£149,946 for new National Lottery funded research project in Wales led by disabled people

Barod Community Interest Company of Camarthen has been awarded £149,946 as part of a £5 million National Lottery funded research programme into independent living for disabled people.

'The Bridge: Changing attitudes and communities by turning skills and experience into earnings for self-advocacy organisations and self-advocates' will benefit those who identify as people with learning disabilities and who are members of self-advocacy organisations.

The two year pilot project is led by Barod in collaboration with Social Firms Wales and three self-advocacy organisations led by people with learning disabilities: Carmarthenshire People First, My Life My Choice, and People First Dorset. The project is about finding solutions and specific routes into sustainable income generation and employment for people with learning disabilities.

The project is aware of the Welsh Government's new national strategy "Prosperity for All" for a more prosperous Wales and is focusing on the low levels of employment of people with learning difficulties and the increasing rate of closure of self-advocacy organisations in England and Wales due to lack of funding.

This project will improve practices around employment support, business support, procurement by all sectors and self-advocacy organisations. It's been awarded funding from the DRILL (Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning) programme, a five year scheme launched in 2015 led by disabled people and funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Managed by Barod, the project will be led by disabled people or people with long term health conditions, who will be working alongside academics and policy makers.

Rhian Davies, Chief Executive of Disability Wales said: "I am delighted at Barod's success in securing funding following a highly competitive second call for proposals. Their project is a welcome addition to Wales' portfolio of four DRILL funded research initiatives.

"Barod is a rare example of a company where people with learning difficulties are co-directors and directly involved in running the business. Their project will provide invaluable research regarding how more people with learning difficulties and self-advocacy organisations can earn their living and generate income by utilising their considerable skills and experience."

Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning

Launched in 2015, the DRILL programme is fully funded by the Big Lottery Fund and delivered by Disability Rights UK, Disability Action Northern Ireland, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales. DRILL is funding more than 30 research and pilot projects over a 5 year period, all led by disabled people.

For further more information on DRILL please contact Miranda Evans miranda.evans@disabilitywales.org or Dr Jody Mellor, jody.mellor@disabilitywales.org. For more information on Barod please contact Anne Collis anne@barod.org.

Other successful projects in Wales

Three other projects in Wales have been funded through the DRILL programme during the first call for applications.  These include: