A disability charity needs more funding to cope with demand

PUBLISHED: 12:30 24 November 2017

Staff from Poppadoms donating money to DIAL.

Staff from Poppadoms donating money to DIAL.

Archant

A charity which has been helping disabled people for almost 40 years is in desperate need of funding due to an increase in demand for its services.

DIAL – Disability Information and Advice Line – provides free, impartial information and support to disabled people, their families, carers and voluntary organisations.

The charity, which is based in Walliscote Grove Road, helps about 600 people a year, but volunteers have seen an increase in demand since the Government introduced Personal Independence Payments (PIP) instead of the Disability Living Allowance.

Jill Hopkins from Weston DIAL said: “The major trouble we are having is with PIP allocations.

“It replaces the disabled living allowance and it’s now a points system.

“We help them fill out the form and we find that most people just can’t cope with form-filling because there are lots of pages and it’s quite invasive.

“The forms can be up to 40 pages about what you can’t do. For a lot of people it’s daunting, even with our help.

“We are finding for the first time ever in the past six months even children are being turned down.

“These are children with quite severe disabilities which can be destructive to families for all sorts of reasons.

“Very often the people we see are single parents dealing with a child who has a lot of difficulties.

“People are being given too few points even though they have been on disability allowance for years.”

The charity was formed in 1979 and is run by a group of volunteers.

Jill said: “All our volunteers either have disabilities or we are carers for people with disabilities – that’s why we are here.

“The world changes radically for disabled people and their families and the help we give is from a disability perspective.

“We help about 600 people a year, but there’s been a big increase in demand.

“Funding is a struggle. We can manage on £5,000 a year, but we economise wherever we can.

“We raise money through grant organisations and we do fundraise ourselves.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with DIAL or donating to the charity can call 01934 419426 or email mail@westondial.co.uk

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