One stop shop for disabled people

DISABLED people are being urged to access a new one-stop shop aimed at giving them a voice and to make sure they are getting the right support.

The Hartlepool Advocacy Service is part of the new council-run Centre for Independent Living, at the Havelock Centre, in Havelock Street, Hartlepool.

The service works across town with people aged more than 18 who have a physical, sensory and or learning disability, and need mental health support.

It aims to help people make informed choices and to provide them with a forum to express their views and needs.

Vicki Boyd, Hartlepool Advocacy Service co-ordinator, said: “It’s great to finally be part of the new Centre for Independent Living and to be able to work alongside a number of other organisations which will be the base of forming really positive partnerships.

“By working in partnership it is the people who are going to use the services provided that will benefit the most, which is essential to my role as advocate, to provide information to enable people to make informed choices.”

The Havelock Day Centre recently had a £500,000 refurbishment and centre bosses say having several services under one roof will provide people with disabilities with a wealth of advice and expertise.

Chris Horn, Hartlepool Borough Council’s modernisation lead, said: “The Centre for Independent Living will be a great asset for the people of Hartlepool and has involved many people and organisations in the planning and delivery of this one-stop resource for people with disabilities and or people from disadvantaged sections of our community.”

An open evening has been arranged for Wednesday, March 30, between 5pm-7pm to give people the chance to look around.