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BASIS 2 - MDF in the Region (MDF0673)

BASIS 2 - MDF in the Region

MDF has long been active in forums and policy representations at the level of the North West Region, and a new programme of work for the NW, financed by the Big Lottery’s BASIS 2 fund starts on 1/10/09.

In the NW region the support available to help voluntary disability groups, and the extent to which they have a route to influence decision-makers, varies between different areas. MDF will manage a new North West Disability Infrastructure Partnership, bringing together "umbrella bodies" from all parts of the NW to strengthen support and to help improve representation.

Other partners include Access Lancashire, Breakthrough UK (for Manchester), Cumbria Disability Network, Macclesfield and District Disability Information Bureau (for Cheshire) and Warrington Disability Partnership. Two new staff members will be appointed, initially to map the sector and then to travel widely to help share information, ideas and resources and to create the knowledge and skills to address any gaps.

After the initial mapping of the existing situation, the partners will be able to identify best practice for sharing and any gaps in provision that need to be filled. Then detailed delivery plans (including specifications for pieces of work to be commissioned) will be drawn up and costed.

The main objectives of the work are:

  • to equip disability organisations, and the infrastructure organisations that support them, with information about gaps in provision and about barriers to accessing support.
  • to develop training and give advice on providing accessible infrastructure services
  • yo share good practice and ideas for working across the counties of the North West to strengthen all partners by operating a number of NWDIP meetings and Partnership Development days each year
  • to develop a strategic approach to ensuring the needs of frontline groups can inform policies. This will be by increasing representation at local, sub-regional and regional level

These four objectives will principally benefit:

  • disability organisations: ensuring that they can access the information, advice and guidance that they need to serve their community of interest
  • organisations providing generic and specialist support: increasing their skills and knowledge on accessibility in all its forms
  • partners within the NWDIP: providing a collaborative mechanism to meet the demands of an ever more complex arena of work in both an efficient and effective manner
  • partners in both the statutory and voluntary sectors: providing a regional structure for contact with disability organisations

September, 2009 - MDF0673