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Lottery Grant Will Provided New Services For Disabled Children In The Midlands And Their Families

The East Birmingham Family Services Unit (EBFSU) and Coventry University's Centre for Social Justice, have been awarded a 152,235 grant from the National Lottery Charities Board.

The grant was awarded after a highly competitive bidding process run nationally to distribute research grants to areas of priority to the National Lottery Charities Board.

It will fund a new service run by the EBFSU and a research project, undertaken by Coventry University, to evaluate whether it provides real social benefits.

The aim of the project is to improve the quality of life of families of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin living in East Birmingham with a disabled child. Support by trained advocates will be provided to carers (mainly parents) and their children to access services, information and support. Research will then be undertaken to establish the added value which advocacy and mutual support bring to the range of existing services.

The Service will be established in the autumn, and is funded for one year. The research will run for 18 months. This will involve in-depth interviews with the families and professionals in health and other services used by the family. Interviews will take place before, during and after the families finish using the advocacy services.

Caroline Leahy, Manager of EBSFU said:

"I am delighted that this new service will be provided to these families. I believe it will add an essential service to those already provided by us. These include advice sessions, women's groups, under fives day care and specialist social work.

"We know from consulting our clients how much they welcome this project. I am also keen to receive their advice on how the service and research project develops - so we have asked them to form a regular advisory group. This is part of our style of service - enabling our clients to shape their services and their lives."

Paul Bywaters, Director of the Centre for Social Justice at Coventry University said:

"We are keen to provide high quality research that answers real-life questions. Our research project will answer the questions the National Lottery Charities Board is keen to see addressed. In particular, we want to know if they new service adds value to the services provided by EBFSU and the public services used by this disadvantaged group. We are keen to see our research make a difference to people's lives."

Professor Louise Wallace, Cyrrhian Macrae or Floyd Jebson
Coventry University  01203 838352
Caroline Leahy, EBFSU  0121 772 4217


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CWN / Education / Universities / Coventry University / 16 June 99

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