At a recent conference, I noticed a great deal of time was spent on promoting awareness of bad practices within the health and care sector. This got me to thinking about the vital role of National Voices members, and the wider voluntary sector, in building networks and promoting examples of the good practice which has improved services for, and lifestyles of, disabled people.
The Disabled Motorists Federation’s (DMF) roots lie in addressing and advising disabled drivers on specific motoring issues. From this we have developed into an organisation which strives towards a more socially inclusive and equal society in order to increase the well-being and self-esteem of all disabled people and their unpaid, often forgotten, carers. We model this inclusivity in our own organisation, by encouraging both disabled and non-disabled people to join as members, and by working with others, from hospitals and healthcare sector establishments, universities and medical research projects, to commercial organisations.
For example, last year we were fortunate to get a bursary scheme place at the NICE conference (an opportunity I’d recommend – read more here). There we linked up with the North West People in Research Forum who are doing great work supporting patient and public involvement and public engagement in health and social care research in the region. More recently we’ve been in touch with Salford Professional Development to support their work with other health and academic organisations.
The DMF’s success relies on the fact that not only can we inform, advise and resolve issues covering a vast range of topics, but that where we can't, we know the people who can. And that’s what prompted me to write this blog. In 2014 we are looking to celebrate even more of the excellent practice that does exist in health and social care, and to promote further sources of advice and support for our members and other stakeholders. So if you have a story, event or initiative that would be of interest to DMF’s networks: we would like to feature it on our website. Please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.
As the voluntary sector together we create a lot of benefits for the disadvantaged 'portion' of the population. Let’s all shout about it.
Peter Lyne is National Vice-President of the Disabled Motorists Federation.
To get in touch with Peter e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org