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Does Newcastle upon Tyne need a Community Engagement programme?

Cam71189Cam71189 Member Posts: 5 Listener
I am a Newcastle resident with mobility issues, PTSD + depression and a learning disability. The reason I described myself this way is because every aspect of this has placed barriers on me from social to economic.

I want to create a group that can meet up every month to arrange events, fundraising activities, general awareness and organise programs to help our community. I am of course very isolated at the moment but I want to make a difference and for such things as community engagement we need more than one person to make things happen. 

So Does Newcastle need a community engagement program? 

In conclusion, thankyou for reading; I hope to see a couple of responses or discussions regarding my question since I would love to know what people think. 


  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,372 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi, @Cam71189 sounds like a good idea, how would it differ from what the Newcastle Disability Forum does?

    Where such groups do not exist, I would happily encourage people to consider getting involved and trying to start something. Where an area has an established group or groups, I would recommend getting involved with them.

    If what you have in mind is something different then yes it may be worth looking into starting your group.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Cam71189Cam71189 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hello Geoark,
    Thankyou for your reply it was very useful. I am looking into Disability north they seem like a productive and useful organisation. I am already getting more involved in charities that are in the Newcastle area but I will look more into them, moving forward.

    I wish to make a monthly meet up for the things I discussed above but they would focus more on the creative activities such as: writing, poetry, acting, arts and crafts.

    On the more specific side I would like to create a reading festival aimed for learning disabilities and one that shows Disabled representation in literature. I am quite motivated to starting the SEN Arts Award ( ) in the local area. Along with other things along those lines that would be up for discussion.
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,372 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Cam71189

    Sorry if this is going to sound negative. Newcastle has a proud history in creating this type of support. Two other organisations in Newcastle are The Twisted Duck Theatre Group and Arcadea who cover much of what you have mentioned.

    Newcastle Libraries have an annual book festival. While I am not aware if there is any focus on disability, you could talk to them to see if they do and to encourage them to include this if not.

    The SEN Arts Award, not sure if you are thinking of creating something new or encouraging schools and colleges to encourage young disabled students to take part.

    I point this out to answer the question, which is, Does Newcastle need a Community Engagement Programme? It does have some.

    Moving on, would it be useful to try at least and start a conversation yes. Just be honest with those who are going to be involved. If you have particular aims, then make this clear, if you want a conversation where all ideas are welcome, then be prepared for other opinions.

    For example, you mentioned you are currently feeling isolated, and this is not unusual, suggesting that much of what is available is mostly unknown. A disability pride event would be a useful way of bringing all the different groups together and promoting what is available in Newcastle and surrounding areas.  It would also provide a venue to support things like the Arts Award. It would also give a good indication of what is not currently available, keeping in mind not everyone will get involved. Perhaps not what you are thinking but an idea that could be developed and would start making a difference to the disability community and one of many ideas that could come up in an open conversation.

    Can I ask how you plan to promote these conversations? I can offer an idea or two if you need them.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Cam71189   Pleased to meet you.

    Thank you for your post.

    I am one of the team of community champions on the forum.

    Also live in the North East.

    There is plenty of groups as my friend @Geoark has stated.

    Please you mentioned depression and other conditions and your disability.

    Many mental health charities offer a range of activities in a group sessions, some have support groups.  Cree projects with in the branches.

    These three may be of interest to you.

    Offer floating support, welfare, benefits, and much more.

    In our communities have a look on line for your nearest one we have disability resource centres.

    Have a range of services and activities for people like yourself.

    Used them a lot.

    I find want volunteers do gardens grow own produce.

    Offer many other interests, crafts and much more.

    Please if I can help further please get in touch happy to be supportive.

    Please take care.

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Cam71189Cam71189 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hello Geoark and thespiceman,

    My wording was off and sorry about that, this was my first post and a pain flare up is makeing it hard to concentrate. I am just here for general information and advice and you have been helpful, thankyou.

    A disability pride event would be a useful way of bringing all the different groups together and promoting what is available in Newcastle and surrounding areas. I would like to help develop something like this and start making a greater difference to the disability community. I am already part of various charities; mind has actually greatly helped me in the past and I fundraised at my college along with raising awareness. I am volunteering for other charities and now I know some charities to contact and look into. 

    Thank you again.
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