Advocacy & Capacity-Building

Creating A Disability Hub and Maintaining Services During COVID-19

The Disability Hub, set up by Stepping Forward, is a building and a resource offering support and advice on a range of issues related to disability, as well as a place for people to connect and create community. Whilst online information is vital and can be accessible, our experience is that a physical community of shared interest remains a vital source of information and support and can play a transformative role in the lives of people living with disabilities.

Contact us if you would like to visit or use the building, government guidelines permitting. We are offering hot-desking opportunities for organisations – as well as meeting space at no cost or low cost to the voluntary sector.  Local disability charities and groups who may be continuing to work from home but need occasional office space or meeting rooms in the future are encouraged to get in touch.

In response to many small and micro-organisations now facing closure due to funding difficulties, Stepping Forward is offering support with funding applications, with the aim of maintaining essential support and services. In 2020 we helped 6 organisations secure grants for essential services for disabled people. Contact us at info@stepping-forward.org.uk to arrange a phone discussion.

Disability Advice & Support Service: Support For Individuals & Families

Stepping Forward currently supports individuals and families who are struggling to access services and support. Our work has succeeded in securing:

  • Support with DLA and PIP applications
  • Essential equipment for home and school
  • Personal grants.

We are able to directly support people in Berkshire with the DLA and PIP application process and to access other essential resources and support. We are running one-to-one Advice Clinics where we identify support for the resource needs that will enable individuals to live as full a life as possible. This includes making applications to a range of trusts and foundations for support for specific areas of need, including wheelchairs, specialist equipment. We know that the right support at the right time can help enormously – whether it be to increase mobility, to purchase essential equipment or to secure much-needed holidays and breaks. If you are outside Berkshire we may still be able to offer some support so do get in touch if you think that we may be able to assist.

Contact us at info@stepping-forward.org.uk if you would like to know more.

We are grateful to our funders for supporting this work, including the Postcode Neighbourhood Trust.

Support For Organisations

Stepping Forward assists with capacity-building and resource-mobilisation for organisations, including the setting up of parent groups and voluntary organisations focusing on the rights of disabled people in the UK. Work includes the development of organisational strategies, campaigning and project development.

At a time of funding cuts impacting services, and many disability organisations considering closure, we offer support with resource mobilisation to protect essential services for people with disabilities.

In Reading we work with Berkshire Phab, Reading Mencap, Parenting Special Children, The Engine Shed, Berkshire MS Therapy Centre, and Autism Berkshire on joint events (eg the Winter Ball), bringing local disability organisations together for mutual support, networking and raising awareness.