SPECTRUM’s Summer 2018 Newsletter Dedicated to the Memory of Robert Droy

SPECTRUM Publishes its Summer 2018 NewsletterNewsletter Graphic

To mark the death of a very dear colleague, friend and tireless Disability Campaigner, and PEP Chair, we dedicate this newsletter to Robert Droy’s Memory and massive contribution to SPECTRUM

Today is Robert’s funeral. This is SPECTRUM’s tribute

Robert Droy In Memorium


Disabled People’s Summit – by Jennie Musson

As the International Day of Disabled People (3rd December) dawns upon us, I thought I would honour this auspicious occasion by writing a blog about when a small but select group of us from SPECTRUM went to London to a Disabled People’s Summit. This group consisted of Berni Vincent from the Community Navigator Team, student social worker Paula Pace, Ross Smith from the Journey to Employment project and, of course, yours truly from the membership and information side of the fence. This event was hosted by DPAC (Disabled People Against the Cuts) and The People’s Assembly. I will be writing about the Independent Living workshop Berni and I attended as space is limited and I thought this would be the topic most people would be interested in.

Travel to the venue was trouble-free, with all trains/taxis etc behaving themselves in spite of the inclement weather. The event was very well-attended, with approximately 200 attendees from Bedford, to the Midlands, to Southampton and London.

The SPECTRUM mob: from left to right: Ross, Berni, Paula & Jennie

The SPECTRUM mob: from left to right: Ross, Berni, Paula & Jennie

 The day started with an opening plenary from John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, via video clip and the excellent Bob Williams-Findlay, a well-known contributor to the Disability Arts and Cultural movement and finally, Ellen Clifford from DPAC. This was followed by 7 workshops, covering accessible transport, employment, inclusive education, independent living, mental health, social security and violence and abuse against Deaf and Disabled People. You could choose which workshop you wished to attend, but as there were so many interesting topics to choose from, we had problems deciding which ones we wanted to go to! Berni and I headed off to the Independent Living workshop, with Ross going to the Employment workshop.  We started off with introductions and sharing what we thought the problems were and what was essential to Independent Living. The main consensus was that the issues to be tackled were:

-cuts to people’s support packages

– the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF)

– cuts to social care generally

– the institutionalisation of people with Mental Health issues

 – Local Authorities failing to take responsibility for the impact of the cuts.

– Inaccessibility of consultation information

Many people spoke passionately and eloquently about the issues they were facing and the anger and frustration they felt was palpable.   It seemed to many of us that the concept of Independent Living has been shifting over the last 8 years so that it now seems to apply to a privileged few in that many people are having to give up their care as they cannot afford to pay for it at the same time as essential services are being cut and withdrawn. The second half of the workshop was devoted to outlining what potential solutions we could come up with to tackle these problems and reclaim the idea of Independent Living.

The solutions we came up with were:

– the right to Independent Living to be enshrined in law

– an Independent Living Service free at the point of service, funded by direct taxation and run by Disabled People

– the national reintroduction of the Independent Living Fund (ILF)

– Independent Living for ALL

– hold politicians to account

– parity of esteem between visible disabilities and impairments and Mental Health and Hidden Impairments

– accessible housing at affordable prices

– co-production with Disabled People at every level

– access to advocacy for Disabled People

– Disabled People setting the “Gold Standard” for Independent Living in terms of information and housing and forcing the government to accept it

-Getting people out of institutions and back into their communities

After lunch and networking, there were more workshops and feedback from the day, before attendees departed for their home destinations, full of enthusiasm for the long fight ahead. There will be a follow-up conference in Brixton on 25th November which will flesh out what a National Independent Living Service will look like and how this can be achieved.

I often hear it said how people no longer have any fight left in them to resist what is happening, but it is an encouraging sign that I met many Disabled People that day who are more than up for the challenge and it will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on future developments as they unfold.

SPECTRUM CEO Interviewed on subject of Disability Hate Crime



Ian Loynes was recently interviewed by Solent University Media Studies student, Maddie – on the subject of Hate Crime as part of her Solent News Report on the subject

Great video news story, talks about the important role of 3rd Party Hate Crime Reporting Centres, which SPECTRUM is pleased to be one.

Click on the link below to have a look:

SPECTRUM’s Latest Newsletter

Cover photo

SPECTRUM does newsletter differently – why not take a look?

SPECTRUM’s October 2017 Newsletter

This edition has the following Diverse range of featured articles:

  • Assistive technology
  • Looking forward to 2018
  • Black History Month
  • UN calls austerity ‘A human catastrophe’

Spotlight on our projects:

  • Information & Membership Development Officer
  • Journey to Employment
  • How Direct Payments changed my life
  • Community Navigator Team

And TWO (Yes 2) articles from our resident Marxist:

  • Questions some people feel acceptable to ask
  • Food glorious food

Hate Crime Aware? Watch a video of our Awareness Session


At our AGM on the 21st October, we held a 1 hour session on Hate Crime awareness which includes the following highlights:

  • Key Note presentation by Michael Lane: Police & Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth & Southampton
  • What is Hate Crime? The role of 3rd Party Hate Crime Reporting CentresAhmed Sasso. Diverse Community Engagement Officer – Hampshire Police
  • Question Time Panel
  • Demonstration of the new Hate Crime App (Available on iPad and Android devices)

Watch the Video here