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12 September 2012

Minutes of the Meeting of the Disability Users Forum Held on Wednesday 12 September 2012 in Millview Day Centre, Bessbrook

Disability Action

Group Meeting


Disability User Forum members: Damian Mc Sorley (Chair), John Stewart, Gerry Murray, Kenny Clydesdale, Mark Bennett, Pat Hurley Martin Mallon, Maureen Mc Nulty, Freda Power

Millview Day Centre: Sean Bennett, Eamon Devlin,PJ Fitzpatrick, Philip O Hanlon, John Sheehy, Donald Woods, Anne Kirke, Teresa Mc Cusker,Kerry Mc Keown, Sandra Mc Mahon,Caroline O`Grady, Maureen Smyth, Maria Syddall.

In attendance

Clare Sheehan


      Gerard Mc Evoy, Rodney Hamilton, Andrew Martin

      Jim Corbett, Adrian Fox,


1Welcome and apologies 
1.1Damian welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave apologies for Rodney Hamilton, Jim Corbett and Adrian Fox and Andrew Martin. He also welcomed Clare Sheehan from Disability Action, Belfast to the meeting.  Freda Power was welcomed back after a period of illness. Apologies etc given by Damian

Involvement of Millview Day Centre

Damian outlined the format of today’s meeting by referring to the agenda. We would be dealing with Disability User Forum business in the room we were using and then Clare Sheehan would deliver a presentation on Digital Switchover in the larger common room. Day Centre service users would be joining us at that stage.

 Format explained for session by Damian


2Minutes of previous meeting 

Adoption of minutes

The previous minutes of the 8 August 2012 were adopted. Progress on some action points identified would be discussed after lunch.

 Previous minutes agreed

Individual and group work with members

Because of the time constraints of recent meetings with presentations etc on the agenda, Damian informed the group that we would spend more time on group work today.

Group work
3Group work 

Checking in with group

In a deviation from previous meetings, it was decided that we would check in on how everyone was feeling. Prior to the meeting, some members had expressed that they had not slept well the night before and had various life issues that they were going through at the moment.

Group work

Exploring feelings

Dealing with disability issues on a daily basis were exemplified by the following quotes:-

1.  `Things are sent to test us we need to take it in our stride day by day`.

2.  ` No matter what is wrong with you have to get up and go, you can't feel sorry for yourself, life goes on so make the best of what you have`

3.  `I just have to not give into depression and just get on with it, you think you are bad but there is always someone has it worse.`

4.  `I think what gets me down when I think I don't have this and that and want it, but it is about being happy with what you have already got because that could go as quickly as anything.`

Group and Damian


4Matters arising PART 1 

Welfare Benefits

Damian reminded everyone of the `Information Event on PIPS` in Dungannon Leisure Centre on 2 October`12.

Damian to book transport for group members

Freda  Power enquiry re dog training

Freda Power raised the fact that she has a young Springer spaniel puppy who is 5 months old and  would be quite good for training as an assistive dog.

Damian to raise with Eamon at Disability Action

 Community Transport

Damian furnished those who had missed the last meeting with a list of community transport providers in the Southern Health and Social Trust area.

We also discussed door to door transport

and the advantages of it when going to the doctors etc

Handout on transport given to group members

Human Rights

Damian informed everyone that he has liaised with Heather Logan and she will be delivering a Human Rights workshop at our next session in Loughbrickland Primary School.

Damian to liaise with Heather Logan

Publicity of Disability User Forum

 The News Around newsletter was sent to Newry ICT for inclusion on the Opportunities For All website. Other newsworthy material such as Disability User Forum meeting minutes is to be compiled for inclusion on the site. The News Around newsletter has also been added to the SHSCT website

 Damian to prepare and send minutes to Gabriel, Newry ICT     


Damian mentioned that a two way flow of information with PPI and the Disability User Forum has been forged with communication about both meetings being sent via minutes and agendas. As well as this, forthcoming events are also being communicated.

Damian to continue to liaise with PPI


5Digital Switchover Presentation Clare Sheehan 


Clare Sheehan was introduced to service users from Millview Day Centre and the Disability Users Forum.


Group photo

As we planned to take photos today, the group were asked for verbal consent for the use of media for publicity purposes. Everyone present agreed to this.

Verbal consent given by group

Presentation by Clare Sheehan on Digital Switchover

TV across the UK is going digital.  The existing analogue TV signal will be switched off and replaced with a new, stronger digital TV signal.

Switchover is happening so that Freeview services (digital TV through an aerial) can be extended to people who can’t currently get them.

Any analogue television left unconverted will no longer be able to receive TV programmes after switchover.


Dates to remember

Stage 1: 10th Oct 2012

Stage 2: 24th Oct 2012

ROI switch 24th Oct 2012

Digital Switchover (DSO) Stage one

•        The analogue BBC Two signal is switched off forever.

•         At the same time, BBC digital channels, including BBC Two, extend to reach all areas for the first time.

Digital Switchover Stage two

•        Two weeks after stage one, the remaining analogue channels are switched off forever.

•        The remaining digital channels become available in all areas.




The Switchover Help Scheme

       Run by the BBC, it offers 75+ and people with disabilities everything they need to convert one of their TV sets to digital.

       Can be used to convert a second set if main set already digital.

       Engineer will visit home to install, set up system and get it working

       12 months free aftercare including help with retuning

        If you have Sky TV, Free sat from Sky, freesat or Virgin Media on all your TV’s then you won’t need to do anything

        If you have Freeview, BT Vision or Top Up TV then you will need to retune at each stage of switchover

Are you watching five channels or fewer? If so, then you will need to convert your TV to Digital or you will lose channels. You will need to buy a Digi-box and retune your TV. It costs 40 but  is freefor eligible people also on income benefits


Contact details for support

Digital UK advice line:           08456 505050


Switchover Help Scheme:  0800 40 85 900


6Matters arising Part B 

Information Meeting in Manor Day Centre 1 October 2012

The above session will focus on welfare benefits and general needs of service users. Andrew Martin will provide feedback on the progress of the Disability

Agenda to be given to Andrew Martin and his role discussed


 User Forum at this meeting 

Information Meeting in Station Road Resource Centre 8 October 2012

Another similar session will be held in Station Road and will focus on welfare benefits and the needs of service users. Gerry Murray will provide feedback on the Disability User Forum at this meeting

Agenda to be given to Gerry Murray and his role discussed

IT practice for Disability User Forum

We discussed the need to agree on the information that we put in the public domain. We discussed the importance of   conveying a group message when lobbying for change.  

Minutes of previous meetings to be put on Opportunity for All website

Role of Representatives on Disability User Forum

We discussed the importance of feeding back issues from Day Centre service users to the Disability User Forum. The forthcoming Information meetings in Station Road and Manor Day Centre were one method of doing this. Damian offered to support members in this role. He mentioned that this area is one that he would like to explore further with the group. Day Centre managers he had spoken to would like to see more proactive work in this area as it helps to improve the services of meeting the needs of service users.

Damian to support members in representative role

Vision Forum meeting

Gerard Mc Evoy informed everyone that he will be attending a Vision Forum meeting in Cherrytrees Resource Centre next week. The Vision Forum helps people with visual disability. Gerard will feedback on the progress of this at the next Forum meeting. Damian encouraged this type of work with other groups members were involved with and the fact that we could open up new lines of communication with other organizations.

Gerard to feedback at the next meeting

Follow up meeting at Millview Day Centre with Day Centre Manager

Damian and John Stewart met the manager to discuss issues that the service users had raised and will update the Disability User Forum members at the next meeting. John Stewart attended this meeting to represent the Disability User Forum.

John Stewart and Damian to feedback on progress of meeting with Day Centre manager
7Any other business 
8Date of next meeting 


Wednesday 10 October  2012



Venue:- Loughbrickland P.S

Address: 25 Grove Hill Road, Loughbrickland,

Banbridge BT32 3NF


Minutes/Agenda to be circulated before meeting
9  Close 

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