To tie in with my vlog here, check out this list of useful resources, charities and places to get information!
This list is not exhaustive and does not include local charities or organisations – it’s always worth heading to Google (other search engines are available) to see what’s around in your local area. The resources and charities below are UK based. If you’d like a PDF copy, drop me an email at email@example.com
https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/disability is a great source of information. This linked page is an A-Z of information. From information and how to apply for various benefits to information about travel, getting to work and applying for jobs. There is also a benefits calculator which can be quite a useful tool as well.
There is also lots of information around equipment and transport https://www.gov.uk/browse/disabilities/equipment
2) ACCESS TO WORK
https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work Access to Work can also be found in the A-Z linked above, but it’s worth talking about separately. An Access to Work grant can pay for:
- special equipment, adaptations or support worker services to help you do things like answer the phone or go to meetings
- help getting to and from work
You have to fit certain eligibility criteria, but it is definitely worth looking into
https://www.scope.org.uk Scope are a disability equality charity in England and Wales, they provide support, resources, information and are continuously campaigning for a fairer society. Scotland have Capability Scotland https://www.capability-scotland.org.uk and you can find help from Enable Ireland in Ireland! https://www.enableireland.ie.
4) DISABILITY GRANTS
https://www.disability-grants.org is a super useful resource that allows you to search for Charities and Trusts that provide funding towards the high cost of disability equipment, holidays, housing, days etc.
The page has hundreds of charities for all kinds of things but please note that some of the information is a little out of date. This site also notes that they may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through a link on their site.
http://www.getgrants.org.uk is another great resource that can help you to write grant bids.
5) TOURISM FOR ALL
https://www.tourismforall.co.uk is a great resource which lets you search for accessible holidays, venues for food and drink and days out. Simply check your criteria in the boxes and the page will make suitable suggestions. Navigate to their “offers” page to see what you can get discounts or better prices on.
Mind are a mental health charity, locally they offer support groups, training and are continuously campaigning. Their services and support links can be found here https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/
7) CARERS UK
https://www.carersuk.org/home if you are a carer, or have a carer, Carers UK is a great resource for information and support. It offers advice on benefits, provides support and advice.
8) MEDICAL EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES
If you are reading this, there’s a high chance you might be on various medications for chronic illness, disability or mental illness. Prescriptions can be costly, so it’s worth looking into whether you qualify for a medical exemption certificate https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption-certificates/medical-exemption-certificates. It has a pretty specific criteria, so also check out the prescription prepayment certificate https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/help-nhs-prescription-costs/prescription-prepayment-certificates-ppcs which can save more than £325.00 a year if you have more than 4 prescriptions medications
9) BLUE BADGE SCHEME
Applying for a blue badge is easier than ever and can be done online now (check out my vlog on my renewing my badge here). Visit the Gov.UK website for information https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge – check with your local council as well, because schemes can vary. Blue Badges basically enable you to park closer to your destination, or somewhere more accessible. It will not necessarily give you free parking, so always check when you park whether you need to pay.
10) YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL
Your local council is a great place to look for information. Check them out to look into (amongst other things) the Disabled Facilities Grant. A Disabled Facilities Grant can help with:
- Stair lifts
- Level access showers
- Widening doors
- Installing ramps
- Through the floor lifts
- Adapting heating/lighting facilities
- Safe access to gardens
It doesn’t affect any benefits you are currently in receipt of but dependent on what type of benefits you are on, you may have to contribute towards any work carried out.
Your local council can give you information on SEN (Special Educational Needs) schools, local support groups, local accessibility information and tonnes more.
Check with your local council to see if you can apply for a disabled person’s bus pass as well, which may give you free or reduced travel costs.
11) LOCAL CHARITIES
Check out https://www.charitychoice.co.uk for a huge list of charities in the UK that might be able to help you with anything from advice and support, to befriending services, local support groups, grants and more.
12) LOCAL HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
Parking costs can be an absolute nightmare if you frequent your local hospital. Check out their webpage to see if you could qualify for free or reduced parking. As an example, my local hospital allows the following groups to be entitled to free parking:
- Resident parents of children in hospital or parents whose babies are being cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
- Relatives of those patients who are critically ill. The critical care unit will contact the Parking Desk.
- Relatives of patients being cared for on the End of Life Care Pathway.
- Those who are visiting the bereavement office or collecting a death certificate.
- Members of the public donating blood.
Speak to your doctors, specialist nurses and healthcare assistants, CPNs, social workers and community nurses will often have access to information and resources that aren’t widely available. For example, your local fire service can fit things like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire blankets etc. for free and test them yearly.
Social media can actually be a really useful place to find information, search for local or national support groups for your disability and illness. They often will have advice and support that you can’t get from people who just don’t understand!
https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/households/customer-assistance/watersure/ the WaterSure scheme is available for certain customers with a water meter. It allows them to have their bills capped. Apply through your local water provider. There are also grants and funding available to help with other utility bills around, so always check with your local provider.
15) CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk your local CAB is a mine of information, I have used mine in the past with help to look for work, help writing my DLA and PIP applications. Their page on ‘Help With Health Costs’ is really useful https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/help-with-health-costs/help-with-health-costs/#h-what-health-costs-you-can-get-help-with
16) YOUR EMPLOYER
If you are able to work, don’t forget that under the Equality Act 2010, your employer has a duty to provide reasonable adjustments to help you do your job as well as someone without a disability.
The Equality Act 2010 calls these ‘reasonable adjustments’. They can be changes to policies, working practices or physical layouts, or providing extra equipment or support.
The adjustments have to be ‘reasonable’. So what’s reasonable for your employer to do depends on your situation – like the size of the organisation you work for.
Your employer should pay for any adjustments and shouldn’t ask you to pay.
If your employer doesn’t make the adjustments they have a duty to make, it could be discrimination. You might be able to complain or take them to an employment tribunal to get what you need. Of course, you might also want to leave, because they clearly don’t value you as a person.
You can also complain if you realised there were adjustments your former employer could have made which might have helped you stay in the job. Find further information here.
Is there anything you’d add to this list? Have you used any of these resources? What’s lacking in your local area? Get in touch below, I’d love to hear from you!