 1 updated version
Client map / forecast version 1 updated version
Partnership Agreement version 1 updated version
Discussions with potential partners up to 22 up to 18 
Partner workshops

2 (up to 60 attendees)

2 (up to 60 attendees)
Stubbin Wood School meeting  1  
Partnership meetings  1 6
Employer workshops   3 (up to 90 attendees)
Final report   1
Read more ...

Disability Partnership - Archives


2011/12 Year End

Directory.  The number of entries now stands at 39 with future changes needed with the end of some WNF projects, forthcoming Coalfields Regeneration Trust and ERDF projects plus more.

Partners.  The February partner meeting was again over-subscribed and the final March meeting was also well attended.  The final disability workshop held in February was also well attended and feedback was positive.  Partners continue to contribute inputs to the regular information e-shots.

Support for families.  Both the new projects (DCC and Acorn Training) briefed the February meeting.

Work Programme.  Ingeus has reported that numbers of referrals from Jobcentre Plus have risen and that they are taking on additional staff.  Mental health conditions are a significant factor.

Volunteering.  A further meeting was held with the goal of creating a concept paper that might become a funding bid.

Future funding.  The contract for the EU funding for the Help to Work Plus project has yet to be signed – some remaining financial questions are being resolved hence the project start date has been delayed.

Project report.  The report providing a short record of activities and findings plus key papers produced during the project has been circulated.

2011/12 Quarter 3

Directory.  Further additions to the directory (now at version 17) have been submitted to Bolsover District Council for inclusion on the website. It continues to be available on www.helpptowork.bolsover.gov.uk.

Work Programme prime contractors.  Local providers of the Work Programme (Ingeus and DNCC – for A4E) are both included in the directory and have attended further meetings.  A visit was made to the Ingeus facilities in Chesterfield and the organisation encouraged to use partner venues within the District to undertake outreach activities.  DNCC delivery facilities are located alongside BDC offices at Sherwood Lodge.  Both organisations are operational although not receiving the numbers of Jobcentre referrals that they originally anticipated – numbers are likely to increase over coming months.

Future funding.  European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Technical Assistance funding to continue the partnership was explored but abandoned due to the potential risk.  However, the bid for EU Progress (PARES) funding has been successful indicating that the project will be one of the five across the EU to be supported.  This project will be led by the Shaw Trust with match funding by Bolsover District Council, Chesterfield Borough Council, health, Phoenix Enterprises, Shaw Trust.  The bid continues partnership activity and uses local providers to support unemployed disabled people in to work.  Organisations providing match funding are likely to want to establish some strategic oversight of the project to monitor its progress and substantive involvement of partners.

2011/12 Quarter 2
Directory.  Currently 37 organisations are featured, with more possible plus changes over coming months.   It is now available on line via CAB e-kiosks and was promoted throughout a two-week “signing-on” cycle  by Jobcentre Plus. See www.helpptowork.bolsover.gov.uk.

Work Programme prime contractors.  Both Work Programme prime contractors (A4E and Ingeus) have briefed partner meetings and a further meeting with three Local Authorities took place on 27 September. Remploy has just won the contract to support working people with mental health conditions to retain their jobs. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced that Working Links is the prime that will deliver the DWP/ESF family initiative. 

Future funding.  Substantial work was undertaken during this quarter in putting together a partnership led by one of the employment support providers to bid for the European Progress (PARES) opportunity.  This succeeded with 22 partners writing letters of commitment including undertakings from five to provide over £70,000 match funding.  A decision is expected by February 2012 although it should be noted that only five projects will be funded across the European Union.  The project would continue partnership activities but develop them in to actual delivery.
2011/12 Quarter 1

Help to Work on-line tool now available!
The Help to Work tool is now available on-line and is being promoted to the public with a press release and flyers - it will be in Citizen's Advice Bureau kiosks in mid July and is also being made available to Jobcentre Plus staff so that they can advise clients too.  Recent additions include: Nottingham Trent University, LEO Business support, West Nottinghamshire College, Chesterfield College, BTCV, BLACA and HMRC.  Soon to follow: Elmton and Creswell Village Company.


Help to Work press release

 Help to Work feature in baselines newsletter

2010/11 Year End

The pace of this project continues to be very fast with a large number of partner organisations involved.  To take account of the increased scope of the work, this project has been extended in 2011-12 and additional funding allocated.  This project will act as the main conduit for influencing the Work Programme prime contractors.

Activities over Q4 include:

  • 22 providers included in first version of Directory and around the same number as possible future additions
  • 31 places booked for disability workshops
  • First partner meeting overbooked
  • 100 hard copies of directory issued and some 170 electronic versions issued
  • Regular information updates (8 this quarter) issued to over 170 contacts and numbers continue to increase plus materials are also being distributed via other networks 
  • The original plan to provide the Directory as a simple on-line document has been further developed and it is planned that some basic interactive features will be included. 

First meeting press release
Provider Directory

2010/11 Quarter 3
The first four weeks of the project were intensely active.  It was anticipated that interest from potential partners would emerge in January 2011 however awareness raising of the project has generated significant interest. 

Emerging Findings

There is good interest in the concept of a partnership.  While there is a range of organisations offering well recognised support for disabled people, it is seen that clients’ basic needs around housing, finances, personal circumstances and condition management need to be addressed if progress is to succeed.  Providing practical tools (such as CV writing/job search etc) may be insufficient if clients’ psychological needs are not also considered. 

Mental health issues have quickly emerged as a significant factor for many unemployed people – sometimes due to their isolation or unemployment.  The project has already been able to link the FEI Community Nurse with the co-ordinator of local self help groups across the district where people with mental health difficulties can support each other.

Project launch press release

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Meetings and Events

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