Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Holding Room, The Guildhall, St. Giles Square, Northampton, NN1 1DE. View directions

Contact: Partnerships and Communities Team  0300 330 7000 e-mail:

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Welcomes, introductions and apologies pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Additional documents:


ATTENDANCE: Martin De Rosario (MDR, Chair), Sarah Whitehead (SW, Police/NPAA), Helen Elliott-Mainwaring (HEM, NGH), Zoe Tobin (ZT, Autism East Midlands), Yemi Holman (YH, Police), Martin Page (MP, DWP), Caitlin Ward (CW, UoN), Debbie MacColl (DM, NBC), Jamie Higgins (JH, Northampton Saints), Tom Hill (Northants Police), Gillian Coney (GC, NBPF), Carl Weininger (CW, NBPF).


APOLOGIES: Beverley Mennell, Larry Barber, Barbara Barber, Phil Larratt.


Minutes and Matters Arising

Please use the link below to view the Minutes of the previous meeting.


Minutes accepted.


Yemi Holman - Northants Police Hate Crime Co-ordinator


Looking for feedback on easy read leaflets – any feedback would be great.

Get all hate crime reports for Northamptonshire and follow them all the way through to the end of the process.

Looking at how the police process hate crime and how we can work to make the outcome better for the victims.

If the person perceives the crime to be a hate crime then this cannot be challenged.


Jamie Higgins - Saints Rugby


Been going for about 2 years, taken up residence in the new NIA academy. Jnr 7-17 and senior which is 18+. Over 17 senior players.

Paralympic version is 4 players on court – 1 player has to have a disability which affects 2 limbs or more.

New 5 player version where participants where the restrictions on who can play are different which makes it more accessible.


Chair costs in the reason of £5000.

1 programme at the NIA on Monday evening.

Also mixed ability rugby programme – funded by premiership rugby and England rugby. This runs for 6 weeks and those who want to continue are linked in with a local team – they are then continuously supported in this transition.

Coaches wheelchair rugby and mixed ability rugby.

Played on a basketball size court, only have 40 seconds to score a try, if not the ball is turned over. Lots of footage of wheelchair rugby on YouTube.

UK only country that are running the 5 a side version.

No able bodied people are in the team, all have disabilities but all are not full time wheelchair users.

Spectators can come along to the training sessions on a Monday and there are local games tournaments.

24th Feb – Saints vs Leicester tigers at the NIA.

Initially it is free for 4 sessions – after those 4 sessions you will have to get GBWR insurance, this is included in the fee for joining the club – membership is around £30 a month with insurance covered and all equipment is provided.

Male/Female teams – this is a mixed sport.

Oldest player at the Saints is 46.

Jnr session on Monday night is 6pm and the seniors follow on from 7:15pm.

Main message is that the person does not have to be a full time wheelchair user to play the sport.

In 2012 there was only 6 clubs, now there’s 22 with another 6 lined up to start this year.

NIA have given storage space for all the chairs.


Helen Elliott-Mainwaring - NGH Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Practitioner


Secondment post for the next 12 months.

Met local EDI’s and did 6 trusts to shape the role and see where NGH is and where the gaps and priorities are. Inclusivity with languages and communication services. People do not have to have physical disabilities to have communication issues. Baseline survey of staff understanding of translation services. Patients have a right to have accessible communication – came into law into 2016. Looking at implementing teaching to all staff to improve the current understanding. The main barrier is that staff do not know how to book translation/sign language services. Different services, buggy service and the volunteer service to be worked on.


CW - Does this include equality of service?

HEM - Yes, it does.

CW – My friend is having an issue with a blacksmith but they are commissioned by Nene.


NGH website, equality and diversity which is currently being updated.


Community Information Exchange


Lead for national autistic authority for the Police.

Looking for agencies to share the best practice and link in with existing agencies.

Autism East Midlands – used to be autism concern, family support for the county. Manages the young people’s services and activity days. No referral needed, phone or e-mail the team, on Wellingborough road at Burlington house, welcome to pop in.

CW – IDD went well as there was a lot of networking in but the footfall seemed quite low, it may be better somewhere else such as the racecourse for example. A lot of compliments about the film Breathe, a shame it hasn’t been more popular.

Still some changes to do regarding universal credit.

Studying Human Geography - Looking at the challenges for disabled people at airports.

CW – every disabled person is different and they all react differently, every airport is different too and every person that works at an airport is different.

Could this come down to the airline provider too, we flew to Sweden with no worries from Gatwick but then we’ve had terrible service at Birmingham. Some airlines will ask 30 minutes before and set everything in place for, others ask when you’ve landed and keep you on the plane for 30 minutes.

ACTION: Michael to send survey out to forum members for Caitlin.

DM – IDD went well, yes there are issues with the venue but it is free for NBC to host events here.

CW – it is a great venue, it just doesn’t have the footfall.

DM – Looking to get some people who are looking at driving this forward and create a small working group to create some direction to help get the day better established and shape.

CW – harder for disabled people to get to meetings earlier

Northampton Saints website has a community page and talks about all they do in the community. There is something called a players fund, which is to apply to the club for grant funding if they are struggling to pay the fees. Wheelchair rugby has gone in to different schools to give people an education who are able bodied and for them to learn the game. This has been done at many schools and places such as St Andrews.

CW – to do this early for children at an early age, it helps people understand what it is like to be in a wheelchair and help them to be less offensive.


Items for Next and Future Meetings


CW - VIN – Social Prescribing – get VIN to come in and talk about that. Could be of interest to certain groups and/or individuals as funding is available for this.

NENE commissioning – to talk about what services do they offer and how can complaints be made.

Keep Safe card – look to add to the agenda as there may be some changes.

National Disabled Register – In France they have this, we have the blue badge but it is not suitable as if you’re asked to show it then it cannot be in your car. Looking to campaign for this.


Date of the Next Meeting


Date of next meeting – 22nd March.