By Peter Lyne
It should be a fundamental right for disabled people and those affected by long-term health conditions to experience and enjoy as equal as possible lifestyles which non-disabled individuals take for granted.
Regrettably all too often disabled people (through no fault of their own) are prevented from being fully included in society by the many ‘barriers’ and high levels of bureaucracy which they are faced with.
As a result of his own experience of dealing with the daily requirements within the final years of the lives of his late parents (both of whom succumbed to Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimers), Peter Lyne Founded the Registered Charity Mobility and Support Information Service (MASIS) www.masis.org.uk. The stress which he experienced in addressing the needs of his parents resulted in Peter being diagnosed with a long-term neurological condition in 2007.
Peter believed that if it was possible to develop a way to network with other charities and service providers by displaying key information of benefit to disabled people, carers and their families on a website, then such details would help towards improving the wellbeing and self-esteem of disabled people often resulting in helping them to come to terms with the disabilities or medical conditions with which they have been diagnosed.
MASIS did attempt to source funding through development grants when it was established in 2012, but regrettably it was told that the issues it was addressing were too diverse to qualify for financial support. (Considering the needs of disabled people is a very diverse task!) Consequently, Peter decided to surrender his work pension schemes to raise initial funds to help develop the ‘foundations’ and key objectives of the charity.
Since 2014 onwards MASIS has received increasing attention not only from other charities but also from certain central and regional government departments including healthcare sector establishments. Peter has acted in an advisory capacity to numerous government stakeholder groups since 2005 onwards (he was previously Vice-President of the Disabled Motorists Federation) and also undertaken ‘lay’ teaching roles at certain Northwest located universities where he has spoken with medical and associated healthcare practitioner students about his own experience of living with a long-term medical condition as well as emphasising the importance to create inclusive and equal lifestyles for disabled people. (A sentiment ‘endorsed’ by the many consultant physicians and surgeons who Peter has entered into discussions with during his participation in government forums and also while attending three of NICE’s Annual Conferences between 2013 and 2017). Peter was honoured to be awarded three Annual Bursaries by NICE during this four year period. In January 2016, he was appointed Merseyside Police Force’s Independent Adviser for Disability and continues to undertake this role as and when requested.
Between May and July of this year, Peter has been further honoured. He was appointed an Individual Member of the Collaboration Centre for Values-based Practice in Health and Social Care (a national and internationally renowned organisation based at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford) and has also been invited as a guest speaker to NAIDEX 2018 at the NEC in April. MASIS will also be exhibiting at this event (which is Europe’s largest disability focussed convention).
As MASIS is a Registered Charity it needs to raise funds. (Once operating overheads have been met, all surplus funds will be re-distributed to medically related initiatives designed at creating greater levels of social inclusion and equality for disabled people). Consequently, MASIS is already developing commercial relationships with various companies, but is keen to increase such partnerships as well as network with other charities and service providers.
By visiting the website www.masis.org.uk it will be possible to access the ‘on-line’ contact form and by filling in appropriate information and forwarding it to MASIS, the charity will liaise with contacts received on an individual basis.