Transforming services in Salford with Angela Eden, Salford Health Improvement Service.
Angela Eden, Health Improvement Services Manager at Salford Council, shares how commissioning Beyond Empower to deliver training and consultancy enhanced the understanding and confidence of the team – and improved access to physical activity for disabled residents.
“The aim of Salford Council Health Improvement Services is to encourage Salford residents to live healthy and happy lives through a range of partnership activities and projects.
We have a number of projects that aim to encourage people to get active. A key element of this work is improving access to physical activity for disabled residents across our city.
Working with Beyond Empower has provided us with the skills, knowledge and confidence to approach this work in an open, honest and collaborative way – and make small changes that transform services for the benefit of disabled people.
Firstly, Beyond Empower worked with our team to deliver training workshops that enhanced our understanding of ‘accessibility’. People with lived experience of disability facilitated these workshops – staff loved the training as it felt a safe space to ask questions and helped them to see things from a different perspective.
We had plenty of open discussions with passionate experts who are knowledgeable and supportive – no question is a silly question! We were also provided with resources, including ideas and guides, that the team could refer back to.
We then worked with the team to put this new knowledge into action by reviewing our current provision. We were able to identify small changes we could make to our services that could potentially make a big impact to the way disabled residents engaged with us and leisure providers across the city. For example, we have made changes to the way we communicate on social media – emphasising that our activities are open to all. Changes have also been made to booking processes and to provision – such as offering ‘quiet’ gym sessions.
We also worked with the Beyond Empower team to deliver communications during the COVID-19 pandemic. They helped us engage with disabled residents who were identified as ‘high risk’ by delivering key messages about the pandemic in a way that was accessible to them.
It is refreshing to work with a training and consultancy provider that feels like an equal partnership – they are extremely knowledgeable and passionate, and they are a joy to work with.”