DISH was formed in 1991 as a charity offering information, advice and support to people with disabilities. The momentum behind forming DISH and working with other small charities in the area was to ensure the disability community weren’t left behind and that they could live their lives with dignity, choice and independence.
Within the last few years and especially since the welfare reforms, the demand for their services has grown exponentially. They also support older members of their community with attendance allowance applications. DISH is a small team who all have lived experience of disability either as a parent, young carer and carer.
The last few months has been a period of uncertainty. This has meant a complete full stop on any fundraising events they had planned, but also no more income via trusts and foundations which had raised some significant amounts early on in the year. It was understandable that this would happen. DISH had projected a return on fundraising and foundations alone to be in excess of £15,000 -£20,000. It meant huge pressure in trying to obtain emergency funding via various outlets and ensuring they could keep offering our services whilst planning for our post COVID-19 future.
DISH furloughed an office member of staff and the other 3 caseworkers on a rotational basis so they could keep offering the service. This relieved some pressure on the salary bill, but didn’t make a huge dent. Fortunately, they have come through it and are grateful to all the support they received both locally and nationally (DISH says “Thanks, Small Charities Coalition!”)
New financial processes and a new risk management strategy have been developed to ensure our sustainability. There is now a discussion as to whether they go completely home based and reduce costs centrally – office, copier, phones etc which would perhaps improve their position.
They have always been needed, but they know they will have to increase capacity to meet the demand. They are #NeverMoreNeeded.