The Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau is a local, independent charity, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, founded in 1973 as a small drop-in centre, that became a registered charity in 1981 and a not-for-profit company in 1996. We work to support people with any form of disability, their carers, families and others in related fields, who live in Ipswich and the surrounding area, including Kesgrave, the Shotley peninsular and westwards to Hadleigh and Stoke-by-Nayland. We currently employ one full time and seven part time staff, supported by twelve volunteers. We are a user-led organisation, meaning that over 50 percent of our Trustees, staff and volunteers have a disability themselves.
We provide free and confidential advice, information, advocacy at our town centre office, our reach services – currently one in Brantham and one in partnership with VoiceAbility and based at their offices, with a further outreach to open in Hadleigh in the near future – and a home visiting service for people who cannot get to our office or outreaches. Formal, and informal, partnerships with other organisations underpin most of our activities.
In an average month we deal with over 800 enquiries and 230 cases. The support includes, but is not limited to, discussing welfare benefit entitlement including tax credits, housing benefit and council tax benefit, assistance with completing claim forms, from Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) to those for Blue Badges, including one which now have to be completed online – using a computer and the internet, employment issues including advice for disabled jobseekers, special educational needs with screening and advice for adults with dyslexia and provide representation for appeals. We have provided a wheelchair hire service for many years and, since April 2014, a debt and money management service which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
To support the work of the Ipswich DAB you can become a member. Subscription is £5 per year for individuals and £10 per year for organisations and companies. You will receive our newsletter and can vote at our AGM.