A FLINTSHIRE-based group fighting for inclusion of disabled people has said, despite recent setbacks, it is “stronger than ever”.

The FDF, formerly Flintshire Disability Forum, is a user-led organisation based in Mold covering Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire. The group provide advice, information, advocacy, befriending and social groups and equipment hire as well as campaigning for the most vulnerable disabled adults in society.

The FDF, who are based at the Town Hall in Mold, met in Parkfields Community Centre in Mold’s Ash Grove for their annual general meeting.

Jan Thomas, the group’s chief officer, said at the previous meeting in 2018 that without core funding following a tendering process by Flintshire County Council which was not successful in receiving grant money, the social group would cease to exist and the past 20 years of work they have done across the region would count for nothing.

A packed-out room of about 40 people thought this would be the end of the group but, fast forward twelve months and Jan returned to the community centre with firm statements that the group has “risen from the ashes”.

She said: “We never went away, in fact, The FDF is stronger than it was before and our work is much more important now.

“The FDF are committed to the removal of all social barriers, so that all disabled people are not simply judged by the extent of their impairments or differences and can actually become independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.

“Inclusivity is not about ramps and steps, it is about disabled people wanting to feel that they are fully equal to their non-disabled peers in the community – with the same rights and aspirations as anyone else.”

Jan also raised points of barriers in transport and technology being key things she encounters regularly working with disabled people.

Members of the group spoke about their own experiences of disability measures stripping them of independence such as train station access and toilet facilities for disabled people not being available or up to standard.

For more information, visit The FDF base in Mold Town Hall, on Earl Street, or call them on 01352 756618