A new Information, Health & Wellbeing Centre offering a wide range of activities and support services for disabled people and their carers has been officially opened today by Birmingham strong man, Big Dave Gauder.
The Centre, which will be run by the Disability Resource Centre (DRC), replaces a previous provision at Bierton Road in Yardley.
Louise McKiernan, Chief Executive of DRC, said: “We are delighted to have found such excellent premises following the closure of the Bierton Road site, which is being redeveloped. We had been there since 1992, when the organisation started. This new site provides us with an opportunity to extend the range of services we offer and has been totally refurbished to meet our needs.”
DRC also now has head office space near Five Ways in Edgbaston, from which it will offer a range of services including training sessions, IT classes, serviced office space for charities and other third sector organisations, as well as a comprehensive disability information and advice service for all employers.
Services available from the new Information, Health & Wellbeing Centre in Mackadown Lane will include: information, advice and advocacy for disabled people; debt advice; personal skills development programmes; sports and leisure activity classes; and a range of employment preparation and volunteering services.
Guests who attended the official opening of the premises had the opportunity to sample some of the new classes including Yoga, Healthy Eating and British Sign Language (BSL).
Speaking at the opening, Big Dave said: “I am honoured to open the new centre today. I have had some interesting conversations with the managers and board of the Disability Resource Centre this morning and we have identified common ground between the work of the centre with disabled people and the Big Dave buddying scheme which I have recently established. We would like to explore ways to get the personal experience of disabled people across to children and young people in the schools that I work with in the West Midlands”.
Louise McKiernan added: “It is very fitting that Big Dave came to open our new centre, given all the new activities which will be on offer around health and personal development. Dave is also a well-known advocate of the anti-bullying message which fits well with DRC's recently gained status as a disability hate crime reporting centre, following training from West Midlands Police. Dave is an inspirational role model with a strong message for anyone experiencing things like bullying, harassment or general low self esteem caused by discrimination and exclusion. At the Disability Resource Centre we identify with Big Dave's message and just like Dave we never like to say "can't".
For further information call 0121 789 7365 or see www.disability.co.uk