How I'm using my voice to change my community

Angel Garden

Angel is part of our Swansea Disability and Inclusion Panel. They explain why the group was set up and what they're currently working on.

We finished our successful campaigning project, My Voice, My Choice, in June 2019. Since then, there has always been the question of where to go next. 
The outcome of that question was the idea of a Swansea Citizen Panel, represented by Leonard Cheshire Cymru’s Public Engagement Manager Rhian Stangroom-Teel and co-facilitated by Joshua Reeves and Emma Burke.

What the Swansea Disability and Inclusion Panel does

Through a series of invitations to events before lockdown, including to the new social enterprise coffee shop in Swansea ’The Social Bean’, a small but motley crew was assembled who regularly gelled further into a group online.

Through 18 months or so of regular meetings, liaison with other groups, tussling over definitions and priorities, we’re now constituted as “Swansea Disability and Inclusion Panel” seeking to expand expression and acknowledgement of lesser-heard voices in Swansea.
The group itself is diverse and contains seasoned campaigners. We’re committed to seeking out marginalised voices to contribute to the life of the city. Until more such panels are set up, which we know is in the pipeline, we welcome people from further afield and working with other groups. Such as Safe Technology Swansea, who campaign to recognise electro-hypersensitivity. 

Working with Swansea Council

One of our first actions was to persuade Swansea Council to extend a consultation date on a massive tranche of City Deal building. We wanted a proper audit of the plans from an inclusivity and diversity point of view could be undertaken. This was facilitated by working closely with local councillors committed to ensuring inclusion starts before the planning stage. 
We look forward to participating and liaising with other groups to bring disabled people front and centre of the bigger picture.