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Annual Report 2016 — 2017

Our Mission and Vision Our Mission is… To be the leading voluntary organisation in the North West providing advice and information about assistive technology (equipment and products) to help disabled and older people make more informed choices which enables easier, safer and more independent living. Our Vision is… To work for a society where disabled people and their families and carers can achieve optimum independence and self determination.

President’s Message The UK is blessed with a caring, generous and public spirited society. My experiences as High Sheriff of Greater Manchester are more than confirming that fact. During the last six months, I have visited and been introduced to many individuals, voluntary groups, charities, civic, faith and ethnic organisations who are doing such admirable and essential work in the community. I am proud to say that our own Disabled Living is an exemplar of these values and achievements, not only that but we have been doing it for 120 years! Obviously our staff and volunteers have changed over the years, but have always had the same ethos of making a difference, working together and supporting disabled people, their carers and their families. In the early days the charity formerly known as ‘The Band of Kindness’ was renamed the 'Crippled Children's Help Society’ and gave Christmas hampers to disabled children. These were distributed annually by the Lord Mayor of Manchester at the Town Hall. The basement of Manchester Art Gallery was used as a packing station. In 1904, 520 hampers were distributed and by the early 1950’s this rose to over 2,000. The charity from 1905 for many years organised a Motor Ride for children with disabilities. The parade started at the Town Hall and the Mayor and Mayoress waved the children off on their day out. Now, many decades later we provide advice, solutions and up to the minute technology, with a much appreciated personal touch. We applied for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help us to celebrate our milestone anniversary. This was successfully obtained because it was recognised that Disabled Living is an integral part of the social history of Greater Manchester and the changes and developments in the services we provide reflect the changes in the needs of our community and beyond. The good work that the Board, the Management Team, the staff and the volunteers are doing mean that Disabled Living remains part of the very fabric of Manchester society. Thank you to everyone who has added their own personal touch to that illustrious history and will continue to do so in the future. Congratulations ...........and here's to the next 120 years! Kui Man Gerry Yeung OBE DL, High Sheriff of Greater Manchester - President

Chairman's Message Last year I was extremely proud and delighted to announce Disabled Living was due to celebrate its 120th birthday. Several events have been planned and others have already been held, including a 1940’s tea dance for people with dementia. Over the coming months, many more celebrations are planned and I hope you will be able to follow the events either on our website, local press or even participate yourself. Our very special birthday would not have been possible without a phenomenal amount of challenging work by Debra Evans and her fantastic team. I cannot thank all of them enough for the hours spent searching through the archives, discovering many hidden treasures and compiling a fascinating picture of the changes the ‘Band of Kindness’ founded in 1897, has experienced through to the organisation Disabled Living is today. Perhaps the biggest thank you however should go to the users of our service, past employees and in particular, a Mr Valentine whose mother worked for Disabled Living in the 1970s. He was able to provide boxes of photographs and memorabilia found in his mother’s attic after she sadly passed away. Without his help, and the help of others, providing photographs of the trips to North Wales, the donkey rides, or simply sharing their memories with us, our birthday celebrations would not have been possible. We now have a comprehensive, fascinating history of Disabled Living, which we plan to share over the next twelve months and beyond. I would ask you all to “spread the word” wherever you are able. The more people who are aware of our work and expertise, the better placed we will be to celebrate birthdays for many years to come. Of course, whilst arrangements for the 120th year birthday celebrations took a substantial amount of time and effort, it was vitally important our core services did not suffer or deteriorate. Our services continue to provide exemplary advice, user numbers have increased and the Kidz to Adultz exhibitions continue to attract more visitors, with excellent feedback from the exhibitors. The re-branding of PromoCon to Bladder and Bowel UK has been a great success and seen increased awareness of this very important area of our work. Whilst achieving our charitable objectives is key, the financial position of the organisation must remain strong. Our annual accounts again show a surplus for the year and our 2017/18 forecasts anticipate another strong financial year ahead of us. Finally, I must again thank all the Trustees who have given their time and expertise to Disabled Living. We have been able to recruit a number of new trustees over the last twelve months and I hope they will enjoy being a part of the future success anticipated for Disabled Living.

Dean Styger FCMA - Chairman

Chief Executive’s Report Disabled Living’s services continue to be in high demand as waiting lists for equipment assessments show no sign of improving. Many statutory sector services are providing online assessment tools in order to attempt to reduce waiting lists. However, this option does have its limitations, and clients who have used the systems suggest they are time consuming, impersonal and therefore have not completed the process. As a result, this year we have noticed people accessing our helpline services from a wider geographical area suggesting the personal one-to-one service for which Disabled Living has an excellent reputation is favoured. Our clients emphasise the importance of being able to talk through their mobility, health or independent living needs with our highly experienced staff, who offer practical solutions alongside quality information and advice enabling people to make informed choices. The team have noticed a significant increase in requests for advice and information on specialised equipment for complex needs. There is no doubt this is due to their vast knowledge of the equipment available in the UK and also their awareness of the diverse funding streams which may be available to assist in the purchase of this expensive assistive technology. During the early part of this financial year I considered how we should celebrate Disabled Living’s 120 year heritage in 2017. After consultation with the team, we embarked on a process of submitting an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which, if successful would incorporate the teams’ suggestions into a year long project. In addition, it would ensure Disabled Living would preserve archive material for many years to come with the support of volunteers. As I write this report I have been notified that Disabled Living has been awarded a HLF grant of £58,400. Investment has been made this year in several fledgling projects to make information more accessible, raise our profile and make our services and processes more efficient. We have considered the skill mix of our team, invested in staff training and where there were obvious skills gaps we have recruited additional staff. This work will support Disabled Living’s long term strategic vision to be innovative in service and business development. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff, Trustees and volunteers for their support throughout the year. Debra Evans, Chief Executive

Equipz Equipz is Disabled Living’s service which provides occupational therapy, environmental and assistive technology assessments, together with information and advice relating to equipment and services. Our team comprises, occupational therapists, moving and handling specialists, physiotherapists, nurses, trusted assessors and knowledgeable information co-ordinators. The team respond to enquiries from people throughout the UK primarily via the helpline, and provide free equipment assessments for people who can visit the Disabled Living Centre. Our services are accessed by the general public, professionals and commercial colleagues.

the visit. Many indicated they had re-arranged work schedules or taken annual leave in order to visit the Disabled Living Centre. All were impressed by the range of equipment available at our Centre of Excellence for Assistive Technology and highlighted the importance of having a personal service with almost immediate access to additional information.

This information is important to the team as we plan how to develop our services for the future. The team are currently working with representatives from Manchester Metropolitan University on a project to consider how to provide an alternative assessment process for equipment. The team have provided practical solutions, advice and assessments to over 4,000 people throughout the year. The range of people who contact the Equipz team is quite broad — individuals, family members, professionals, organisations and people from the commercial world. 82% of calls about an individual were initiated by a relative, with 94 % of people who visit the Disabled Living Centre for an assessment being accompanied by a family member or carer. When we evaluated the statistics further, a significant number of the relatives who first contacted the service had initially accessed information via the website. This highlights the importance we place on developing this resource. We were also interested to know, especially for those who visited the Centre, if their relatives were working and had to arrange time off work for

The teams’ services are in demand from the commercial sector to provide expertise in the development of new assistive technology. This may be an individual who thinks they have a good idea for a new product and are looking to take the next step or to quite complex projects involving companies and universities who are well established in this market.

There have been a number of new contracts this year which include the occupational therapists providing services two days a week to the students of Langdon College, Salford to support them to develop independent living skills. Another contract is to provide access audits for ATOS to ensure their buildings on the south coast of England are fully accessible for undertaking PIP assessments.

Bladder & Bowel UK Bladder and Bowel UK is the new name for Disabled Living’s service which supports people with bladder and bowel problems. Formally known as PromoCon, the service was re-branded in November 2016. The decision to rebrand was necessary and timely. The PromoCon service had been established for 21 years, and with an excellent reputation continues to develop rapidly. However, people over the years had suggested, the name PromoCon was not instantly recognisable as a service which would support people with bladder and bowel problems, therefore a change in name had been discussed many times. Unexpectedly, earlier in the year, a national charity which only supported adults with continence problems, The Bladder and Bowel Foundation went into liquidation, providing Disabled Living with an opportunity to develop a new identity for our service. Bladder and Bowel UK, as PromoCon before it, is the only UK charitable service providing advice and information from specialist nurses and knowledgeable information co-ordinators for adults, children and young people with bladder and bowel problems, the professionals who support them and commercial colleagues. The number of requests for information and advice increase year on year and this year was no exception. Following the collapse of the Bladder and Bowel Foundation calls to the helpline increased by 98%, putting an enormous strain on our resources. However, by renegotiating timeframes on other contracts the team were able to ensure the increased volume of callers were given priority.

The team are recognised nationally and internationally for their expertise and provide a valuable perspective to a wide range of organisations who strive to develop best practice to support adults and children with bladder and bowel problems. These are the organisations who do make a change to the services we receive on a day to day basis and include NICE, Scottish Medicines Consortium, NHS England, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Continence Care, and National Council for Child Health and Wellbeing.

To support our professional colleagues with their CPD, the team provide a wide range of training tailored to meet the requirements of commissioning services. In addition, we deliver three annual training events which attract professionals from all over the country. The paediatric and bowel special interest groups, together with the annual symposium provide our audience with the calibre of speakers you would attract at national and international conferences. This year the team have initiated or been involved with many exciting projects which have included the Implementation of the ‘Excellence in Continence Care’ document produced by NHS England, sitting on the panel of the SBRI group which awards government funding to develop new and innovative products across the NHS economy and a project to ‘Cost a Child’s Journey’ – comparing effective and non effective services with NHS England and Commissioning for Value.

Training The team provide training throughout the UK to professionals and commercial colleagues who primarily work in the health, social care and education arena. In addition, we provide a number of free training courses for carers at the Disabled Living Centre. This year we have provided training to 3816 delegates. Last year we reported a decline in the number of people attending non-mandatory training courses. Following evaluation, we totally reassessed our core training programme and have embarked on a strategy to deliver more of the mandatory and accredited training courses for which Disabled Living has an excellent reputation. This year we embarked on the process to ensure all our courses are CPD accredited. With the complete re-design of the Disabled Living Training Diary, we are focusing on Trusted Assessor and our core range of Moving and Handling courses which include 5 Day Moving and Handling, Moving and Handling Refreshers, Moving and Handling Children and Risk Assessment courses. In addition, we have further developed many of our courses to offer more practical elements, these include Single Handed

Care and Moving and Handling Behaviours that Challenge. We are delighted to continue to provide training to the statutory sector for which we have long standing contracts and welcome the opportunity to work with many new organisations to develop bespoke training programmes such as the Pilkington Glass Family Trust. We were pleased to receive a commission from ATOS, who we have worked with previously to develop a series of nine one hour training modules which they could deliver in-house on a range of issues related to disability and long term conditions. There has been a noticeable increase this year in requests for training from educational establishments, PA training and continence related courses. New to this year’s training diary is the introduction of monthly ‘Lunch & Learn’ sessions. A two hour educational seminar provided by a company at the Disabled Living Centre, free for people to attend, with the company providing a nice lunch! These have been well attended with the companies now booking for next year.

Developing new training courses, delivered by experts in the field through an engaging programme is always a challenge. The team are innovative, knowledgeable and well connected and have fresh ideas for the coming year.

Kidz to Adultz Exhibitions The Kidz team have had an incredibly busy year with the introduction of a new exhibition, Kidz to Adultz Wales. The event, eventually took place in Cardiff in July after four years of trying to find an accessible venue which was large enough to accommodate the number of anticipated visitors. The day was a tremendous success with over 1,000 people attending. Kidz to Adultz Wales now completes the portfolio of the five exhibitions we wanted to achieve.

This year we welcomed 12,345 visitors and 607 exhibitors to our events. Many of our commercial and third sector colleagues attend all five events, making them collectively the largest exhibitions in the UK, totally dedicated to disabled children and young adults, those with additional needs, their parents, carers and the professionals who support them. To support the continuing professional development of our colleagues, we provide an excellent diverse seminar programme with speakers who are experts in their field. All the seminars are CPD accredited, with 4107 people attending this year.

As statutory sector services reduce their budgets, there is an increasing requirement for financial support to purchase equipment. At all of the Kidz to Adultz exhibitions we have an area specifically dedicated to charitable organisations who provide grant funding for equipment, adaptations, holidays, respite breaks and much more.

Unlike many other exhibitions, once the exhibition has ended that is it until the next event; however, this is not the case with the Kidz to Adultz services provided by Disabled Living. Our visitors are encouraged to contact us via the helpline if they require advice, which they do. This provides an opportunity for ongoing dialogue to ensure we provide events totally tailored to our audience.

Redbank House Redbank House Health and Social Care Hub continues to attract new clients to our vibrant, accessible training and meeting room facilities, just north of Manchester city centre. Of the 10,994 people who we welcomed through our doors this year, many return on a regular basis from organisations located around the UK, for what they consider is a warm welcome with excellent customer service. ‘Redbank House is one of my favourite venues and it has fantastic facilities. There’s lots of space, it’s clean, efficient, and the staff are very friendly’ Mel Thornton, In-Trac Training ‘Redbank House offers excellent facilities to deliver training. Professional and friendly staff.’ Marie Agnew – Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust The staff are always friendly, helpful and attentive to our needs – and always did their best to accommodate us last minute. Excellent service and facilities! Judith Sherratt – Innovation Group plc This year we have been delighted to welcome new organisations to our excellent training facilities at Redbank House which include Greater Manchester West Mental Health FT, YO Sushi!, Nandos, Healthier Futures, Pizza Hut, Ryman Stationers and Uniglobe.

This year we provided 2759 sessions for our clients. The multi-sensory rooms at Redbank House are considered unique, as clients do not have to share the large, fully accessible facilities with other people, ensuring a quality sensory experience tailored to suit specific needs. This year we have noticed an increase in people with complex disabilities visiting the facilities, with their carers or PA’s highlighting the lack of suitable activities. In addition, the number of clients with Autism has increased. Some of these clients may have two or three support workers with them as their behaviour can be significantly challenging. For these clients, their visits to the Redbank House multi-sensory rooms have an unbelievable calming effect with many totally relaxed or sleeping. Although the rooms already offer a wide range of sensory equipment, our aim is to provide additional stimulation for our visitors. I am pleased to report the team have been successful in attracting £4,400 funding from several Charitable Trusts for new equipment. The Paphitis Chaitable Trust Leeds Building Society Skelton Bounty The Michael & Anna Wix Charitable Trust Thousandth Man Charitable Trust We are delighted to continue to share our premises with Outreach Community & Residential Services and Eg (Training) Ltd. We have one office space available, which we will continue to market next year.

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Business There has been significant investment in IT this year. We have launched four websites – Disabled Living, Bladder and Bowel UK, Kidz to Adultz Exhibitions and Redbank House which interlink, enabling the team to monitor individual activity on each site. This also provides the opportunity to increase website advertising revenue, which the companies and organisations we work with have expressed a preference to be able to market products and services to a more targeted audience. The Disabled Living Supplier Directory, which lists companies and organisations providing equipment and services to support our clients to make informed choices continues to develop rapidly. This resource has been totally redesigned and has the capability to hold multiple brochures within each company page. As we move forward with this aspect of our development, it will enable individuals and our team to download the most up to date brochures and not store hard copies. Professionals in the health and social care sector consider this a real advantage as they move to paperless systems in their work environment. They know by accessing the Disabled Living Supplier Directory they can get all the information they require from one place.

Our work to develop and merge the databases continues. With over 92,000 contacts, we can reach a wide range of people throughout the UK. We keep them informed of developments within

Disabled Livings services and provide other relevant information through our monthly newsletters. The design of our newsletter was also improved this year, making it easier to read online and more appealing. This year there has been a significant increase in social media activity throughout the organisation, especially through the Kidz and Redbank services. The regular posting of blogs is drawing more attention to Disabled Living as an organisation. All the activity is evaluated regularly to ensure the investment in resources is supporting income generation and service development.

There is an abundance of business opportunities, as the market we work within continues to expand. It is a very exciting time and we need to be sure the team have the skills required to take the business forward. This year, we have engaged the services of Tangent Training to develop a series of workshops for the team, enabling them to consider their part in the strategic vision for Disabled Living services. The Trustees and I are fully committed to a staff training programme.

Finance Whilst at first glance it would appear that income reduced this year compared to the previous year, 2016 saw the receipt of extraordinary legacy income of over £329,000. If we disregard legacy income, which although extremely welcome cannot be guaranteed, then income from all other sources increased by almost 9%. It is particularly pleasing to note that income from commercial trading activities such as exhibitions and training increased by almost 15% to £843,509, an excellent result in the face on continuing economic uncertainties and public spending cuts. This enabled Disabled Living to increase its spending on charitable activities by over 10%, endorsing its strategy to invest financial resources in services that will generate the most income, to ensure we can deliver our charitable services and achieve our objectives. I am therefore delighted to report that a surplus of over £44,000 was achieved and net worth increased to over £1.678M. Whilst the majority of this figure is seen in the value of the building and other fixed assets, it is satisfying to note that a healthy cash balance is maintained which stood at over £217,000 at the year-end and serves to reduce the financial risks faced by Disabled Living as cashflow improves. The challenge again for the current financial year is to build on our excellent reputation, assisted by publicity surrounding the anniversary celebrations, to continue to grow all income streams and ensure costs are controlled. Paula Brown FIFS – Honorary Treasurer

Surplus/ Deficit Record £500,000.00 £393,521.00




£234,620.00 £172,700.00



£100,000.00 £108,500.00


£0.00 £5,772.00 -£100,000.00

-£32,870.00 -£68,300.00

-£200,000.00 -£300,000.00 -£400,000.00 2007-08











This is an extract from the full accounts, please contact Disabled Living for a full copy, if required.


This is an extract from the full accounts, please contact Disabled Living for a full copy, if required.

Volunteers Right back to when our organisation was founded in 1897 as the ‘Band of Kindness’, volunteers have been instrumental in supporting the development of our services. When the charity changed its name in 1903 to ‘The Crippled Children’s Help Society’, a voluntary Lady Superintendent and her team of voluntary Visitors spent their time visiting and registering ‘necessitous cases’ and ensuring they were brought to the attention of the proper authorities to receive services. As the services developed, volunteers helped pack Christmas Hampers for children and in 1905 the Committee of Manchester Motorists organised the first motor trip for disabled children from Manchester Town Hall to Warburton.

Over the last 120 years our clients have benefited from the dedication of numerous volunteers who have undertaken roles as carers on holidays and outings, teaching crafts, helping out at events and providing administrative support. The League of Jewish Women initially worked with the charity in the 1940’s and still helping us today – although maybe not the same ladies!

This year there has been a significant increase in the number of volunteers supporting the delivery of our services. The loyal volunteers who came to Disabled Living as a legacy of the Commonwealth Games in 2002, former employees and more recently volunteers from Deloitte LLP in Cardiff and Royal Bank of Scotland employees from around the UK. It is essential to acknowledge the important role of our Trustees who are also volunteers, in sharing their expertise and knowledge to support the strategic direction for Disabled Living.

As we move forward with the Heritage project, ‘From Donkeys to Innovators: 120 years of Disabled Living’ we are now recruiting volunteers to help with digitalising the charity’s archives. We look forward to the next chapter. Thank you to all the people who have volunteered their services over the years.

Partnerships Disabled Living have long-term partnerships with a range of organisations and we are keen to develop these further. At the Disabled Living Centre we continue to work within the tri-partnership. We have been working with Ableworld for over twelve months and really noticed an increase in returning customers to the store, suggesting some people are purchasing equipment instead of contacting statutory sector services in the first instance.

Our colleagues at Salford City Council have now transferred to Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and our partnership continues to flourish, as we work closely to provide options to reduce the ever increasing waiting lists. Nationally, there is ‘prevention agenda’ to consider how to offer services which are pro-active, reducing the need for crisis services. Working within the tripartnership arrangement, we can suggest cost effective practical suggestions to improve independence and quality of life. This year, the Salford team have increased their use of the Equipment Showroom in the Disabled Living Centre to provide independent living assessments. Our Occupational Therapists are contracted by the Council to provide assessments for Blue Badges.

The partnership between Bladder and Bowel UK and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust continues to provide a wide range of benefits for both organisations. It is important for our specialist nurses to further develop their clinical skills and this partnership with the Healthy Bowel Clinic offers that opportunity. In addition, the wider team, of consultants and other expert clinicians have delivered excellent and thought - provoking seminar sessions at our symposium and special interest days. For the team at South Manchester, they have access to a wider range of services to offer their patients, due to Disabled Living’s extended networks.

This year we have formed a number of new partnerships with colleagues from the commercial and academic sectors. These include providing clinical input into the development of new products, delivering helpline services and recruiting people to participate in research studies.

Year Ahead The year ahead will be an exciting one for Disabled Living. We will commence our celebrations with a 1940’s tea dance for people with dementia and their carers. This nostalgic event will be held at Redbank House and we will create an environment to trigger memories. Our staff will dress in clothing from the era and we will provide live entertainment and a very nice afternoon tea! It is anticipated the event will be an opportunity for relatives and carers to identify resources to support them.

The projects we will deliver as a result of the HLF grant include a permanent display at Redbank House showcasing the charities history. An event in Marple to highlight the services of the children’s orthopaedic hospital and an exhibition in North Wales to showcase the work achieved at the holiday homes, White Heather in Old Colwyn and Tan-Y-Bryn in Abergele. We will make a number of short films about our past services with people who benefited from them, together with a film made by young people who currently access Disabled Living’s Resources.

It is the intention this year to concentrate on further developing our websites and IT processes, which are essential as we have identified the vast majority of people initially, access our resources via this route. We have many existing services, which we intend to evaluate and re-develop if necessary, which will improve the quality of our services to our stakeholders. We will develop new partnerships to provide online retail and delivery services, supported by clinical and trusted advice. We will explore funding options to support the further development of the project with Manchester Metropolitan University to explore options for alternative equipment assessments.

The staff and I are very much looking forward to the year ahead and welcome any suggestions on how you consider we could improve our services.

1897—The Band of Kindness & The Children’s Help Society 1903—The Crippled Children’s Help Society

1939—Cripples Help Society 1985—Disabled Living Services 1993—Disabled Living

Throughout the year we have been supported by many friends and colleagues too numerous to mention; but a special thank you must go to:

Disabled Living would like to acknowledge the following, who very kindly specified a bequest to the organisation in their wills:

Arthur Patchett—Autumn UK


B Braun

P Webster

Marjorie Page

CDR Rose

P Robinson

Dorothy Emily Pritchard


R82 UK Ltd

Disabled Living Volunteers (too numerous to mention)

Royal Bank of Scotland Employees

Ferring Pharmaceuticals

Ruth Diamond

Nicholas Guy Henshall

Ford & Barley Exhibitions

Sir John Sumners Trust

Bernard Leyden

GTC Management

Skelton Bounty

Health & Social Care Students—St Ambrose Barlow RC Sixth Form, Swinton

Slater and Gordon Solicitors

Helen Larkin MBE.DSG.DL

The Co-operative Bank employees

J.C Backhouse

The Co-operative Bank

K Evans

The Michael & Anna Wix Charitable Trust

League of Jewish Women

The Paphitis Charitable Trust

Leeds Building Society

Thousandth Man Charitable Trust

Lloyd Piggott Ltd

Maureen Joan Ansell

Roger Evans Jones Marian Elsie Kinley Ethel Madge Pursglove Alan Harper

Donald Gratton Thomas Elizabeth Acton Joan Keane Norman Robert Taylor

Lorraine Worsley-Carter Manchester District Iron, Steel & Allied Trade Bowling Club Disabled Living, Burrows House, 10 Priestley Rd, Wardley Industrial Estate, Worsley, Manchester, M28 2LY Tel: 0161 607 8200 Fax: 0161 607 8201 Email: Website: Established in 1897, Disabled Living is a Registered Charity No 224742

Disabled Living Annual Report 2016-2017  

Read Disabled Living's Annual Report for 2016-2017.

Disabled Living Annual Report 2016-2017  

Read Disabled Living's Annual Report for 2016-2017.