Over the past 2 years we have been working hard to modernise the charity, to extend our reach, to reduce cost and to spread the word about our work and the fabulous people we work with further and wider than ever. At the same time we find ourselves, as do many charities, in challenging economic circumstances.
Operating on the very edges of health and social care, changes in legislation, economic uncertainty, a plethora of enormous social issues both nationally and globally means we have found it increasingly difficult to attract the levels of donations we need to fund the charity in its current form.
Self generated income from products and services is not yet large enough to cover the shortfall.
We are undoubtedly experiencing a ‘new normal’ with regard voluntary funding and are therefore putting in place a framework for increasing self-sufficiency in the long term which will benefit a wider community through a broader service . We aim to be of even greater value than we already are.
With ever improving products and services now available ‘off the shelf’, a fast changing national age profile, uncertainty around voluntary income and increasing challenges in harnessing the plethora of media channels to get our message heard and our work recognised we must re-imagine how we add value to our community of disabled people, their families, carers and associated health and social care professionals.
Following a root and branch review of the charity’s activities to ensure that we continue to deliver a high quality and valued service we have therefore taken the decision to reimagine our social value proposition and to resize, both to meet our immediate challenges and also to make sure that we are delivering maximum value to all our stakeholders. Sadly, our centre in Brockholes, West Yorkshire has been closed and we are also losing team members from our headquarters in Abbots Langley.
We are optimistic about the future and have taken the actions we have to put us in a position to take new opportunities to grow. Our work of creating enabling equipment which help people to overcome barriers to inclusion, participation and independence continues apace and remains absolutely core to who we are and what we do.
We are already working up plans which will allow us to make our facilities available for broader community benefit; the time is right given the upsurge in interest and participation in all aspects of making.
We want to actively encourage and help people at all stages of life, disabled and non-disabled, to explore their creativity and to fill gaps in digital literacy especially with regard the fast developing world of digital fabrication. Even more importantly we want, through making and helping others to make, to do more to positively change the narrative around disability.