One of the biggest challenges for any charity is how to capture the impact of its services on the lives of individuals.
One of the best demonstrations of a charity's impact is to ask the people who use those services to explain the difference your organisation makes to their lives.
3 things you need to know about Kingston's lead agency for disability before we start...
- First - the Kingston Centre for Independent Living (KCIL) provides support services for disabled people in Kingston, giving them choice and control to live their lives the way they want to.
- Second - it is a user led organisation providing information, advice, support and services for people with disabilities, including personal budget support planning / assistance with direct payments / support with being an employer / holiday grants / general benefits advice and signposting.
- And third as a user-led organisation, disabled people make up the majority of the staff team, volunteers, membership and Trustee Board.
"KCIL seeks to ensure that all disabled people across the Royal Borough of Kingston live as independently as they choose."
As part of its commitment to raise the profile and issues of people who have a disability and live in Kingston, KCIL's managment team decided that to include as many of its members who were able to come, it needed to have a large, exciting and accessible venue to host the annual conference event. Then they needed a range of expert speakers to inspire, challenge and motivate their audience.
Capturing voices with the help of Superhighways
- marketing communicaitons,
- social media coverage
- capturing the thoughts and view of their audience
- curating a round up of the day
Recording experiences with Audioboom
The following short interviews were taken on the day with help from Philippa.
Curating the story using Storify
Below is a flavour of KCIL's second annual conference - Living with Disabilities - Aiming High.
Superhighways curated photos, multimedia and conversations from the conference using a free online tool called Storify. Storify could easily pull in content from common social media like Twitter Flickr, Instagram and Facebook.
Sadly Storify is no longer available. However a new tool called Wakelet does the same thing. And it's free.
Lisa Ehlers, CEO , KCIL
We decided to arrange this conference as an opportunity for people to speak up about their experiences and to inspire them to aim high, whether through work, campaigning or trying new activities. We hope this conference inspires you. But before we started the day we had a great treat lined up for everyone - a new style meet and greet.
Setting your life goals
Our conference this year focuses on 'Aiming High' and KCIL would like to hear of your goals and achievements.
For some it is a struggle to achieve daily life goals and this is as important and exciting as climbing mountains.
I made my first hot drink at the age of thirty!
Barriers were huge but the reward great (and delicious) In life we do not always achieve our goals but the importance lies in our trying.
I have not reached all of my goals but I never stop trying, and you won't either, the more so when you attend and become inspired at this year's conference.
Ann Macfarlane OBE
Souleyman Bah, Keynote Speaker - Aiming High
Everyone was delighted with Soulyman's key note speech to open our conference. Former Holyfield School student, visually impaired Soulyman is a Team GB Paralympic Sprinter and World Junior Gold Medalist 100 m. He spoke to us about his life and what drives him.
His message was clear - "It is all about finding a purpose. You need to create your purpose in life and then then you need to start living it. It really doesnt matter what you choose as long as you have a goal to shoot for, then you have a purpose to live for".
"Remember an obstacle is a stepping stone in disguise and you can only truly find yourself, when you have lost yourself."
The Disability Rights Movement in Kingston - fighting for our rights
Jen Kavanagh KCIL's Oral History Project Manager gave the conference an overview of this Big Lottery funded project to collect stories and document the role disabled people in Kingston played in the Disability Rights Movement from the 60s to the late 90s.
"Much of the research , writing and media input continues to be about us rather than with us or disabled people talking control of their life stories" - Ann Macfarlan
There will be a Grand Opening event at the Queen Elizabeth II Performing Arts Centre in Kingston to showcase this important local history as well as exhibitions at Kingston Museum and at local libraries.
Making It Work - Sarah Mallick, Inclusion London
Listening to Our Members
KCIL has had a busy an challenging year and we have had success because the Board, Staff and Volunteers have aimed high. After working for weeks on a bid to ensure the best possible outcome for the Self-Directed Support Scheme and, after weeks of an agonizing wait, we were awarded the contract.
Those of you who receive Direct Payments have told KCIL how you feel supported as your lives change and that you have more choice and control over who supports you to gain independence and achieve your life goals.
Direct Payments - Your Choice
Big thanks to director/producer in Disability TV and former Director of the Centre for Independent Living in Ealing, Sian Vasey, for this great film that explains the benefits of using your direct payments to employ a personal assistant
“Direct payments give you freedom to live your life as you want. You don't have to sit in and wait for the district nurse arriving at 6.30 am”
KCIL NOW FUNDS 3 TYPES OF GRANTS
Holiday, Equipment and Educational
In 2016 Kingston Council stopped funding KCIL to support disabled people for holidays.
KCIL trustees decided to use some of its reserves to provide a fund - not only to help people enjoy a holiday but to have opportunities to gain further adult education qualifications and, where vital, to have help towards equipment not funded by health and social care.
KCIL is seeking other external funding so that the grants scheme becomes sustainable.
David Ashley from Mark Bates Ltd will guide you through being an employer on Direct Payments, employers' legal obligations, and statutory employments rights
Everyone Can Dance - Claire Tracey, The Dance Factory
This is a great opportunity to try a taster session in Wheelchair Dancing and is suitable for EVERYONE
Starting Your Own Business - David Randall, MMA.
David leads this workshop discussion on the opportunities and pitfalls of working for yourself and./or growing a start up.
How to Appeal Your PIP or ESA Decision - Malcolm Johnson, BL Claims
Malcolm Johnson, Senior Associate at BL Claims, and former chair of KCIL, discusses the whys and wherefores of how to appeal against both PIP and ESA decisions
Feedback - a picture says it all