Last week POhWER Gloucestershire attended the Physical Disability & Sensory Impairment Partnership Board meeting to discuss the services we offer and hear from other services in the county. We were informed of the latest updates from the JSNA team including the latest on the Telehealth services currently being trialled and bus pass and accessible public transport issues. The Advisory Teaching Service shared statistics about the attainment of those with learning disabilities and sensory impairments in mainstream schools and informed the meeting of the useful pdnet website. Inclusion Gloucestershire aired their new promotional film about their Shared Lives initiative.

During the meeting we also heard from Christian Drewitt, founder of ‘Accessible Gloucestershire with Review it with Drewitt’; a project set up to assess the accessibility of venues around Gloucestershire with the view to creating a ‘one-stop guide’ for people living with disabilities and their families, friends and carers. Christian, who is a life-long wheelchair user and lives with a sight impairment, along with his personal assistant, Molly, has assessed various venues across the county, the reviews for which can be found on his website. Christian is currently in the process of securing funding for the next stage of his project which will focus on the availability of accessible toilets within Gloucester City centre. The aim of this is both to create a guide of those currently available but also to gather evidence to campaign for improving and increasing facilities.

Jacob our Advocate and Community Development Worker had to this to say about the meeting. “It was fantastic to attend PDSI partnership board today, it’s essential to our work to attend events like this to connect with people in our community. For example I thought the work that Christian is doing around accessibility in Gloucestershire is brilliant and I will be looking to see if there is a way for us to work together with him in the future.