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Hartlepool Access Group History

Hartlepool Access Group (HAG) was established in 1992 with funding from Hartlepool Borough Council. It became a registered charity in July 1995.

Hag's aims are to improve and empower people with mobility problems to have the same equality of opportunity as everyone else by the provision of electric scooters, electric wheelchairs, conventional wheelchairs and walking aids, all maintained to the highest standards.

In December 1995, Hartlepool Shopmobility Scheme was opened in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre. The members of the access group are trustees of the scheme and employers of the schemes Development Workers and Administrator. In April 1997 we started the Welfare Benefits Advice Services.

HAG membership is open to anyone who has a disability, or who is a representative of people with disabilities or who has an interest in improving access for people who have disabilities.

The group are regularly asked for advice about access by private individuals, businesses, the local authority and voluntary organisations from the town. In the past HAG have met with Hartlepool Borough Council every two months to discuss access matters, which concern our members and members of the public who have asked the access group for help.

HAG Endeavours to represent the needs of Hartlepool 's disabled community. While we realise that we cannot hope to meet all needs and solve all problems but will continue to improve services and conditions and to build upon the successes, which we have achieved.

Hartlepool Access Group (HAG) - General Information

Hartlepool Access Group (H.A.G) is the umbrella organisation for all disabilities in Hartlepool . The Group gained charitable status in 1992.

H.A.G deliver a number of projects including:

Shopmobility – Loan of a variety of mobility equipment for anybody with a mobility problem.

Access Audit Group – Carrying out access audits on premises within Hartlepool , writing access statements and procedures for evacuation.

Low Level Support Volunteers – Offering support to access social, economic, educational events/services.

All Ability Forum – A generic forum for people with disabilities to raise issues and affect change to strategy planning across all sectors.

Disability Awareness Training – Tailor made Disability Awareness Training. Training candidates have included H.B.C, P.C.T etc.

The aim of H.A.G is to facilitate the empowerment of people with disabilities. The vison of H.A.G is to improve services and conditions for people with disabilities who live, work or visit Hartlepool by:

H.A.G have in recent years gained a Service Level Agreement with H.B.C's Adult and Community Services where they had lead on the ‘improving Life Chances of Disabled People' (ILCDP) Strategy. Part of the role of the ILCDP Partnership Board was to identify the local barriers that were preventing disabled people from having full opportunities and choices to improve their quality of life and be respected and included as equal members of society.

H.A.G have worked in partnership with H.B.C and PCT. For example, members were represented on the Direct Payments Steering Group and the Talking with Communities Group (Diversity). HAG's coordinator (1999-2008) chaired the Long Term Conditions LIT (PCT) and members were represented at the Clinical Governance sub-committee and on the PPI Forums.

H.A.G achieved the Investor In People award and were being used as a case study by Business Link as the award was achieved within two months of preparation.