Merton CIL is a Deaf and Disabled People’s organisation based in Merton. We are run and controlled by and for Deaf and Disabled people.
We need your help to keep our important work reducing loneliness and increasing independence in local Deaf and Disabled people going!
Help us to continue to build our supportive group called Craftivism and Chat and provide and advice and advocacy service for local Disabled people. With around 25,000 Disabled people and an estimated 8,000 reported lonely people in Merton, innovative ways of engaging with Disabled people are drastically needed. Disabled people need a welcoming place to build social connections, feel listened to and contribute to the community. As well as get involved in Disability arts.
We want the money raised to help keep our important work providing a unique home visiting advice service going. The money raised will also cover the rental overheads, art and craft materials required for the project, paying Disabled artists a fee to run workshops, exhibition costs, volunteer costs and access costs such as BSL and travel, so that the group is accessible to everyone. Over the two years, we will offer a range of interactive and informative sessions.
Craftivism and Chat aims to:
1. Reduce isolation and loneliness in Deaf and Disabled people as well as the wider community in The London Borough of Merton
2. Get Deaf and Disabled people involved in decision making and make change happen on a local level
3. Increase health and well being, independent living skills, confidence and social relationships in local Deaf and Disabled people
With your help we will deliver:
• A monthly group for Deaf and Disabled people and the wider community
• Arts and Crafts workshops delivered by Disabled and local artists
• Chat sessions where Deaf and Disabled People speak up and get involved in consultations, local decision making etc so that their voices are heard
• Volunteer opportunities to build confidence and skills
• Promote the group to local organisations and groups, care homes, day centres and more. Also, try and engage with Merton’s hidden Disabled citizens
• Develop and share engaging pieces of Disability art to spark important conversations
Why it's a great idea:
- Deaf and Disabled people have been disproportionally affected by austerity, making up 8% of the general population, but bearing 29% of all public expenditure cuts in the UK. A vast body of evidence shows that Deaf and Disabled people are now face increasing levels of poverty, exclusion and discrimination, effectively turning the clock back on years of progress towards greater equality for this group and resulting in greater social exclusion for Disabled people.
- Loneliness is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Campaign to End Loneliness) and increases the risk of premature death by 30 per cent (Loneliness and Social Isolation in older people Policy Briefing)
- Health and social care budgets, as well as local services are suffering.
- Isolation, loneliness and depression are huge concerns for Disabled people in Merton – There are estimated to be around 8,000 lonely people in Merton.
Merton CIL’s Craftivism and Chat group provides a unique solution to loneliness by drawing on Disabled peoples lived experiences to connect people.
100% of those that attended Craftivism and Chat last year rated it good or great
- ‘The group has helped with my wellbeing. It is helping me with my anxiety’
- ‘Coming along to Craftivism and Chat gets me out of the house and stops me feeling lonely and isolated. It is nice to speak to people’
- ‘A friendly place’
- ‘I like coming to the craftivism and chat group and talking to people and having a laugh. It makes me feel less isolated otherwise I tend to stay at home bored’
- ‘The workshop made me think about poetry in a new a positive way’
- ‘Educational and recreational’
Any funds raised over and above our target will go towards the running of the group in 2021 and help to meet the day to day core running costs of other supportive services at Merton CIL.