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The Fresh Voice of Disabled People in Merton

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Go Forum Open Meeting

When: 6th September 2010
Time: 1.30pm - 3pm
Where: All Saints Day Centre.

As well as things that you may want to include we will be discussing:

New people are always welcome and please do print this off and share with any disabled people you think:Might not access email; or might be interested; or may benefit from coming along to a Go Forum Open meeting. The more people we get involved, the stronger we become, so you play an important role in spreading the word about the Go Forum.

This is open to all disabled people living in Merton, so If you would like to attend please let us know as numbers are limited by clicking hereemail goforum@rockinpaddy.com

See you there!

Question Time!

When: 3rd December 2009
Time: 1pm
Where: All Saints Day Centre.

This meeting will be held on International Disabled Peoples Day. To celebrate we are holding Go Forums very own version of Question Time!

We are very hopeful that The leader of the council, Cllr David Williams, and Cllr Stephen Alambritis, Leader of the Opposition will be attending. So this is your chance to ask questions about how they plan to address a range of issuse of concern to local Disabled People. Please come and support this exciting event.

This is open to all disabled people living in Merton, so If you would like to attend please let us know as numbers are limited and we expect this to be a well attended event.

Let us know here: by clicking on the envelope or Claire Benjamin on 020 8545 4739 (during office hours).

See you there!

First Board of Trustees Elected

At yesterdays first AGM Go Forum elected it's first board of trustees and the result is as follows:
Chairperson: Slim Flegg
Treasurer: Paddy Daly
Secretary: John Kelly
Trustee: Saray Henley:
Trustee: Roy Benjamin
Trustee: Ann Crompton

They will hold their first full board meeting in early November and we wish them every success in taking Go Forum forward. We would also like to thank MVSC for guiding us through our first successful AGM. The next regular Forum (We now call these open meetings) is on 3rd December when we will be celebrating International Disabled Peoples Day and all are welcome. Contact us if you wish to attend.

Notification Given on 1st October 09
of First Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 20th October
(not 22nd as published in Wimbledon Guardian)

1.30 – 3.00pm
All Saints Day Centre, 44 All Saints Road SW19

The main aim of Go Forum is to challenge discrimination against disabled people and to promote disability equality in Merton. Please join us at our first AGM and help us to build a strong organisation.

1. Apologies
2. Chair’s Report
3. Election of Committee
4. Any Other Business

Nominations will be taken at the meeting for the election of up to 5 Committee members, including nominations for the posts of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. If you are interested in putting yourself forward for any of these posts you will have the opportunity to do so at the AGM.

If you have any questions or queries about the meeting or the elections please contact Slim Flegg on 020 8648 1622

If you would like to attend please contact Claire Benjamin Tel. 020 8545 4739
Email. Claire.Benjamin@merton.gov.uk
Post. Social Services, 42-44 Russell Road, Wimbledon SW19 1QL

We look forward to seeing you on 20th October

News on Developing a Centre for Independent Living in Merton

A Centre for Independent Living (CIL) is an organisation which is developed by disabled people for disabled people. It’s job is to promote the principles of independent living, equality and inclusion of disabled people locally.

A CIL does this by providing peer support and also by delivering identified services where disabled people feel there are gaps. A CIL can also provide advice and information around independent living and other local disability issues. CILs can also campaign on issues that will improve the lives of disabled people.

CILs are run and controlled by the people they aim to support. They are sometimes called User-Led Organisations (ULOs). Our definition of disability is broad and inclusive as we value the social model of disability. We want to ensure that the voices of under-represented and hard-to-reach disabled people are heard and that disabled people of all ages can get involved and have control over the things that matter to them.

We use both the words disability & user to reflect a wide range of people who may choose to identify differently. The important thing is that we all work together in achieving our goal for independent living, equality & inclusion. We believe working together makes us stronger.

The services that are provided by a CIL, along with how they are run, depends on how local disabled people want them to work. So getting involved is really important to the success of a CIL.

Last February over 50 local disabled people, their allies and supporters came together to share their views on having a CIL in Merton. It was a great day which was both fun and informative. A report was produced and as a result of the day, a group of disabled people in Merton have got together with some non-disabled allies to form a steering group to begin to set up and develop a CIL in Merton.

This steering group is working hard to put things in place by thinking about how a CIL can best work in Merton. Individual disabled people with different expertise along with the support of Merton Council and other voluntary organisations & networks are working together to decide the best way to develop a CIL in Merton. It is important to work together to make this a success.

It is a good time to be developing a CIL at the moment. The Government has said that each local authority should support the development of a user-led organisation or CIL so that disabled people are able to help each other to manage their independent living and also new self-directed support services where disabled people can have more control over their lives.

The CIL steering group in Merton was set up last September. The steering group is made up of a mixture of local disabled people, representatives of local voluntary sector organisations and people with some business and commercial skills.

The steering group has developed a broad mission statement and has put together a funding proposal to Merton Council.

This proposal asked for funds for a development worker.

The main tasks of the development worker would be to:

  • Set up the CIL as a legal organisation with a board of trustees and a constitution.
  • Work with a range of local disabled people to build up networks and to find out what people want from a CIL and to raise the profile of what a CIL could achieve.
  • Work with Merton Council and other local organisations to ensure that a CIL is involved in the development of the new self-directed support services.
  • Secure some future funding for the CIL to ensure that it is a sustainable organisation.

The good news is that we have been successful with this proposal and Merton Council has just agreed that it will provide some funding for the development of a CIL in Merton. We are very happy about this and we will work with the council so that we can move forward to develop a good CIL in Merton.

It is a really exciting time to get involved in this CIL development and also to get involved in disability issues locally so you can have your say. As we work together we have a louder voice and a better chance to create real change that will improve the lives of disabled people in Merton.

If you are interested in finding out more about the CIL development or are interested in getting more involved please email here More information can also be found on the Merton Connected website.



You can download a PDF of this article here

You can listen to this article here

Your Voice Workshop
An opportunity to say what you want from a Centre for Independent Living (CIL) in Merton.

Today (14th February) we had a great day with over 50 people contributing ideas to this new and exciting project. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make it such a great day. It was great to see a mix of people with a variety of needs all working together and sharing in a common goal, to further the indepence and equality of disabled peole & their allies in Merton. In the next few days I'll be putting up as much of what was said, drawn & sung today. You'll find it all here SOON. Thank you all once again.

Picture of Terry Hutt & John Picture of everyone in discussion groups

Terry Hutt welcomed 50 people to the workshop. John Facilitated the day, then it was down to business!

Councillor Brierly writing on flipchart what people were saying People writing down their ideas Claire & Sarah laughing

There was music, a presentation, discussion groups, a graffitti wall, accessible information,
an ideas box and an artist drawing pictures of our discussions.

Signers supporting the discussions People writing on the graffitti wall Chris facilitating a group

to find out what we said, click here.

Sue &  Peter listening & writing what people were saying People thinking & listening

Stuff from the workshop

The workshop report

The full PDF version (large file) can be downloaded here:

The text Word. version can also be downloaded here:

Both versions are big so give them time to download, any problem email me here: and I'll send you a copy via email.


When: Thursday, 14th February
Where: The Hub, Bishopsford Road, Morden. (Click here to go to Hub website & map)
Time: 10.30 – 4.00


Purpose of the Event

Since the Government report “Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People” published in 2005 (click here to see the report) there has been a focus to encourage the development of CIL’s (click here for more background to Independent Living & CIL's) that are led by disabled people. Both The Go Forum, a group of local disabled people and London Borough of Merton, would like to develop a CIL to support disabled people live full & independent lives in Merton (click here to see the original proposal).

This is your opportunity to have a say in how a CIL is shaped for all our futures in Merton. We want the CIL to be led by Disabled People. For more information on The Life Chances Report, background information on CIL’s nationally and the proposal for Merton

Who should attend?
The event is aimed primarily at disabled people living in Merton. Carers and organisations that support Disabled People are also welcome. If you are an officer of a voluntary organisation please try to encourage at least one disabled member of your organisation to attend the event with you.

How To Apply?
Please ring Team Administrator, Diane Bragg on 0208 545 4552 or email for a registration form for each delegate and return it by Thursday, 7th February 2008 to secure a place as places are limited.

The Workshop (draft)
10.00 Registration. Teas &Coffee
11.00 Welcomes & Introduction to Workshop
11.15 Introduction to CIL’s – a short presentation by Guest Speaker
11.30 Your Say Session 1
12.30 Feedback
1.00 Lunch Provided
2.00 Your Say Session 2
2.45 Feedback
3.00 Tea/Coffee Break

3.15 Questions & Answer session
3.45 Closing Remarks
4.00 End of workshop

Post event information
Information relating to this event with updates & a report of the workshop will be written up after the event and also put on this website.

If you require this information in a different accessible format please contact Diane, details below.

Further questions?
Some answers may be found here or contact Diane Bragg, Team Administrator on 020 8545 4552 or email


Solidarity, Participation and Equality in Merton for Disabled People.

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