Disability Alliance is reaching more people

Disabled groups get a helping hand.
Disabled groups get a helping hand.

The whole is greater than the simple sum of its parts – never has this famous quote from Aristotle been truer than when talking about Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA).

For the total impact that this vibrant charitable organisation makes is much bigger than the 1226 members it directly supported last year, through 5885 learning programmes, coaching, peer support, a busy calendar of events and a plethora of engaging activities.

This is how Tressa Burke, chief executive at the Glasgow Disability Alliance, describes the influence and effect of its disability equality programme, funded by the Integrated Grant Fund (IGF).

With more than 3500 members, the GDA aims to build ‘‘connectedness’’ to reduce isolation and build resilience and relationships, develop capacity and provide pathways for disabled people towards independent living.

And the wider effects in terms of societal and economic benefits and health improvements are well documented.

Councillor Soryia Siddique, executive member for communities and citizens, saw this for herself and heard from members during a recent visit to one of the charity’s discussion forums.

GDA is backed by Glasgow City Council through its Integrated Grant Fund (IGF), providing funding to organisations to deliver high quality and much needed services at a local level across Glasgow.

The GDA is one of 435 projects funded by the IGF, targeting priority areas including alcohol and health and well-being, youth employment and young people, vulnerable people and families.

GDA membership is a good representation of the issues facing Glasgow’s disabled population which now stands at around 25 per cent, based on census data.

This community development organisation was founded more than 10 years ago to give a voice to Glasgow’s disabled community.

The organisation acts as a voice for disabled people and an enabler to overcoming barriers and providing opportunities for the sector.

Tressa said: “Disabled people have borne the brunt of eight years of austerity with more than 50 per cent of the cuts hitting our vital support and services.

“More than ever, Glasgow Disability Alliance values its investment from Glasgow City Council and our 3500 members firmly believe that this support is vital.”

Councillor Siddique added: “Through funding GDA for a number of years the council has shown confidence in the organisation’s ability to produce positive outcomes.

“It validates its work within the city and allows other funding sources to be sought on the back of it to ensure the charity’s longevity and sustainability.”