People with underlying health issues and disabilities in North Northamptonshire are growing increasingly worried about the lifting of Covid restrictions – this is the outcome from the county’s first ever ‘Forum for disabled people’.

More than 50 adults came along to the online event on Thursday 15th July – hosted by Teamwork Trust as part of a wider project to deliver Covid-19 advice and vaccination information to those most at risk from the pandemic.

The forum was attended by a mix of service providers, council officers and people with disabilities who raised concerns about how life without restrictions will make them unsafe. They also said that that those with underlying health issues are still the most vulnerable in society and that their views are not being respected.

Victoria Bell, Head of Development at Teamwork Trust said: “We heard moving stories from people who are understandably anxious and do not feel like they are being listened to. The aim is that the forum will take on board their issues and lobby key decision makers to make changes. We will effectively become their voice.

“This first ever forum was all part of the bigger ‘Community Champions’ project to support local communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are already planning a mix of regular face-to-face and online meetings so that we can hear from and help others."

The Covid Community Champions Programme is being managed by Support Northamptonshire and funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), and North Northamptonshire Council.

Teamwork Trust is now recruiting a team of Community Champions, who are people with lived experience, to help lead the project and run future events.

Lorraine Campbell is an existing Community Champion. She said: “It was great to see so many faces at the event who share the same concerns, and I want to make sure we all get our voices heard so that we as a group of people do not the most ignored in this pandemic.”

The next event is a ‘Creative Wellbeing Day’ for people with disabilities on Tuesday 20th July at Tithe Barn, Wellingborough, 10am – 2pm. To book HERE.

For more information on becoming a Community Champion contact Teamwork Trust on 07377803710 or email [email protected].