Colour scheme:
  • Blue text on yellow background
  • Yellow text on blue background
  • Dark pink text on light blue background
  • Black text on pink background
  • Cream text on navy background
  • Reset Reset default colour theme
Text size:
  • Increase text size
  • Decrease text size
  • Reset text size


New Board Members needed
Cheshire Centre for Independent Living is looking for Directors with knowledge/experience of disabled peoples’ issues, that have an interest in providing effective governance at board level and be able to represent the organisation to both internal and external audiences.

We are particularly looking for individuals with experience in:
Charity Law/Regulation,
Date Protection,
Quality Assurance,
Project Management,
Risk Management,

Cheshire Centre for Independent Living is an equal opportunities employer.  As a user-led organisation, run and controlled by disabled people, for disabled people, applications are particularly welcome from skilled disabled people.

It is estimated that the Director will have to commit to a minimum of 12 days per year in order to fulfil their role.  Some of this may be in the evenings or weekends and will be spread over a number of meetings, including preparation and reading time and training.

Appointment will be for a fixed term of three years, renewable for a further two terms.

Individuals will receive induction training along with further training and support throughout their appointment in order to enable them to fulfil their role to the best of their abilities. They will be expected to commit to undertaking regular training during their time on the CCIL Board of Directors.

You will be:
Ensuring that the organisation has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction and is focused on achieving these;
Being responsible for the performance of the organisation and for its “corporate” behaviour;
Ensuring that the organisation complies with all legal and regulatory requirements;
Acting as guardians of the organisations assets, both tangible and intangible, taking all due care over their security, deployment and proper application;
Ensuring that the organisations governance is of the highest standard.

For an application pack please contact Victoria Atherton on: 01606 331853 or


Volunteers needed with Football Skills!

We are looking for volunteers to support a 16 week Football Skills programme in partnership with Cheshire FA.

11-16 years
Monday 4:30 – 5:30 @ Moss Farm, Northwich

Monday 10 – 11 @ Goals, Chester

Fun, informal and low impact football skills session for disabled young people.
These sessions are due to start in November, for more information contact Viki Atherton on: 01606 331853 /


Healthwatch Cheshire CIC – Board Recruitment

Healthwatch Cheshire are looking to recruit lay Board members.
If you would like to know more please following web links referring to news items on their websites: Healthwatch Cheshire East Recruitment  or Healthwatch Cheshire West Recruitment.


Mystery Shopping

Do you want to join a dedicated team of Mystery Shoppers? They are Deaf and/or disabled music fans who report back on the accessibility and overall experience at UK music venues, clubs and festivals, in return for free tickets and travel. This is vital for identifying each venue’s strengths and areas for improvement.  They are always on the lookout for new volunteers to assess almost any live music event, but specifically target venues and festivals that are signed up to the Charter of Best Practice. The detailed feedback on accessibility is then passed onto the management, so that any potential barriers are identified and practical solutions are suggested.

To become a Mystery Shopper, you can either register online by visiting:,

or email or call 020 7383 7979 to request the forms and more information.


Buzz Youth Activity Group Donations online




You can now donate to the Buzz Youth Activity Group online via ‘Just Giving’!

This can be a one off donation or a monthly donation and it is really simple…

  • £5.00 could purchase cookery equipment
  • £10.00 could purchase arts and craft materials
  • £25.00 could purchase sports equipment

Please click HERE to follow link.


The SF Fund

This fund provides financial support to assist severely disabled people of all ages, individually or in groups, to enable them to have access to equipment and services which will make a positive difference to their quality of life. They are able to fund items such as trikes, powered wheelchairs, computers, AAC communicators, adjustable beds and mobility scooters. Applications may be submitted either by the individual (with a supporting letter from a professional) or from an organisation on their behalf. To apply, complete the on-line enquiry form at or email


£140 Electricity Discount – are you eligible?

You might be eligible for up to £140 off your bills this winter through the government and energy suppliers’ Warm Home Discount Scheme. Make sure you hurry because the scheme is offered on a first-come-first-served basis. Please note that the discount is not paid to you – instead the £140 is deducted from your electricity bill. You will qualify for the scheme if your energy provider is part of the scheme and either:

• You’re a pensioner who receives the guarantee credit of Pension Credit; in this

case you’ll automatically be eligible for the rebate; • or you fall into the ‘broader group’ of people that your energy supplier gives the discount to. For you to be eligible to claim, you or your partner’s name must be on your energy bills and your supplier must take part in the scheme.

General information, with a list of participating suppliers, is available on:


British Gas Energy Trust

 The British Gas Energy Trust, which incorporates the Scottish Gas Energy Trust, is an independent Charitable Trust established in 2004. The Trust contributes to the relief of poverty, with a particular focus on fuel poverty, helping those who are struggling to pay for their consumption of gas and electricity get back on their feet and remain debt free going forward.

The Trust provides a significant difference to the lives of those in need by awarding grants to clear energy debts and purchase energy efficient white goods. In exceptional cases the Trust can also help with other priority costs. The Trust also funds voluntary organisations to provide money and fuel debt advice services. See


Casserole Club

Casserole Club helps people share extra portions of home-cooked food with older people in their local area who might not always be able to cook for themselves. Members cook an extra portion to serve up to their older neighbours. Casserole Club tackles issues around food and loneliness, while also providing a flexible way for people to volunteer their skills and time locally. The project is being delivered by Age UK Cheshire in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council. If you are interested in becoming a cook or if you would like a friendly neighbour to deliver you a home cooked meal, just call 01606 884 449.


The EASS Advice Line

The Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) provides information advice and support on disability discrimination and human rights issues. You can contact the EASS by telephone, textphone, chat letter or email or skype if use BSL. Telephone: 0808 800 0082. Textphone: 0808 800 0084. Freepost, Equality Advisory Support Service FPN4431. If you are contacting the EASS by post about an issue for the first time, please do not send any documents with your letter. To contact EASS by email use the website:

NHS Prescriptions

The number of checks on free prescriptions is increasing to protect NHS resources, so if you declare that you don’t have to pay on medical grounds and you don’t have a valid medical exemption certificate, you could be facing a penalty charge of up to £100 as well as the original prescription charge. If you don’t pay within the specified timescale, an additional surcharge of £50 will apply. Certificates are valid for five years so once you’ve got yours, remember to keep an eye on its expiry date. A few weeks before the expiry date, speak to your doctor to find out if you’re eligible to reapply. If you’re not entitled to a medical exemption certificate, you could qualify for free prescriptions on other grounds. For more information on help with health costs, ask your GP or pharmacist for a ‘Claiming free prescriptions?’ booklet or visit:

On Tuesday 30th June, Cheshire CIL supported the official launch of the Disability Rights UK project – Get Yourself Active. The launch was a great success which was well attended, with some thought provoking presentations and insightful discussions. Most importantly delegates showed real enthusiasm for the project and this was evident through the commitments people made to support us in our work. The Get Yourself Active project is all about supporting disabled people to access the vast array of sport and leisure opportunities that are available across Cheshire. The project has a keen focus on working with people who receive personal budgets, to help them have sport and leisure opportunities built into their support plans. If you are interested in finding out more information on what sport and leisure opportunities are available in your community, please feel free to contact Tom Bell, Get Yourself Active Coordinator on 01606 331 853 or alternatively email


Stagecoach Theatre Arts Donation




A big thank you to Stagecoach Theatre Arts, Northwich for the kind donation of £220 for the Buzz Youth Group (Northwich).


Family Fun Day




The Buzz Activity Group in Chester held a family day on Saturday 11th April in response to requests from parents/carers and members.  A great day was had by all with a delicious barbeque served for lunch.  Activities included climbing wall, low ropes, and assault course.  Well done to everyone who reached the dizzy heights of the climbing wall !!


The Cinnamon Trust

This is a specialist national charity for people in their last years and their much loved, much needed companion animals. A network of 15,000 volunteers “hold hands” with owners to provide vital loving care for their pets. They keep them together – for example, they will walk a dog every day for a housebound owner, they will foster pets when owners need hospital care, they will fetch the cat food, or even clean out the bird cage, etc. When staying at home is no longer an option, their Pet. Friendly Care Home Register lists care homes and retirement housing happy to accept residents with pets, and providing previous arrangements have been made with them, they will take on life time care of a bereaved pet. They do have other services that they provide for pet owners which can be viewed on their website.


Top Tips for disabled people seeing work

  • Look for the “Positive About Disabled People” symbol. This can be found on job descriptions and job roles on job sites. It indicates that the employer is committed to employing disabled people.
  • If you meet the basic requirements of the job role that has a Positive about Disabled People symbol, you are guaranteed an interview.
  • If you’re a young disabled person looking for work after school there is an apprenticeship scheme encouraging employers to give young disabled people the opportunity to work for their company as an apprentice. They can gain recognised qualifications by doing this. Look at the Disability Rights UK website for more info.
  • Go to your local job centre and find your Disability employment advisor. They will assist you in your job search and tell you about relevant courses you can do to improve your experience and skills. They can also teach you interview skills.
  • Work choice is another fantastic government funded scheme that helps disabled people find work and stay in work through free courses.

For more information see


Age UK’s Befriending Services
To tackle the problem of loneliness among older people, Age UK Cheshire has developed befriending services. The service works by assigning each older person a befriender, who provides friendly conversation and companionship on a regular basis over a long period of time. Many local Age UKs provide befriending services, some by telephone and some where a volunteer visits the older person at their home. This vital service provides a link to the outside world and often acts as a gateway for other services and valuable support. Age UK also provides a telephone befriending service called ‘Call in Time’, which consists of a regular daily or weekly phone call. The relationship is structured so that each befriender makes the call at a regular pre-agreed time. All befrienders are volunteers, who freely give their time to help lonely older people. Find out more about Age UK Cheshire’s telephone befriending services by calling 01606 783 778.

Trains & Trams
Rica has a list of which scooters can be taken on trains and trams plus a free print guide called “Public transport: a guide for older and disabled people” covering access on coaches, ferries, travel in London, planes and taxis for deaf, disabled and older people. Visit:

Holidays for all
Holidays For All offer a variety of accessible holiday options from international travel, hotels with adapted rooms and wet room facilities and activity centres to accompanied tours and accessible canal boat and tall ship sailing. Holidays with care and assistance are also available if required, along with specialist equipment and access information. For a brochure (available in various formats), please call 0845 1249 971. Visit:


Vale Royal Disability Services are looking to recruit new volunteers to join their enthusiastic team at Northwich Shopmobility Service. Training is provided. An understanding of disability  or suitable personal experience would be welcome. Contact VRDS on 01606 888400 or alternatively email for more information. Vale Royal Disability Services, 4, Hartford Business Centre, Chester Road, Hartford, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 2AB.

Into Apprenticeships

A new guide called “Into Apprenticeships” deals with common questions such as how to find an apprenticeship, whether the training will be accessible and what support is available in the workplace. There are several inspiring stories written by disabled apprentices about their own experiences and the challenges they have faced. The guide also contains a resources section listing further websites, publications and organisations which can help. You can download the guide free from


Ruils Work Support Network Forum
The Work Support Network forum is a place

where employers of and employees with a disability or health issue can talk
openly and anonymously in a virtual space to share ideas and find out
information relating to employment issues. The forum includes:

To get started people need to register the username they want to appear when posting comments, accept the terms of agreement and activate their account. See

New on-line resource for disabled people
The Money Advice Service has launched a new online resource dedicated to supporting people who people who develop a health condition or become disabled. The new section can be found at

Befriending Scheme Ellesmere Port
Ellesmere Port’s most vulnerable and elderly residents can register for their FREE Befriending Scheme. Local residents will be matched with a trained Volunteer Befriender who provides support & companionship year round. Referrals can be made by agencies, statutory bodies, & anybody concerned with the welfare of an individual. To volunteer as a befriender or to make a referral, please contact: EPNAVCO 0151 356 7358

Learning Disabilities Life Course Project
This project is about making the lives of children, young people and adults with learning disabilities and/or autism better. If you have a learning disability and live in Cheshire East this project will help you. If you would like to be involved in the project or would like to know more, please contact Diane Taylor—07717426802 Or by email—

SP Energy Networks keep a Priority Services Register so that they can contact their most vulnerable customers if they experience a power interruption. People can be included on the register if they are dependent on medical equipment, chronically sick, disabled, or have some other special need that may require a special level of assistance. Register by

calling 0845 273 4444, or email:

In the UK, nearly one in 10 university students classes themselves as having a disability, but in 2012 only 2% of graduate job applications came from those with
disabilities. is a new website aimed at closing that gap,by offering advice and support to students, and a recruitment platform to employers.
The site offers practical advice to students: How do you describe your disability? At what point in the application process is it suitable to do so? It also provides a platform for disability-aware recruiters to meet talented students.

Volunteers Wanted at DIB
Disability Information Bureau are looking for volunteer receptionists to join their friendly team at their Macclesfield branch. No experience necessary. If you have a few hours a week to spare and are interested, please contact them on 01625 501759 or


If you are the parent of a disabled child, you may be worrying about fuel bills more than most this winter. Contact a Family’s research revealed that 1 in 6 families with disabled children are going without heating. Their advisers have put together some advice and information to help your family stay warm – financial help you may qualify for; steps you can take to keep fuel bills low and information about disconnection and fuel debt. If you need help call the free phone helpline on 0808 808 3555


Family Fund has introduced a new grant to help eligible young people aged 16 and 17 take the first steps in learning how to drive. The Driving Ambitions grant supports the young person to get started by funding a combination of provisional licence, theory test, learning materials such as the Highway Code or Theory test book or DVD and first taster lesson. This is only available for the eligible young person who has not yet had any driving
lesson tuition. The Family Fund cannot provide support for ongoing driving lessons. Tel:
08449 744 099. Textphone: 01904 658 085. Email:

Family Research

Fran Leach is a Trainee Educational Psychologist from the University of  Southampton, in the final year of her Doctorate, conducting research which aims  to gain a better understanding of the experiences of siblings growing up with a brother or sister with a disability – particularly involving Down Syndrome or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. If you would like to take part (via a questionnaire) please contact Fran at

See the Special Effect!

Special Effect are putting fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with disabilities by helping them to play video games. By using technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control, they are finding a way for people to play to the very best of their abilities. By levelling the playing field, Special Effect are  bringing families and friends together and having a profoundly positive impact on therapy, confidence and rehabilitation.

National Diversity Awards
National Diversity awards ceremony took place in September. The Buzz Youth Activity Group were awarded a Certificate of Excellence and were shortlisted to the final 3 from 4,500 nominations.  The young people, staff and volunteer team are all extremely proud of this achievement – check out our photos on our Facebook page.

Employing Personal Assistants Toolkit

Skills for Care has just launched access to the new online interactive version of the Employing Personal Assistants toolkit. The toolkit is to help individual employers employ their own personal assistants. The new interactive version enables you to search and immediately access the information you are most interested in. It contains links to different sections within the toolkit and the useful templates. There are also links to organisations you can access for more support and information and you can still download the individual booklets and templates. You can view the online interactive toolkit here


Watch our video!

Chehsire Centre for Indepdendent are excited to present the Personal Assistant (PA) Apprenticeships video case study filmed by Skills for Care and used widely to promote social care apprenticeships for individual employers and PAs during National Apprenticeships Week 2012. You can watch the short video by viewing the following link

Support for DPULOs
Cheshire Centre for Independent Living is pleased to quote from MP, Maria Miller’s, recent speech on the importance of Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations (DPULOs). Ms Miller said…

At every level we want to see individual disabled people driving change.

And because this is so important, we are investing an extra £3 million to help disabled people’s user led organisations grow and develop.

These grassroots organisations have first hand experience of what disabled people really need.

And stronger, more robust organisations will give disabled people more influence.

Richard Watts from [ecdp] is helping get this project off the ground as joint National Lead with Independent Living and Office for Disability Issues [ODI].

In addition we have appointed 12 ambassadors representing all areas of England. Part of their role is to share expertise and best practice.

We are working to develop a pool of volunteer experts who can help with skills the organisations may lack, for example in human resources, business planning and financial management.

I want every disabled person to have access to a disabled people’s user led organisation.

Because this is the kind of support individual disabled people need to deliver real independence so they can make their own choices, have full control over their lives and achieve their full potential.

For  More information about the Strengthening DPULOs Programme  – including the Ambassadors and the Facilitation Fund – can be found at and

CCIL attended a Parliamentary Reception at the Palace of Westminster
Cheshire Centre for Independent Living is proud to announce that we were  invited to a Parliamentary Reception at the Palace of Westminster on Monday 16th May 2011.

Cheshire Centre for Independent Living is a user-led organisation, providing a range of support services, driven by the needs and aspirations of local disabled people and carers. Our aim is to empower disabled people to direct their own care and to promote greater independence, choice and control over their lives.

We were invited to this prestigious event as a result of our success in developing the ‘Personal Assistant Apprenticeship Pilot’ in partnership with Skills for Care; as part of our innovative training service for disabled employers and their personal assistants.

The Personal Assistant Apprenticeship Pilot is raising the profile of the role of personal assistants both locally and nationally, complimented by our award winning Training Service; which supports individual disabled employers in Cheshire West & Chester/Cheshire East locality to access free, independent tailor-made training for themselves and their personal assistants.

This exciting and innovative pilot project has enabled disabled employers and their personal assistants in Cheshire West & Chester/Cheshire East to access the Health and Social Care Apprenticeship Framework for the first time.

We were delighted to be able to attend this important event and our invitation is testament to the successful partnership working with Cheshire West & Chester council, Cheshire East Council and service users, which also led to our success at the 2010 Skills for Care Accolades in November; winning the category ‘best partnership supporting the transformation to personalisation’.

Cheshire Centre for Independent Living is extremely proud of our contribution to workforce development in the social care sector and the recognition of our commitment as a user-led organisation, to delivering services which are shaped and driven by the needs and aspirations of service users.

For more information about Cheshire Centre for Independent Living and our services please call 01606 872760 or see