The new group fighting the cause of Hartlepool's people with disabilities and long term conditions

A new group has been created to represent hundreds of Hartlepool people living with long-term conditions.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 7:00 am

And its bosses have issued an immediate message to the people of the town – saying ‘come and tell us what you need from us’.

The Community Led Inclusion Partnership (CLIP) is under way with the slogan of ‘We Are One Community With A Thousand Voices'.

It was formed last week to be the voice for people with disabilities and sensory loss. It will also represent their carers across Hartlepool.

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Some of the people behind the new CLIP project.

CLIP will raise awareness of the challenges that people face in areas including education and employment, social opportunities, health and transport.

And it has become a reality thanks to a number of town groups joining forces such as Hartlepool Carers, Hartlepool Incontrol-able (a disabled people’s organisation), the Cleveland Fire Brigade Befriending Service, and the Dementia Service.

Michael Slimmings, from Hartlepool Incontrol-able, said: “This is a collaboration of like-minded organisations who have come together and we hope to raise the profile of people who are currently excluded or find it difficult to be included in society.

"We are all volunteers but we are working together under the banner of CLIP.

Michael Slimmings who has helped to spearhead the new CLIP group.

"We are looking at the barriers that people are facing in society and we are looking to tackle them. It is brand new and it started from Covid-19 and the barriers that people have faced in that.”

But CLIP has an immediate aim and Michael explained more.

"We want to have a forum and we want people to come forward to talk about these issues. We want them to come to us and give us direction.”

"The idea is that we can have a stronger voice by being under an umbrella group,” Michael added.

Christine Fewster, chief executive of Hartlepool Carers.

Christine Fewster, from Hartlepool Carers, said: “We want to encourage the community to get fully behind this and get involved. It is important that the community has a voice, especially those living with long term conditions and their carers.

"We are excited about this project but we need the community behind us.”

The group is already up and running online and people can find out more by visiting https://www.clip.uk.com/

They can also access the group at https://twitter.com/hartlepoolclip or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hartlepoolclip/

Hannah Robertson, secretary of the new group.

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One of the Zoom meetings which helped to set up the CLIP group.