The work that we do Disability Huntingdonshire (DISH) help people of any age with any disability, and their carers, to access benefits. We support all of Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire. We offer a free service and it is by appointment only.
We help with • Disability Living allowance (DLA) - children under 16 • Personal independence payments (PIP) 16-64. • Employment support allowance (ESA) • Attendance allowance (AA) - 65 or over • we can support with and attend tribunals.
We offer guidance on many disability related subjects including Blue badges, prescriptions and more. We can also help with official letters & making complaints etc. We can do home visits if you are unable to come to our offices
Disability Huntingdonshire is a registered charity 1061702 What difference do we make? Due to overwhelming demand for our services, we wish to offer support to clients in their local market towns through benefit surgeries linking with local community organisations and venues. As an organisation, our aim is to support the most vulnerable and, in most need, regardless of age, ethnicity or financial standing. Disability has no boundaries and can affect people at any time. We will aim to work within our local market towns on specified days and times, so people can visit local venues and receive specialist and individual benefits support.
It is our intention with this project to reach significantly more people who are struggling with the very complex world of Disability Benefits. We aim to form robust community partnerships and support people with disabilities feel part of their local communities which can reduce their isolation, increasing social networks and enhance their opportunities to become more active participants in their communities. We also work with local rural parishes in our catchment area so we can support people who cannot access their local market town so we can host bespoke benefit surgeries. Our aim for our service is to focus on ability and independent living rather than focus on disability.
Our community and the challenges they are currently facing.
There is a mis conception that Cambridgeshire as a county is wealthy with no areas of deprivation. However, some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country are in Huntingdonshire and rural areas of Cambridgeshire. There are several factors for that deprivation (austerity, transport, migration, access to health services, reduction in community support etc)
Disability has no boundaries and the challenges are numerous, however the area we work in is also facing challenges. So, our community of interest family are residents of the same geographical communities but with an additional barrier
The welfare benefits changes have hit the disabled community particularly hard. The wholescale changes affecting disability claimants has been devastating for the community. In most cases we have dealt with, their ongoing health has been impacted and their effect on their mental health is staggering.
A clear picture is emerging in our work of disabled people living in increasing fear of losing their benefits
Nationally research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found around 650,000 people with mental and physical health problems were officially destitute in the UK in 2018 – we consider that to be a very conservative estimate. Last year we supported over 400 people with their disability claims and appeals and generated over £550k in income that can aid people’s quality of life and increase their local economy spending power. This year we anticipate requests for our help to double. In the first 3 months of the year, requests for our services have increased by 20% What are the strengths and opportunities in our community? The strength of our local communities can really impact on the people we support. Due to rurality and negligible transport links, increasing our communities’ access within their local community is vital to reduce their social and emotional isolation, enable their resilience and raise awareness in communities of the issues faced by people of all ages with disability. Our local town and parishes are in the main vibrant communities supported by volunteers mainly. If we increase our communities spending power, it can contribute to the economy of the local area. How you can best help us As we receive no local authority funding, we are heavily reliant on grants, donations and the goodwill of other organisations. The costs of even a small charity mean the options for developing stability and recourse to sustainability is impacted severely.