Salford Disability Forum celebrates Disability History Month

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SALFORD Disability Forum celebrated UK Disability History Month, by hosting a community event which celebrated disabilities across Greater Manchester through art.

Salford Disability forum hosted their annual disability event yesterday, to celebrate and raise awareness of UK Disability History Month.

The event, which took place St George’s Social Centre, lead with this year’s theme ‘ART’ and showcased creative aspects such as arts and crafts, music, poems and even a sandwich spread.

Paulette Holness, Salford Disability Forums CEO, spoke about the importance of raising awareness of disabilities: “Today is about positivity, and for those people who may not be aware of what disabled people have done, today will hopefully raise awareness but also highlight all the things that are going on in Salford.”

Members of SDF are from all communities, including people with learning difficulties, sensory, physical, mental health or long-term conditions.

SDF showcased the history of their forum through images taken over the years

The forum was established in 2006 and has since developed to now operate a choir, arts group and hosting craft sessions alongside helping disabled people through mentoring, training and volunteering.

Meeting monthly in venues across the city, they discuss issues relating to disability and how they can raise awareness on the barriers they face with regards to employment, education and housing.

Paulette continued: “We want to get the word out to as many people as possible and then once it’s out it needs to be spread further to make sure that people in Salford have got access to information and also support.”

Also on the day, the Golden Voices community choir entertained the audience, singing songs such as Wings of a Dove to getting the crowd in to the festive spirit with Winter Wonderland.

Lloyd Stephenson, who has been part of the choir for just 7 weeks said: “This is my first event in the Golden Voices, I like singing, I don’t know if I can sing but I always sing in the shower or in the bath and well I’m getting golden myself so I thought I’d come along and join.”

He continued: “It’s wonderful for us to come and share what we do with everyone. It’s nice to get people out of their rooms and come down to this event to hear what’s going on.”

Disability History Month is an annual event, creating a platform for communities across the UK to focus on the history of the disabled’s struggle for equality and human rights.

“We want to get the word out to as many people as possible and then once it’s out it needs to be spread further” Paulette Holness, CEO of Salford’s Disability Forum

It is now the eighth year this event has been running, and the second year SDF have got involved by hosting their own version of the event.

Paulette said: “We did something last year very low key and so this year we wanted to do something a bit bigger and hopefully next year we will again take it forward and do something again.”

Community groups, such as the Salford and district branch for the multiple sclerosis society and the Rotary Club in Worsley also attended the event, to promote and raise awareness on individual disabilities.

Mike Collier, who is the president of the Rotary club in Worsley, expressed how he wants to change the way hearing aids and hearing loops are used, by enabling them in local shops and other community spaces.

According to the Disabled Living Foundation, there are approximately 10 million people (1 in 6) in this country with a hearing loss, with 6.5 million of these aged 60 and over and around 2 million using hearing aids.

Listen to why he started his group project here:

To round off the afternoon, the crowd took part in a raffle and game of bingo as they mingled and got to learn about each others disabilities.

You can visit the SDF website here to get involved and spread the word, or volunteer to take part in any of their events and projects.

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