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news 2011

New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times

Saturday 10 December 2011

Boost for Disability Service

The New Forest Disability Information Service is delighted to announce that thanks to the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales their Outreach Service is secure for the foreseeable future.

Based in New Milton, the Forest wide charity provides free, impartial, disability related information and advice to anyone affected by living with a disability.  Helping around 1,800 clients a year the organisation has been piloting ways to reach clients in more remote areas of the New Forest.

Since receiving a grant worth £24,900 to be paid over two and a half years towards the costs of delivering outreach work, it has put into place plans for longevity of it’s outreach clinics.  It is now confirmed that the previously piloted locations visited each two or three months will now receive a monthly visit.   Lymington, Lyndhurst, Ringwood, Fordingbridge, Totton and Hythe will receive visits on the same day at the same time (10am – 12 noon) each month; with Hythe continuing to also receive an Outreach held every Wednesday 12-4pm at The Grove.

Not only are these dates secured, but plans are afoot to trial other areas and the NFDIS staff are keen to hear from any town or parish that is wishing to have a visit from the Outreach team, either as a one off or if demand necessitates on a regular basis.

‘In these times of economic cutbacks it is more important than ever that NFDIS is available in an easily accessible way to meet the needs of our clients, and we are so pleased that the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales recognised the value of the work that NFDIS Team carry out within the New Forest area’ says Chief Executive Jacki Keable. 

People are afraid that changes to disability welfare benefits discussed in the media could impact upon their standard of living and there is real fear that they may even lose their benefit entitlements.  The NFDIS secured over £523,000 of welfare benefits for their clients last year, and are expecting to be just as busy over the next twelve months.  It is most timely that this grant arrives at a time when people are feeling their most vulnerable, and NFDIS have been busy recruiting and training more volunteers to help support this anticipated increase in casework.

Fawley Parish Magazine - November 2011

ExxonMobil continues to reach out to help disability service

Alison Jones ExxonMobil with Dennis and Jacki

Alison Jones Community Affairs Advisor from ExxonMobil with 
Senior Advisor Dennis Forfitt & Chief Executive Jacki Keable

A CHARITY which offers help and advice to disabled people in the New Forest has given a huge vote of thanks to Esso and ExxonMobil Chemical at the Fawley refinery for years of continued financial assistance. 

The New Forest Disability Information Service (NFDIS), based in New Milton, has received £5,750 in grants over the past five years from ExxonMobil at Fawley, primarily to help fund their telephone helpline and also an outreach service in Hythe. 

Thanks to ExxonMobil it means that less able residents on the Waterside can call the dedicated telephone line which receives thousands of calls each year.  Not only this, the Hythe centre, based at The Grove, is open every Wednesday from 12-4pm. 

“We don’t get any statutory funding,” explained NFDIS chief executive Jacki Keable, “so rely heavily on grants and donations. Grants are drying up in the current economic climate so the generosity of a company like ExxonMobil cannot be overstated. What they do for us, and therefore less able people in the area who rely on us, is wonderful.” 

The charity provides free, impartial and confidential guidance to disabled people, their families and carers. Last year alone their army of 21 volunteers handled more than 4,500 enquiries and secured over half a million pounds of new benefits for clients. 

“For a lot of people who are less able, maybe isolated and getting older, it can be a minefield out there,” continued Jacki. “We are there to offer impartial advice, help with benefits but also just be a reassuring voice.” 

Alison Jones, Fawley’s Community Affairs Adviser said: “ExxonMobil has continued to support the NFDIS for some years now.  It is comforting to know that the less able in our community have this service on their door step.  We are proud to be associated with the NFDIS.”

picture courtesy of ExxonMobil

Fundraisers Aid Forest Disability Charity
New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times

Saturday 15 October 2011

A Women's group linked with Barton Methodist Church has raised over £2,500 for a charity supporting disabled people and their carers.

The New Milton based New Forest Disability Information Service (NFDIS) was chosen by Meeting Point to benefit from fundraising carried out during the past year.

Throughout 2010/11 the group held coffee mornings, concerts, table top sales and other events to collect funds.  They also sold home-made jams and chutneys and held raffles, and gathered donations.

The collections culminated in project manager Valerie McCallum handing a cheque for £2,585 to NFDIS's chief executive Jacki Keable.

As well as offering free impartial disability advice to New Forest residents, the charity sells a large range of new and used mobility equipment.  It also helps obtain benefits and over the past year has secured ovr £500,000 for its clients.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight air ambulance has been chosen as Meeting Point's charity for 2011/12.

New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times

Saturday 8 October 2011

article submitted by appreciative client

Disability Service gets nomination for grant

A New Milton based charity offering help and advice for disabled people has been nominated for a grant for its outreach work.
The New Forest Disability Information Service is among the contenders to receive £6,000 from the NatWest community Force award.
The charity provides free, impartial and confidential guidance to disabled people, their families, carers and professionals.
Last year it helped more than 1,750 people and secured £512,000 of new benefits for clients.  It would use the grant to expand its outreach services as well as for training, travelling expenses, and other costs.
The closing date for nominations is October 23rd.  For more inflrmation visit or to vote for the charity visit or call free 0800 2100 246.


Lucy Coggin

New Marketing Officer Lucy Coggin

New Forest Disability Information Service is delighted to welcome a new member to its team at their offices based New Milton.  Lucy Coggin joined the service this summer as a volunteer Marketing Officer to expand and promote the profile of the service in the New Forest and surrounding areas.  Lucy comes from the New Forest and brings a wealth of marketing experience from her previous role at Smith & Nephew, the medical devices manufacturer based in Hull, Yorkshire, where she was a Brand Manager.  Lucy managed a portfolio of products on a global basis, her products ranging from treatments for leg ulcers, gels for cavity wounds and topical anaesthetic creams.

Lucy is looking forward to being able to give something back to the local community and put her skills to good use following the sudden onset of MS in 2009.  “The service is absolutely vital to the community and we need to support it and help to raise funds for it to continue its good work.”, she says.  Last year the service helped over 17,000 clients and provided countless hours of free confidential disability related information and advice.

New Milton Community Festival - 13 August 2011

Once again the NFDIS Team were out in the community on Saturday

at the first New Milton Community Festival

a very well organised and jolly event for all the family 

- well done to the organisers

NFDIS stand at Community Festival

Annual Public Meeting 12 July 2011

50+ people attended the New Forest Disability Information Service’s Annual Public Meeting at the New Milton Community Association on Tuesday 12 July 2011.

Chairman Janet Allen spoke of the successes of the charity during the past year, including the audit carried out by the Community Legal Service which had an excellent rating and continuation of the ‘General Help with Casework in Welfare Benefits’ Quality Award.  Michael Lanning and Molly Deaton were unanimously voted to stay as Trustees with Larry Anthony continuing in his role as Vice-Chairman for another year.

Treasurer John Woolhouse talked of the lack of grant funding that can impact seriously upon charities viability, and the hard work of the NFDIS Team in fundraising and generating income from sales of new and second hand disability related equipment.

Chief Executive Jacki Keable commended her staff and volunteers for their hard work, noting the outstanding success in welfare benefits secured for clients during the year of a record £512,000; this being £100,000 more than the previous year which was also a record for the charity.  Over 5,000 voluntary hours had been given by the team, and on-going training, recruitment and induction of new officers had been carried out during the year.  Jacki outlined plans for the current year to provide outreach services at 6 locations within the New Forest on a monthly basis, along with the three times a week at Lymington Hospital and weekly at The Grove in Hythe.

Cllr Felicity Hindson, HCC Executive Member for Adult Social Care, was the guest speaker and applauded the Service for its hard work and value within the community.  She talked of the challenges facing Social Care brought about by the government reducing funding by some £24m throughout Hampshire, and how they provision was to be made to try and cause the least effect upon service users by these cuts.

Cllr Hindson joined Chairman Janet Allen in presenting thank you vouchers and long service awards to members of the team in gratitude for their dedication.

NFDIS Team receiving long service awards

L to R
Information Officer (IO) Roger; Advisor (A) Barbara; (IO) Shelagh; Gold Award 10 years service (IO) Jenny; Bronze Award 5 years service (A) Jane; Silver Award 9 years service (A) Dennis;  Silver Award 6 years service (IO) Sheila; Silver Award 6 years service (IO) Pat; in front Silver Award 8 years service (IO) Michael; Silver Award 6 years service (IO) Molly; Bronze Award 5 years service (A) Merry and Cllr Felicity Hindson

7 May - New Forest Rotary Horse and Cycle Ride

Congratulations to Team NFDIS - you all completed the course!

gathering before the start   nice day for a ride  

NFDIS Team gathering before the start        nice sunny day for a picnic

is it this way to the start?   almost at the start now  

now which way is the start?            are we nearly there yet?

we are eager to be off   and we are away!  

wave for the camera - here we go - oops perhaps I'd better push up this hill

nearly out of the start field

and we make it - out of the start field!

A further report will be made when all the sponsorship money is collated 

and more pictures are available

well done Team NFDIS!

14 April 2011 - Volunteer Fair

NFDIS were proud to attend the Volunteer Fair held

at Lyndhurst Community Centre on Saturday 14 April 2011.

Around 30 organisations set up stands and were able to talk

passionately about their particular organisation and it's values.

Around 300 members of the public attended and had the opportunity 

to ask questions and in some cases sign up for taster days. 

It is hoped that by attending such events the NFDIS can spread the word

about what we offer by way of information and advice, and to interest

potential new volunteers to join our team and train to help our clients.

NFDIS stand at Volunteer Fair

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(c) JK - updated January 2011