Yesterday and today!
Disability Initiative started life in 1975 as Camberley Association for the Disabled. It was formed by an Occupational Therapist as a community-based service for people with a physical disability. Working initially for just a few days a week, it was funded in part by a social services grant with other funding from supporter donations.
The work expanded and after the advent of ‘care in the community’ during the 1990s, DI became a charitable company, limited by guarantee. Operations and staff increased and at one point, DI’s activities were being offered across three different buildings. This fragmented approach of resources was unacceptable and fundraising began in earnest and a new resource centre was opened in 2000.
Today, DI has developed into a 5-day service operating from its resource centre in the heart of Camberley with a fully trained and effective staff team of 20. The extensive use of additional support from many volunteers and a range of partnerships and collaboration ensure that DI achieve its ambitions for its clients.
DI is located next to Camberley Library, the town centre, Camberley Theatre, shops and amenities and also the new Atrium complex which includes bowling, cinema and restaurants. There is disabled parking dedicated for the use of clients with their own cars directly outside the building.
The purpose-built centre is distributed over three floors all fully accessible by central lifts and motorised doors. All facilities are fully equipped and purposely designed to allow clients to get full use out of DI.
Because we are a charity, everyone who attends DI as a client is also a member of the charity and has a say in the operations and strategic direction. One method is through DI’s Advisory Group which considers and recommends pathways for change or adaptation where necessary and ensures all clients have an opportunity to contribute to the agenda.