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Celebrating the talents of people living with a disability across Dudley borough.

We are proud to be part of 2024's National Disability Pride Month, celebrating the diversity and huge potential of People who are living with a disability across our local community, as well as raising awareness of the opportunities and possibilities open to people with disabilities throughout Dudley borough.

Dudley Council's Queens Cross Network has been working with local charity organisations Dudley CIL and Disability in Action, joining many other organisations across the globe to celebrate the achievements and talents of people with disabilities, as well as working to highlight the local opportunities on offer across work, training and volunteering, leisure, the arts and community.

We hope that you find the resources and stories we share here are inspiring – whether you are a person with living with a disability or not.

Disability information fair

As part of our Dudley Fest-able we will be holding an exciting and informative Disability Information Fair.

We will be showcasing a real cross section of services and organisations offering support to people with any disability to ensure people are living their best life.

The fair takes place on 25 July, from 2pm to 6pm at:

Queens Cross Network
Wellington Road
Dudley
DY1 1RB

Anyone with a disability, family members and carers are encouraged to come along to Queens cross network on the afternoon of 25 July, to have a friendly chat and find out more about the wide variety of support and exciting opportunities on offer whatever disability you may have. People with disabilities will be sharing their own experiences too and discussing the limitless possibilities of what can be achieved.

Work, training and volunteering

There are lots of opportunities for people with disabilities across the world of work, training and volunteering. There's something to suit everyone's own unique experience, skills and abilities.

Work and training

For employers this YouTube video from Inclusive Employers gives tips on how to have conversations about disability in the workplace to help organisations become more inclusive employers for people who have a disability.

Local helpful resources here include:

  • Connexions – Connexions Personal Assistants, PAs link with other people in schools, colleges, social care, training providers and other organisations to help make sure that you are young people with a disability are aware of all of the training, education and employment options available to them
  • Evenbreak – A social enterprise where people with disabilities looking for a job can search opportunities open to them. There are job alerts, careers advise and lots more
  • Dudley College Aspire – Aspire Works is all geared up for students up to 25, to get those all-important employability skills
  • Queens Cross Network – The Community Outreach service based from Queens Cross provides a range of practical help, advice and support to people who have a disability to help you to:
    • find paid employment or work experience
    • further education and training
    • develop independent living skills
    • get out and about and travel independently
    • get involved in sports or leisure activities
  • Adult and Community Learning – The service provides learning opportunities for adults and families in the Dudley borough.There are courses that are designed to help you to get a job or gain new skills for work regardless of ability or disability. Other courses offer opportunities to improve your health and mental wellbeing
  • Thrive into Work – Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has a Thrive into Work programme. Here the team can offer one to one support to suit your needs and employment goals. The service is for people with a health condition or disability who are registered with a GP and are aged 18 plus

Volunteering

There are lots of options for volunteering, where you can gain valuable skills, use your own talents and abilities and make a real difference to other people or communities. Volunteering can be a stepping stone to employment opportunities, or a fulfilling role in itself.

Read the stories below of people with disabilities who volunteer at Queens Cross Centre in Dudley.

You can find out all about volunteering from DCVS, our local volunteering hub. They will match you and your needs and passions with a suitable volunteering role.

Queens Cross Network also welcomes volunteers, as does Access in Dudley.

Leisure

Social, sporting and leisure activities play an important role in the lives of everyone, whether it's a hobby, pastime or aspiring to achieve Olympic glory! People who are living with or without disabilities will appreciate that leisure time activities can help maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, build relationships, and help you experience new and exciting opportunities. As such there are many individuals who are very talented in the world of sport and leisure, despite living with a disability.

More and more organisations locally are focusing on making their facilities and services accessible and inclusive to all. Adults with disability today have more activity, sports and leisure options than ever before.

Leisure Centres

Dudley Council's leisure centres welcome people with all disabilities and the flagship Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre has worked closely with people who are living with a disability in the local community to develop its offer to people with disabilities. Their programme is designed to be an all-inclusive programme encouraging everyone to access as many sessions as possible. Accessible facilities are available throughout, including accessible steps into both pools. A pool pod, accessible hoist is also available in the swimming pool area for both pools. The wellness suite has equipment suitable for people with disabilities to keep fit. The information sheet below can be downloaded and shows all sessions and facilities specifically for people with disabilities.

Parkactive

Dudley Public Health and Wellbeing is part of Dudley Council. This service supports and enables residents, families and communities to make positive lifestyle changes and improve health and wellbeing, irrespective of ability or disability. Their Healthy Aging website contains lots of information and opportunities that are on offer across Dudley borough.

There's a real emphasis on exercise and moving more and there are walking groups, 'park active' sessions – held in the borough parks, as well as greenspaces, heathy hubs and outdoor gyms which are in the parks.

Where possible people with disabilities are encouraged to join in with regular activities. Adaptations can be made. Take a look at this video of Ramblers Wellbeing Walks which are enjoyed by lots of local people with disabilities.

Social Clubs

  • Happy Hours social club for people with learning disabilities. A social club for adults with learning disabilities held in Stourbridge. Two hours of fun and a chance to meet new friends

Sports

The Arts

Living with a disability is not a limitation in terms of contributing to the arts, as we see these days from films, TV, radio, the theatre, the art and entertainment worlds. Locally across Dudley borough there are lots of people with disabilities making their mark in the arts. There are also lots of chances to get involved.

There are choirs, arts workshops, drama sessions for people with disabilities.

  • Open Stage drama group. Dudley's premier 'open access' drama group made up of people with learning disabilities, their families, carers, volunteers and friends from the local community
  • Real Arts Workshops. A small team delivering innovative and exciting Art and Music and BSL (British Sign Language) workshops. They have experience of Deaf groups, people with autism and complex needs as well as those in mainstream provision
  • Side by Side Theatre Company, Stourbridge, gives learning disabled people the opportunity to explore their potential through professional guidance in the performing arts