“It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have come to our real journey” – Wendell Berry
Welcome to our new community, in partnership with Disability Horizons.
Who is our membership for?
Our community is aimed at any adult whose life is touched by disability: disabled people, those living with life limiting or health conditions, partners, parents and family members. We aim to support each other, learn together and provide a safe space to increase our wellbeing, maintain good mental health and find new ways to manage common challenging disability situations.
Suzanne, one of our members: “I love the Spokz People model, so unique and so so needed!” – May 2022
What does your membership include?
- Wellbeing Programme tailored specifically towards living with disability. It includes these sections:
- Emergency support
- Preparing for change & setting goals
- How disability & being disabled by others impacts our mental health
- How to maintain good mental health when living with disability: finding meaning, loving yourself, body image & self-esteem, managing discrimination and stigma
- Impact of nutrition, movement and sleep on wellbeing
- Relationships with others: friends, PAs, partners, parents, professionals – How to manage these sometimes-challenging situations
- Questions for you to reflect on as you go through the programme
- Links to other resources
- Videos by peers including some celebrities
- Peer support in our forum, chat room & private chat
- Work 1-2-1 with a peer buddy for additional support creating change
- Weekly live group events supported by a therapist
- Upload your own videos
New content and chapters being added to the programme monthly. Check out the videos on this page for a sneak peek! You’ll find snippets of our celebrity conversations, one of our live events and a tour of the site.
Watch a bit more from our celebrity contributors:
Kimberley Pett, one of our members: “Spokz People’s support is ideal, they have a real understanding of the challenges I face day to day. It has been much more relevant to my needs than the generic NHS CBT type courses I have been directed to previously. It really identifies the kind of issues that arise through chronic illnesses. The community aspects mean you can discuss and interact with people going through similar problems and share advice and ideas and feel less alone in what you are going through. I personally have always found one to one therapy very challenging as I find it very hard to talk about how I’m finding things. This kind of group discussion gives me the opportunity to think about and explore my situation by listening to others’ experiences, without having to find the words for my own feelings. Mel, who leads the group, is a really positive person and so even though we are often talking about things that we find difficult, the mood is always positive and fun and I come out feeling I’ve had a great time (something I’ve never found with previous therapy) and I look forward to it each week. It’s really good being able to work through a programme at your own pace as well, but have the support of others to motivate you and support you along the way. I wasn’t sure about this before I started, but I would 100% recommend this to anyone.” – May 2022
Membership Fee 2022 £50 a year or £5 a month
Thanks to recent lottery funding, we are now offering our low income fee to ALL members (until funding runs out. There are around 80 spaces left). On top of your £50 annual contribution, the lottery pays £100 towards your membership. As a non-profit we keep fees as low as possible, while ensuring we cover our estimated £10,000 annual costs.
A Word On Accessibility
The site contains images and cartoons which have alternative descriptions. It also has many videos which are captioned and we also provide a transcript in PDFs. If you have any questions about membership or access needs (we are 93% W3C-compliant), please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org before registering. If you become a member, we will do our best to respond to any feedback you have on increasing access and rectify things you notice that we may have missed.
Sample of Wellbeing Programme
Ah yes, there it is. The word that society wants us to be, resilient. Being disabled is at times extremely hard and challenging and we must respect that and acknowledge that there may be times when we don’t want to fight any more. At the same time, there are times when disability teaches us very useful things about ourselves and others and we may struggle to put this learning into words. Building resilience is helpful, not in the usual inspiration-porn type way (see I’m not your inspiration by Stella Young), not in an able society-type way (“you MUST be resilient to show us you can cope with being disabled and cope with the unfairness that we send your way so we feel less scared should we ever become disabled ourselves”), but just in an acknowledging encouraging way [cut section….] The positive news is that there are skills we can learn or build on to help resist the onslaught [cut section….]
What word would you choose that gives you something to aim positively for? …[cut section]
We can choose to believe something else right? Just because x% of the population says something, does that mean it’s right? Or right for us? Can we question if it’s valid for our lives? Would we feel better about ourselves if we start changing what we believe? ….. [ cut section]
If we can learn to leave our comfort zone and push through the fear, we can get into the learning and growth zones where we will find more fulfilment in our lives, regardless of our situations.’
Hope and joy
Yes, there is plenty to be had. We can all find a way to live more content, meaningful lives Whilst disabled. We wouldn’t be writing this if we didn’t think that was possible. We’ll talk more about this later, but sometimes a natural human consequence of living with the experiences of challenging things like disability can reduce the creative approach-seeking parts of our brain: the part that wants to find meaning and try different things to solve situations. [cut section…] This resource is about reawakening the resources you already have, building on them and exploring new ones to give you more ideas on what you would like to change. [cut section…]
Tina: “Since starting the programme I’ve had some overwhelming moments, but I took the time to calm down, answer the reflective questions and found how to overcome the obstacles. I realised that all the answers were within me, I just needed a reminder how to ask the right questions. One of the breathing techniques wasn’t effective for me, but the safe space and life graph exercises worked absolutely brilliantly and much better than any other thing I’ve tried before. It helped me acknowledge no matter how challenging life events were I still made progress and discovered my strengths. Working through the programme brought so much calmness for me. I will certainly go back to hearing other members experiences in the short videos once I finish the hard work with putting in the pillars for my new life. It is hard for me to focus on the videos right now because I am too anxious about what is coming after. Thank you all again for such an eye-opening Community & Programme and learning to live well with spinal injury” – Tina Ceferin, May 2022