The Minister for Disabled People recently announced that £509,124 of government funding has been awarded to Disabled People's User-Led Organisations (DPULOs).
Often providing support and services alongside those provided by the public sector, DPULOs are run by and for disabled people and have a clear vision about what works and what does not.
As part of the government's long-term Strengthening DPULO Programme, more than half a million pounds has now been paid out to support User-Led organisations since its launch in July 2011.
As well as providing financial support, the Programme also seeks to give support and advice to DPULOs; allowing them to strengthen their business and become more sustainable.
Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, said she was "delighted" at the news:
"The Strengthening DPULO programme is successfully promoting the growth and improving [the] sustainability of Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations, as well as making practical real improvements to the lives of disabled people and their communities."
So far, 61 applications for funding have been received from DPULOS across England; of which 41 have been successful. One organisation that received money from the Programme is Communication for Blind People, a company developing a smartphone app to provide remote help to blind travellers who are lost, or in difficulty.
Despite the large amount of funding already awarded, Maria Miller stressed that the Strengthening Programme is still looking for organisations to fund:
“We have already awarded more than half a million pounds, but a large amount of the £3 million funding remains, so I would encourage more DPULOs to now apply. In particular bids would be welcomed from the Midlands, and East of England.”
More information about the programme – including the Ambassadors and the Facilitation Fund can be found at: http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/dpuloprogramme and http://www.facebook.com/dpulos as well as on Twitter using the hashtag #dpulo
To find out more about your local Ambassador and to get in touch with them, please visit http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/odi-projects/user-led-organisations/ambassadors.php