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Capacity to Engage - C2E (MDF0679)

End of Capacity to Engage project

Our Capacity to Engage project (in partnership with Neurosupport) came to and end in June, 2009.  We held a celebration, at LACE, of the achievements of C2E and the people who worked for it - an event that ended in an energetic Bollywood-style dancing workshop

The C2E project - funded by the Big Lottery - was designed to help bring together people from BRM/BME communities (and other new arrivals to Merseyside from abroad) with existing local groups of and for disabled people. The aim was to help voluntary groups realise the issues and barriers facing BRM communities, and for those communities to fully appreciate the range of support for disabled people that already exists in Merseyside.

At the celebratory event (on 15/6/09) a number of speakers explained what the C2E project had meant to them.

Maureen Kelly from Neurosupport spoke of the background to the project - including Neurosupport’s previous findings: that specialist services available to people with Neurological conditions were not reaching people in BRM communities who would benefit from them. There was logic in working with MDF which wanted voluntary groups to understand how they could reach out to people. In some cases recently-arrived groups had little previous experience of an active voluntary sector and what it could achieve for them. Though the C2E programme was closing, both groups would be looking to carry forward these types of activities in other ways.

Speakers from two voluntary groups (Advocacy Experience and Moving on with Life and Learning) explained the help that C2E had given in extending their services, while volunteers described their personal journeys.

A volunteer from the Somali community explained how volunteering with C2E had helped her to re-gain her confidence, and another volunteer - one of the first to join - told the audience how she was now about to complete qualifications in British Sign Language and NVQs in child care.

Karen Bellion (the final Volunteer Co-ordinator for the project) pointed out that many of the BRM volunteers were trained people (doctors, teachers and other graduates), whose skills were brought into use by C2E as part of their activities with Merseyside groups.

The end of the day - and the end of the programme - was marked by a dance workshop in Bollywood-style. This started in a deceptively-calm manner but by the end had most of the attendees in a whirl (or at least in a slow spin)

September 2009 - MDF0679