The West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL), Bristol
WECIL is an organisation run by and for disabled people in Bristol and the surrounding area. They provide innovative services that aim to empower disabled people, giving them the opportunity to gain choice and control over their lives.
One of their pioneering services is a peer support project that provides information and advice for disabled people on everything from managing benefits and accessing services to social activities.
The advice is provided by peer support volunteers – disabled people who have been trained to provide advice and guidance. This means the advice is delivered by a friendly face and is shaped by the adviser’s own practical experiences, tips and tricks for leading a more independent life.
Bristol Community Transport provides accessible transport for the project’s regular social activities, which focus on taking disabled people to the events and places they want to go, but where there are barriers to access if travelling alone.
‘The journey there can be one of the biggest barriers that disabled people face when they want to lead independent lives,’ explains Anna Wheeler, Peer Support Coordinator at WECIL. ‘For many, these events are their only opportunity to have a social life.’
‘Travelling together means we can provide a safe and supportive environment that provides an opportunity for peer support – it’s a real part of the social event. All the Bristol Community Transport staff – from those answering the phone and organising the transport to the drivers themselves – are capable, competent, welcoming and best of all adaptable – helping to meet our often complex access needs.’Content goes here