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News, Campaigns and Information

This page will show the latest news from ADKC, campaigns that we are running or supporting, and news from organisations outside of ADKC that we think members will be interested in. Looking for the latest Newsflash? Click here for our Newsletter page.

Current / Latest News.
Scroll down to read all news, the most up-to-date news is higher up the page.

Latest News

NEW: What does culture mean to you?

From our friends at Discover South Kensington/Exhibition Road Cultural Group, Kensington + Chelsea Art Week (KCAW), Kensington and Chelsea Council and The Westway Trust:

Kensington and Chelsea Creative Conversation
Tuesday 23 January 2024 10.30am to 12.30pm
Ismaili Centre 1-7 Cromwell Gardens London SW7 2SL

This Creative Conversation will once again bring together people living, working, and learning in the borough. The session will be run using the Open Space format, with no speakers and no presentations. A safe space is created for everyone attending to suggest topics to talk through and to enable people to participate in these discussions. This allows you to input into several different conversations in a single session.

This is an in-person event hosted by Discover South Kensington/Exhibition Road Cultural Group, Kensington + Chelsea Art Week (KCAW), Kensington and Chelsea Council and The Westway Trust.

This session offers an opportunity to talk about what Culture in the borough means to you, and how we can work together in groups or collectively to maximise impact.

We have some big questions that we would like to explore, for example

• What role should Culture play in supporting communities and livelihoods in this altered landscape?

• How can we harness a growing sense of community, as well as new partnerships and ways of working, that have emerged as a result of the pandemic?

• What kind of infrastructure do we need in order to support the growth and re-growth of cultural enterprises?

But what are your questions? Your ideas? Your thoughts?

These events are free and open to all. The more voices we have in the room, the more ideas we can bring together. All you need to do is register for a place here and turn up.

The event will be a relaxed environment. The conversations will be in English. If you require any access support (including captioning or BSL interpretation), please let us know in advance. Refreshments are provided.

NEW: How did we do? Your Ideas.

Click here to go to our 2023 online survey for members [Microsoft Forms]. We have paper copies at the office or staff can support you to have your say by phone.

ADKC Annual General Meeting -12th December.

We held our hybrid (in-person and online) AGM on 12th December. It was very well attended by ADKC members, some of whom shared their experiences.

Glenda introduced her project and encouraged members to present their experiences.

  • Jean explained how she benefitted from some of the outings arranged with the Happy Group - despite initial doubts due to the cold.

  • Lilli presented how she shared her skills with group members, so everyone was able to make hot water bottle covers.

  • Hassnaa shared how she blossomed and gained skills and confidence with the help of ADKC and members.

  • Maria shared a Christmas "recipe" - what is needed to be hopeful and happy - including a humorous "sprinkle of chocolate - optional" for if things were not going too well!

Jamie invited everyone to complete a members survey to help ensure that members guide the services ADKC provides. (See previous article, above) .

Board members were re-elected, and we welcomed some new trustees.

Click here for the 2022-23 Annual Report [PDF]

"Stay with Us" RBKC Suicide Prevention Campaign

RBKC has launched a new suicide prevention campaign with resources, a toolkit and training.

The eight priority areas of the Suicide Prevention Action Plan include:

  • making our community safer by raising awareness of suicide

  • reducing suicide in key high-risk groups

  • reducing the risk of self-harm

  • supporting good mental health and wellbeing

  • improving access to services

  • services for those bereaved or affected by suicide

  • addressing stigma and promoting sensitive approaches to suicide

  • collecting data to improve key services

Click here for more Suicide prevention resources | Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea [rbkc.gov.uk].

Click here to download the Stay With Us Toolkit [pdf]

If you are struggling with Mental Health and need urgent support call 999 or go to A&E. 

Samaritans also offer 24-hour support by phone (116 123) or email.

You can text SHOUT to 85258 or visit the SHOUT website for confidential, anonymous 24-hour support.

 
Acute Mental Health Services Consultation, have your say (finishes by end of January 2024)

From our friends at the NHS:

Acute Mental health services in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea are changing and before any decisions are made, NHS North West London would like to hear from as many residents, service users and/or people with an interest in local mental health services as possible. 

 

The public consultation will run for 14 weeks, concluding at the end of January 2024. Feedback from residents and local stakeholders as well as the context of the wider mental health strategy for North West London will then inform decisions to be made by the NHS North West London Integrated Care Board (ICB ).  

 

The preferred option for consultation is to:  

  • Expand the mental health crisis assessment (MHCAS) service (previously piloted at St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing) and move it to the Gordon Hospital, with capacity for 12 patients, including the capability for 4 patients to be admitted at night.  

  • Keep the existing 67 inpatient beds at St Charles. Additional capacity in Brent would free up seven beds at St Charles.  

  • Retain the community and crisis services developed since the Gordon Hospital wards were closed. Voluntary sector partnerships would remain in place and the Community Access Service (CAS) would continue.  

There are a number of ways people can give feedback including: 

There is also more information (including the Pre-Consultation Business Case) at on the NHS North West London website - 

https://www.nwlondonicb.nhs.uk/get-involved/service-change/acute-mental-health-consultation     

 
Petition against DWP proposals to scrutinise claimant's bank accounts.

Thanks to an Access Group member for sharing this. If you would like to sign a petition to ask the government to reverse proposals about scrutinising benefit claimants bank accounts you can click here to view at and complete the template letter on The Organise Network.

 
Housing and Disability Survey - share your experience!

Calling all Deaf and Disabled Londoners! 📢

Is your home accessible and affordable? @InclusionLondon 's survey aims to understand housing experiences for their research on accessible and affordable housing in London. Your experiences matter. 

Complete the anonymous, 10-minute survey.  

Link to survey (including BSL): Housing and Disability London Survey (surveymonkey.co.uk)

Easy Read Link:  Disability and Housing Survey - Easy Read - Inclusion London

 

Once you have completed the survey, there is also the opportunity to take part in a case study interview with them. They are able to offer compensation of £25 to those wishing to share their story.

 
Pavement works near ADKC starting 8th November

Where: Silchester Road / Bramley Road - near the ADKC Centre.

When: 8th November for approximately 5 weeks.

Disruption: Possible blocked pavements / difficulty parking. 

Contact: Alex.berhane@rbkc.gov.uk or contractors, FM Conway, on 01732 600 700

 

(If you are plan to come to the ADKC Centre, please call us to check access.)

Click here to view a PDF image of the letter received about the works

We're open!

The ADKC Centre is open again - Monday to Friday,  9.30-5pm. 

 
Hybrid meetings

ADKC has new technology which means that we can run hybrid meetings now. This means that members can either come along to the centre for the meeting or join in from whereever they are using Zoom. 

From October, all of our meetings will by hybrid, giving you a choice of how to join in!

ADKC's Access Group Objects to Rail Ticket Office Closures

The Access Group has submitted a letter of objection to the planned ticket office closures and the negative impact that this will have for disabled people. Click here for a PDF copy of the letter. Click here for a Word copy of the letter.

ADKC Access Group - another successful campaign!

On Wednesday 19th July, ADKC Access Group members and staff attended the opening of a new Changing Places facility in Holland Park. Changing Places toilets have a hoist, room for 2 support workers and a height adjustable changing bench, breaking down the barriers of inaccessible toilet facilities for disabled people with high support needs. 

Click here to see our full news article, with photos, videos and a link to the My London news story.

Access Group meetings take place on alternate Thursday afternoons - click here to visit our Events page. For more information about the group, email Maryia at access@adkc.org.uk
Free Cost of Living Crisis Clinic in the North of the Borough

For those living in North Kensington, A free service helping our community to make successful applications for: Welfare Benefits Social Housing Lower Thames Water and Broadband tariffs Crisis Grants and general grants for you or your Family, (which do not need to be repaid) For an appointment to see an adviser, please: Call 0300 102 8475, or Visit 1 Thorpe Close, W10 5XL, or Register online at westway.org/cost-of-living

Click here for the PDF Flyer with the same information and details of their Free benefits appeals service

ULEZ Exemption expanded for many older and disabled people.

Campaigner and ADKC member Kush Kanodia reports back about the ULEZ campaign:

We have expanded the exemption criteria to include Standard PIP and Blue Badges with Attendance Allowance for Disabled People over state pension age. We are now working to exempt all Blue Badge holder in London from ULEZ.

 

We do have some success now on our ULEZ campaign:

 

ULEZ to be expanded London-wide, Sadiq Khan announces - BBC News

Ulez to cover whole of London in 2023, with hundreds of thousands of drivers facing £12.50-a-day fee | ITV News London

Huge ULEZ expansion confirmed as Sadiq Khan says all of these areas of London will get £12.50 daily charge - MyLondon

 

"Disabled people over state pension age whose vehicle does not have 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicle' tax class can apply directly to us for the grace period if they:
 

  • Are in receipt of Attendance Allowance AND

  • Hold a Blue Badge


From 25 October 2027 you will need to pay the daily ULEZ charge for your 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicle' tax class vehicle if it does not meet the ULEZ emission standards.

 

To apply, the vehicle needs to be registered to the benefit holder (or their nominated driver). Applicants will need to receive one of the following benefits - Standard or enhanced mobility rate of PIP."

 

Discounts and exemptions - Transport for London (tfl.gov.uk)
Say NO to Austerity.

From our collegages at Inclusion London: The cost of living and energy crisis is having a devastating impact on Disabled people, and as winter gets closer, things are set to get even worse. Many Disabled people are already forced into making impossible choices between heating and eating. Therefore we need the government to act now.

Please write to your MP to ask them to prevent further cuts to our services and benefits. Austerity and cuts are not the answer. We urgently need the government to put support in place to enable Disabled people to survive the winter.

Take action, click on the link and write to your MP today https://actionnetwork.org/letters/financial-statement-protect-disabled-peoples-rights-and-lives?source=direct_link&

If you are on social media you can comment

on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InclusionLondon
on Twitter: https://twitter.com/InclusionLondon

Use the hashtag #AusterityKills

UPDATE: "The Forgotten Workforce" report now published.

Members of ADKC's Personal Budget Peer Support Group were amongst the nearly 1000 Personal Assistant employers from across the country responded to the survey from the Local Government Association and Think Local Act Personal about people's experiences of recruiting and retaining Personal Assistants (privately employed or self-employed Care Workers). The report, a summary of the report and a video is now available by clicking this link to the Think Local Act Personal webpage

The Anniversary of the Grenfell Fire - statement by Jamie Renton.

Tuesday 14th June 2022 marks the fifth anniversary of the Grenfell Fire. ADKC’s offices are just opposite the Grenfell site and many of our members are residents of the immediate area and were directly affected by the tragic events of 14th June 2017

 

I will never forget arriving at our office on the days following the fire. The sight of the still smouldering building. The thick acrid smell of smoke in the air. And the horrifying, heart-breaking testimonies of our members who had witnessed the tragic events. As one of our members told me “I don’t know what was worse, when I could hear screaming … or when the screaming stopped.” In response to the expressed needs of local disabled people affected by the fire, we established a Trauma Support Group, who continue to meet to this day. You can see a short video about the group here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4nC1wKbmMI&t=62s 

 

Sadly, not everyone responded positively and learnt from what happened that night. The Government recently rejected the recommendation made by the public inquiry into Grenfell for every disabled person living in high rise blocks to be issued with a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP). In spite of the Government’s previous assurance that they would adopt all of the inquiry’s recommendations None of the disabled people who died in the Grenfell fire had been issued with PEEPs and we believe that, had they been issued with them, their deaths may have been prevented.

 

We also believe that adopting this recommendation could save the lives of disabled people in the future. It is important that we remember those tragic events of five years ago. But remembrance alone is not enough. Our society and those who govern us need to learn from what happened and put in place everything possible to make sure that it can never happen again.

 

Jamie Renton CEO Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea

REMINDER: Free help and advice with energy bills / changing suppliers .

Green Doctors are offering phone consultations to help you save money and stay out of debt. This consultation is provided by a registered charity for anyone on a low income or over 65 or with a long term health condition or disability. Your Green Doctor will help you • Save money on your energy bills • Switch energy providers to save you money • Access the Warm Homes Discounts • Apply for grants for energy or water debt • Get additional support. You can book a phone appointment by calling (for free) 0300 365 5003 or visiting the website (external link) greendoctors-london.org

REMINDER: Help disabled people survive the cost of living crisis.

Our friends at Inclusion London and the Disability Poverty Campaign Group have created a cost of living campaign.

It is easy to send a letter to your MP asking for action using their template letter. It is important to share your own story also - just sending the template is not enough. To send a letter, with your own story, click here or type the information into your browser https://actionnetwork.org/letters/help-disabled-people-survive-the-cost-of-living-crisis/

The amazing WelcoMe app by Neatebox

This is a pan-disability tool that allows disabled people to access venues in an easy and personalised way by presenting a person’s needs to a venue before arrival while educating customer service staff at the same time. This app’s significant ability is extremely impressive to support variety of disabled people’s desires and its effectiveness in breaking down various barriers too.  The WelcoMe website is: https://www.neatebox.com/welcome    

 

More detailed information about the WelcoMe app, provided by Gavin Neate, founder of Neatebox: 

‘’The disabled person downloads the WelcoMe app and fills in a profile.  They look at the participating venues and indicates that they would like to visit.  This triggers training in the venue and informs staff that they will be visiting.  On arrival at the venue the visitor can trigger an “arrival” and this prompts the venue to meet and greet them using all of the “top tips” they have been provided with.  Within 24 hours of the visit, they are asked to provide feedback for the staff to let them know how they did.  

  

The purpose of the service is to improve the ability of the staff member to provide good customer service to all disabled visitors, to improve confidence in the disabled person that they will receive good customer service (even in places they have never been before), and to improve the commercial success of the business whilst at the same time empowering the disabled person to be in charge of their commercial interactions.’’

ULEZ campaign gets more publicity. 

Disability News Service - the specialist services that reports on issues impacting on disabled people - is helping to spread awareness about the campaign about the negative effects of the new Ultra Low Emission Zone for Disabled People..

 

If you would like to read the article, click here for Expansion of air pollution scheme ‘could have drastic impact on disabled people

 

Please note - the article mentions a crowd funding campaign but there are ways that you can show your support without spending money - for example by writing to your MP, using social media to raise concerns and signing petitions.

You can also get involved with the ADKC Access Group, which campaigns for better access in Kensington and Chelsea and further afield. If you would like to know more about the group: contact Mariya at access@adkc.org.uk

ADKC is now on Instagram

If you would like to follow ADKC on instagram for all the latest news and photos, click here or type into your browser https://www.instagram.com/ActionDisabilityKC/

ULEZ campaign update

ADKC's campaign against the harmful effects of the Ultra Low Emission Zone was mentioned in the Evening Standard recently: 

"Mr Khan was asked whether he would adopt a proposal from Action Disability Kensington & Chelsea to allow disabled people with a Blue Badge the same exemptions for the Ulez as for the C-charge." 

 

And here is the link to the article: 

Ulez: Cost of expanding zone could cost £130m, Sadiq Khan confirms | Evening Standard 

Click here to scroll down to read ADKC's open letter to mayoral candidates earlier in the year

Older news
Choose the link to go to the news item, or scroll down to read all. 

Open Letter from Access Group to Mayoral Candidates about ULEZ scheme. (pdf) 

 

Open Letter: We request all the London Mayoral candidates to commit to providing the same reasonable adjustments for disabled people for the extended ULEZ as Congestion Charging Zone.

Dear Mayor of London Candidates,

Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea (ADKC), is a charity in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea with approximately one thousand members, which is run and controlled by disabled people.

We are requesting that the new Mayor of London and TFL to provide disabled people in London who have a Blue Badge, with the same reasonable adjustments that are currently provided under the Congestion Charging Zone. We believe it is totally unacceptable to impose new barriers which prevent disabled Londoners from accessing critical goods and services during the Covid19 pandemic.

  • Disabled people are the most disproportionately impacted group from the Covid19 pandemic and lockdowns, with 3/5 of all Covid19 deaths being disabled people, whilst only amounting to 17% of the population (Office of National Statistics).

  • Disability is now one of the strongest predictors of poverty - 54% of the those who live in destitution in the UK are disabled people (Joseph Rowntree Foundation).

  • London’s public transport system is inaccessible for many disabled people - only 26% (70 / 270) of our tube stations are fully accessible (Transport for All).

In Jan 2021, the High Court ruled that the Mayor of London and Transport for London’s ‘Streetscape’ initiative as unlawful. The judge noted that 'the needs of people with protected characteristics, including the elderly or disabled', were 'not considered'. The court also highlighted the inadequacy of the Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) undertaken by TfL, describing parts as 'perfunctory or non-existent' and finding that it 'read as if its purpose were to justify the decision already taken'.

We believe that the Equality Impact Assessment has not considered the needs of disabled people during the Covid19 pandemic to receive help and support from friends, family, carers and helpers. In its current form we believe it would breach of our Human Rights and the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2010. Where a disabled person is put at a ‘substantial disadvantage’ the service provider has a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ or provide the service in a different way.

We are requesting your urgent help and assistance in committing to support disabled people’s health and wellbeing, we have been published in My London and have the support of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, the Member of Parliament for Kensington, and Inclusion London.

London ULEZ charges putting 'unacceptable' barriers in place for disabled people says Paralympic torch bearer - MyLondon

Calls for ULEZ exemption for disabled people | Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (rbkc.gov.uk)

There are over 1.2 million disabled Londoners (20% UK population), and we will vote for the people who support us in the national emergency. Thank you so much in advance for your understanding and help for our most critical campaign to support disabled people in the Covid19 pandemic.

Yours Sincerely,

ADKC Access Group

​​ADKC member Kush Kanodia explains how the ULEZ (ultra low emission zone) regulations will cause "unacceptable barriers" for disabled people.

External link -  https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/london-ulez-charges-putting-unacceptable-20071051

 

ADKC member Jean Davis shares her frustration about the ongoing inaccessibility of the Tube.

External Link - https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/blind-mum-says-access-london-19916776

 

Campaign to lower supermarket minimum spend and scrap delivery charges. 

ADKC is happy to support this campaign, initiated by Sandip Sodha. There is a letter to the Executives of the 7 supermarkets involved in the priority slots for people who are shielding, asking them to reduce the minimum spend to £5 and scrap the delivery charge. If you want to support this campaign, you can add you name to their letter by clicking (external link) https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/scrap-delivery-charges-and-lower-minimum-spends?source=direct_link&

 

Disabled "Blue Badge" parking campaign.

ADKC is happy to be support Kush Kanodia's  campaign to make a simple and compassionate disabled parking policy in London. You can find more information, and send a letter your MP to ask them to support the campaign but clicking (external link)  https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-us-in-creatinga-standardised-and-compassionate-disabled-parking-policy-for-london

ADKC Trauma group - video
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