Young people who assess how disability-friendly services are in Norfolk help with new website

Picture of Dragon team from left to right: Astrid Ratcliff, Steph Baines, Abbie Morgan, Ruth Cordle,

Picture of Dragon team from left to right: Astrid Ratcliff, Steph Baines, Abbie Morgan, Ruth Cordle, Ryan Bedwell-Woods, Joe Silom, Hannah Gill, Ryan Worrall. Front: Heidi Merrick-Pell - Credit: NANSA

A group of young people who assess how disability-friendly services are in Norfolk have given themselves a makeover to coincide with the launch of a new website.

The Disability Real Action Group of Norfolk, known as the Dragons, announced their rebrand at the same time as an online directory of inclusive activites for children and young people with disabilities was launched.

The Dragons helped with the development of the website - which is hosted by Momentum (Norfolk).

Momentum (Norfolk) chief executive Cindee Crehan said: 'The Dragons Project has helped us by telling us what information young people with disabilities need to help find the right group for them, and is going to continue to help us by working directly with youth groups to help them understand how to be more inclusive.

'Youth groups and clubs providing activities to young people in Norfolk play a vital role in helping our young people to develop.


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'It is our ambition that all young people are able to have the opportunity to benefit from activities in their local community.

'The rewards of young people with disabilities being able to join in with their local sports or youth group will not only benefit them, but also the wider community.'

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The Dragons Project is willing to visit any Norfolk-based youth provision to undertake an accessibility audit, which will be fed back to the organisation with suggestions on how the group can make itself more accessible to young people with disabilities. Inspired by the Paralympics, the Dragons award bronze, silver and gold certificates to organisations taking part.

Project lead for the Dragons, Sarah Harrison, said: 'This project has been very successful over the last five years in helping Norfolk County Council quality assure their short breaks services. Being led by the young people themselves, it has ensured that their voice is heard and that services can make improvements that make a huge difference to those using it.

'I am very excited by the new name and logo, which have been chosen and designed by the young people. We now get involved in providing young people with a voice and have been involved in conferences for professionals, helping community groups and services, and raising awareness and visibility of what young people with disabilities can do, and what they need to help them achieve it.'

Dragons member Hannah Gill added: 'I have been around on short breaks marking how people have enjoyed it and if they have choices in the services. We have done lots of reviews and I have lost count of how many I have done, but it's a lot. We look at how accessible the building is and see if it has toilets with emergency cords and their bedrooms to see if they are allowed to bring things from home like duvet covers and posters to make it homely so they don't feel homesick when they are staying there.'

• Young people who are interested in getting involved in the Dragons project should contact Sarah Harrison at dragons.project@outlook.com .

• Any organisation that provides activities for young people can add their details to the GoDo website by registering at www.godonorfolk.org.uk/register.

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