A social group for disabled adults in the Bedford area
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FLAG Bedford
Friendship Link and Action Group
Registered Charity No. 1165681
FLAG was founded by the John Grooms Lifestyle Choices Project, who support disabled adults into educational and leisure activities. The Bedford based Lifestyle Choices staff recognised a lack of social events for disabled adults in Bedfordshire and encouraged a group of volunteers and service users to form an independent organisation to fill the void, thus FLAG was launched in April 2006 with a start-up £5,000 ‘Awards for All’ grant. Although FLAG was an independent, user-led voluntary organisation, with its own committee, bank account and constitution; it retained strong links with Grooms Shaftesbury. FLAG volunteers worked out of their office and most of its members were referrals from the project. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funding the charity closed its Bedford office in August 2011. FLAG continued and now operates out of a hired room at Priory Methodist Church, Bedford.
History of FLAG
The people accessing our services are disadvantaged by means of disability, which in many cases results in social isolation, poverty and boredom. The three major barriers to social inclusion faced by disabled adults are transport, support and low income. FLAG solves all these problems by providing transport and support at subsidised events. In the Bedford area, according to the JSNA (Joint Strategic Needs Assessment), there is a "lack of services to support adults with a disability to lead a normal life, such as lack of support to access community activities, support to make friends and to have relationships.” FLAG plays a big part in plugging that gap.
FLAG Bedford is run by disabled people for disabled people. Ideas for events come from members themselves. We also keep in contact with our members with a regular newsletter. As well as enjoying a day out many of our members have made new friends and carry on those friendships outside of FLAG. They have also gained the experience and confidence to become more independent.
Need for FLAG