Equipment and Adaptations Voluntary Monitoring Group
We have as usual had a busy year and we have enlisted five more members, who are contributing greatly to our group. Our new beverage dispenser and our computer literate member (who is proving indispensable), joined us in September. John joined us at the beginning of the year and is an invaluable team member. Sean, an undergraduate from Bangor University attended for `work experience’ with regard to office management and database work. We also have Mr. Holland, who is helping with fund raising applications and the Feasibility Study that we have undertaken, to see if ‘Hiring out equipment to holiday makers’ is a viable and sustainable thing to do. We have also had 3 meetings with Derrek to try to obtain the money for the feasibility study. This was refused by CVSC on the grounds that they considered EQAG to be a statutory body; we then tried the Social Risk Fund and were successful. The feasibility study began in January but is going to take some time to complete. Mr Owen will be assisting the group with business advice.
Last year John and Harold suffered from ill health and sadly one of our members, Bill who has been absent for some time, died in October.
We were given a small grant of £3000 from the Conwy Local Health Board to contribute towards employing a clerical assistant, as this is not sufficient to finance an assistant for two days a week and as they have stated that it is a one off payment, we will have to hold this in reserve until we can acquire enough to guarantee employment for a worthwhile period of time.
As we are to became employers, we have had to become a “Company registered by guarantee”.
This will safeguard us as Trustees. To enable us to achieve this we have had to pay £300 half of which will be returned from the council. We are committed to a statutory course of training for this.
Paula has completed a course on ‘Interpersonal Skills for Volunteers’ and an 8 week course on ‘Art Writing for Disabled People’ as well as a course on Fundraising. Alison & Laura have completed a Committee Skills course and a Volunteer Employment Law. Laura has also joined the Access Group which meets bi-monthly.
We started the year with a meeting with Mr. Williams He gave the 15 group members and OT’s a detailed account of his work with Age Concern.
EQAG meet on Wednesday of each week of the year from 9.30 – 4.30, our usual work consists of printing feedback forms and information letters. Collating information from the feedback forms.
We send out approx 100 feedback forms per week, first stapling them together then labelling and stamping envelopes. On average we receive 20 returned feedback forms per week; the information gleaned from these forms is then entered onto the computer for assessment. We deal with finding the assessor for clients with problems, copying any feedback forms with problems, then sending them to the relevant assessor and dealing with the rest of the mail. Other work includes printing and laminating photographs for the portfolios and discussing important issues regarding our work and related matters.
The group is becoming involved with many more disability issues especially with the DDA coming into force in October. As we are located in an area which is predominately a tourist/visitor area on the coast, we are concerned with the general lack of preparedness on the part of hoteliers and other service industries concerned with tourism.
In an effort to streamline EQAG’s service, we are now holding our meetings once every three months.
Due to alterations in Canolfan yr Orsedd, we had no venue for the middle of the year; consequently there have not been as many demonstrations this year. The three at the beginning of the year were held at the OT room, Llandudno Hospital, with kind permission of Ceri Pritchard SROT, who we thank very much.