Posted 22.09.2021

The future of Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs) depends on ongoing emergency funding to deliver projects and capacity building to survive, adapt and thrive. Without this they are at risk of disappearing.

DPOs need to build their skills, abilities, processes and resources to support disabled people at grassroots level across the UK to ensure diverse disabled people are front and centre of our organisations, our work and our communities.

98 DPOs of various sizes in both rural and urban locations across the UK, who found it difficult to access funding to respond to the COVID-19 needs of disabled people, received funding from the DPO COVID-19 NET Emergency Fund.

Without this funding many would not have survived.

In a recent focus group carried out by the Centre for Independent Living, Kent, disabled people confirmed that when a service user is supported by another disabled person there is a huge sense of relief that there is someone working with them that truly ‘gets it’.

Andrew Lee, Director of People First Ltd tells us:

We need funders that provide accessible grant opportunities and understand why we exist, what we do, and how we do it. Without them DPOs are at risk of disappearing.

The purpose of the DPO COVID-19 NET Emergency funding was to provide direct support to grassroots DPO’s across the UK to ensure that:

  • Disabled People are less isolated and their rights to independent living are protected
  • Disabled People have access to advice/support on income
  • Disabled People's voices are heard and reflected in recovery strategies, and that
  • DPO’s themselves are strengthened and sustained to provide vital advice and support and enable local action for local need

We are calling on local governments, Councils and mainstream funding bodies to support DPOs and their future.

Read more stories from DPOs