Posted 03.08.2021

Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea is an organisation run by and for disabled people. They provide a range of services, groups and support for disabled people with physical, sensory and hidden impairments, who live or work in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. We also campaign for access and inclusion. They are a genuinely user-led disabled people’s organisation.

What difference has the pandemic made to the communities you serve? 

The local disabled people who make up the community we support have experienced isolation, depression and fear as a result of the pandemic. As they struggle to get the basic support they need. 

What impact did you see on your services as a result?

At the beginning of the pandemic period, last March, we transferred all of our services, meetings, groups and courses to remote access via the Zoom video conferencing platform. We also introduced Welfare Calls to those of our members identified as having the greatest needs, an i-pad loan scheme to meet the needs of those who are digitally excluded, a Volunteer Project to deliver essentials (food, medicine) to our most isolated members and more recently, a Pilot Counselling service.

What has the NET funding enabled you to do for those people you help?

The funding was for our Volunteer Project. Enabling us to recruit, train and support a team of local volunteers to deliver essentials (food, medical equipment, forms and apers for befit claims etc) to the most isolated local disabled people. Also offering some often much needed regular social contact.


What challenges/opportunities do you see ahead?

The fear and uncertainty engendered by the ongoing crisis (and frequent lack of clear direction from those in power) are creating a mental health crisis timebomb. This is particularly true amongst disabled people who often experience the greatest isolation and lack of access to essential services.

At the same time, whilst funding for community support services appeared relatively abundant last year, it has become very scarce this year. Just when it is needed to meet the long term issues raised by the pandemic.

The future of DPO’s - Why DPOs are important and why we need to invest in them and protect them in the future?

Time and again the local disabled people who use our services and make up our membership tell us that we are the only organisation which they can trust. Which they know will be inclusive.

At a time when disabled people are experiencing the adverse effects of the current crisis more than anyone, this support is needed even more than ever. 


Read more about Action Disability Kensington & Chelsea