Awards breaking down the barriers for disabled people

Businesses and voluntary organisations which champion disabled people are being invited to “take a bow” following Breakthrough UK’s National Independent Living Awards 2012.

The awards were established to celebrate those who consistently support disabled people to live independently by finding work, making public places and homes more accessible or involving disabled people in the design of their services.

Breakthrough UK tackles discrimination and removes barriers to disabled people’s representation in society by promoting both employment and independence.

This is the second year that the awards have taken place online – rather than hosting an awards ceremony – in recognition of the tough economic conditions and to cut down on the carbon emissions involved in holding such an event.

Breakthrough UK’s Interim Chief Executive Michele Scattergood said this year’s entries have highlighted once again the “incredibly high calibre” of work that’s ongoing across Britain.

Ms Scattergood said: “These awards recognise the fantastic work that’s being undertaken to support independence for disabled people nationwide.

“Independence is about making our own decisions concerning how and where we live – and these winners have proved themselves to be at the top of their game on countless different levels.”

This year’s winners include: Countryside Mobility South West, based in Exeter in Devon; Metrolink Disability Design Reference Group which is operates from Manchester; FMW Recycling, based in Wooton Bassett, in Wiltshire; and Oldham entrepreneur and motivational speaker Andy Walker.

Other winners include: Body & Soul, a London-headquartered charity dedicated to transforming the lives of children, teenagers and families living with, or affected by HIV; Harrow Asian Deaf Club; Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People; and Nottinghamshire-headquartered retail giant Wilkinsons (www.wilko.com).

Sponsors of this year’s event include Your Housing Group – one of Britain’s largest social housing providers with over 32,000 homes across the North West, Midlands and Staffordshire – as well as Manchester-based creative design company Epigram and NHS North West.

Mary Walker, Head of Policy and Service Improvement at Your Housing Group, said: “The calibre of entries in each year’s National Independent Living Awards is consistently very high.

“These awards offer outstanding recognition of the fantastic work being done by businesses and voluntary organisations nationally to ensure that disabled people lead fulfilled and independent lives.

“This is something that Your Housing Group also attaches great importance to – and we are delighted to sponsor them once again.”

Each of the winning organisations will feature in a short film which will be shown on Breakthrough UK’s website from December 3 – which is the United Nation’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

In addition, they will receive a certificate, a specially commissioned ceramic award and be entitled to use the Breakthrough UK 2012 National ILA logo for a year.

The winners

In full order, Breakthrough UK’s National Independent Living Awards 2012 winners are:

  • Overall Independent Living Initiative: Countryside Mobility South West
  • Public Sector Engagement: Metrolink Disability Design Reference Group
  • Excellence in the Employment of Disabled People: FMW Recycling
  • Disabled Entrepreneur: Andy Walker, Live Your Dreams Consultancy
  • Peer Support or Advocacy: Body & Soul
  • Accessible Communities: Harrow Asian Deaf Club
  • Disability Hate Crime: Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People
    • Highly commended: Living Ambitions
  • Breakthrough UK Best Practice: Wilkinsons

 

About Breakthrough UK

Breakthrough UK, formed in 1997 in partnership with Manchester City Council and local disabled people’s organisations, champions independent living and aims to empower and support disabled people to make their own choices, to access mainstream jobs and to achieve their full potential.

Breakthrough UK is a successful 3rd sector organisation that employs 60 percent disabled people. It has offices in Manchester and Liverpool, while operating to influence key legislation and to benefit disabled people throughout the UK.

Further information can be found at www.breakthrough-uk.co.uk

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