Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Contact the team: 0117 947 9911

Do you want to email us for assistance? Contact: [email protected]

About WECIL

WECIL is an award winning, user led organisation supporting Disabled people to live the life they choose. Our approach is fully person centred. Our staff have lived experience and this informs the support we offer.

Mission Statement

We are an organisation of Disabled people working together to enable choice. We challenge the barriers to independent living through the delivery of high-quality support and advice.

  • Provide a service for all Disabled people, whatever their background or needs;
  • Lead in best practice for the delivery and development of services that support Independent Living;
  • Deliver value for members, funders and service users by providing services that make a difference to people’s lives;
  • Challenge barriers to Independent Living wherever we encounter them;
  • Include the views and opinions of all our service users in everything we do;
  • Be seen as the first place to go by anyone looking for support for Independent Living.

We understand that everyone's needs are different. As a user led organisation, we know the benefits of individual, bespoke support and we are committed to doing our best to find that for you.

Graphic illustration of group of Disabled people chatting

User Led

We are an award winning, user led organisation dedicated to supporting independent living to create a more inclusive society. We work with anyone who identifies as being a Disabled person. 

Our Trustees

Ruth - Trustee Photo in Black and White

Job title:Chair of Trustees

Ruth Pickersgill brings a wealth of experience to the Board from her professional career and also other voluntary leadership roles. Ruth has been Disabled since her early twenties. She worked in three Disabled People’s Organisations in London and Bristol during the 1980s and 90s and was the first Director of WECIL when it was set up in 1995. Ruth has therefore been totally committed to WECIL’s principles and ways of working from its inception! Ruth also spent a while in Leicester where she was Chair of Leicestershire Centre for Independent Living, giving her a wider perspective on the independent living movement nationally.

Much of Ruth’s professional career was in spent in education as a teacher then as Inclusion Manager and Equalities Manager for Bristol City Council, and she eventually became a senior leader in Further Education at Leicester College and then at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College. Since retiring, Ruth served as a local councillor for Easton ward from 2016 to when she stood down in 2021, also Chairing the Public Safety Committee. She now works full time, although voluntarily, for a number of local charities and is also Chair of Governors for City Academy and sits on the Fostering Panel and the Children and Young People’s Board. Equalities has always been her passion, and in 2010 Ruth was given an MBE for work on equalities in Further Education.

Victoria Trustee Photo in Black and White

Job title: Vice-Chair of Trustees

Vicki Kaye became Disabled at age 12 after catching measles and encephalitis becoming paralysed from the neck down but slowly regaining the use of her arms and upper body and gradually learned to walk again.
After working as a Legal Assistant in London and Bristol, Vicki stopped working and became a carer for her brother who had Down’s syndrome.
Vicki’s experience of managing a physical impairment at school, university and in the workplace makes her a great addition to the WECIL board of Trustees.

“I have been receiving a direct payment for over 19 years now and WECIL has always supported me so it felt only right that I should try and repay them by volunteering in some way. I was asked to become a trustee a few years ago and I am so pleased that I did!”

Since then Vicki re-trained and took an arts-based BA and an MA at UWE. "A fabulous experience and great fun! But I couldn’t have done this without the help of a personal assistant."

 

Steve Trustee Photo in Black and White

Job title: Treasurer

I have recently retired after a career covering a wide range of NHS, Social Care and Voluntary Sector roles . I have worked as a Planner and Operational Manager in each of these areas.

In 2001 , I was seconded to work at the Department of Health as a member of the Valuing People Support Team ,focussing on improving the lives of people with learning disabilities . I moved on to join the Personalisation Team which set up pilots for the implementation of Personal/Individual Budgets . During this period , I spent 1 year at the Office of Disability Issues working on implementing the Government Policy -'Improving the Lifechances of Disabled People ' where I focussed specifically on the vital role of User Led Organisations like WECIL.

After finishing at the Department of Health I worked for 3 years before retirement working as a Consultant for the National Development Team for Inclusion .

Lindi -Trustee Photo in Black and White

Job title: Trustee

I have a lived experience of disability, as I have a brain injury caused by an aneurysm in 2006. My disability is hidden.  Prior to my illness, I worked in broadcasting in London and Bristol for the BBC and the independent sector. I made programmes for BBC ONE, BBC TWO, ITV, and C4, as a researcher and an assistant producer in factual television.  

Since my convalescence, I’ve worked for NHS Devon as an accredited volunteer tutor, delivering self-help courses for the chronically ill and for Bristol Mind as a trained volunteer. 

Born in Zimbabwe and brought up in The Seychelles, Kiribati, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus and UK, I now call East Bristol my home.  My childhood in the developing world, where my father worked as a doctor and my mother a nurse, shaped my outlook with regard to equality. Everyone deserves to be treated equally regardless of circumstances.  I also volunteer at The SS Great Britain, on its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion working committee. 

As a WECIL service user, it is a privilege to draw on my lived and professional experience to support Bristol’s Disabled community.  

When I can get to the coast, I enjoy cold water swimming and the Devon countryside. 

Karen -Trustee Photo in Black and White

Job title: Trustee

I have been a trustee of WECIL since 2021.  My professional background is in social work. I qualified in 1992 and since then have worked with both adults and children and families. Most of my career being in fostering and adoption. I retired from this in 2019.  

Like most black people I have experienced racism. I have always had a sense of equality and justice and promoted equality, including the social model of disability within my work and personal life. I became disabled in 2017 and this has given me lived experience of how many challenges and barriers disabled people face in society. 

Previously I have been a trustee on the management committed of two HIV charities, and volunteered at a Hospice. I was also on the management committee at a charity promoting the development of black women. 

I am pleased to have joined WECIL as a trustee and aim to bring my skills and knowledge to this role, whilst also gaining new skills and knowledge.

Elise Trustee Photo in Black and White

Job title: Trustee

I am hugely passionate about culture, equity and inclusion as a driver for change. The opportunity to play a defining role in leading on transformational change that WECIL represents is the motivating factor for my application. My goal in my work at Bristol City Council as the Arts Development manager in the strategic envisioning, development, and creative delivery of Bristol’s cultural programme and creative industries sector, is to make the biggest possible positive impact for its communities, visitors, and culture sector. Working within Bristol City Council’s Art Development team since 2016, I have wide connections within the cultural sector and can support WECIL to further develop your work in this area. I am an active member of the One City Culture Board and currently co-chair the DIY Arts Network. 

My own lived experience as a disabled, queer, white woman of being excluded in many contexts informs my practice. I advocate an inclusive way of working that embraces intersectionality and the interconnected nature of social categorisations, such as race, class, mental health, and gender. I think deeply about what inclusion and unseen diversity means and about how to adapt to open up opportunities for everyone and have put practices into place in all my work.

Our approach is fully user centred. Our staff have lived experience of Disability and this informs the support we offer.

Quality and Systems Team

Black and White photo of a community

Job title: Executive Assistant

 

Black and White photo of a community
Black and White photo of Laura

Job title: Quality and Systems Apprentice

Hello! My name is Laura. I first started at WECIL just over a year ago as a Quality and Systems Kickstarter. After I completed my first 6 months, I was then taken on as an Apprentice. I feel since starting at WECIL, I have had a huge burst in my confidence and I have been able to learn and develop many different skills that help me both in life, and to fulfil my role. When I am not at work I enjoy listening to music, playing video games, watching anime and drawing.

Connor Picture in B&W

Job title: Quality and Systems Team Assistant

Hi, I joined WECIL in 2012 as a volunteer whilst I was also going to college. I enjoyed volunteering at WECIL but what an amazing feeling it was to get the apprenticeship back in 2016. I was amazed at how much I was still learning going from role to role.

In my current role as Quality and Systems Team Assistant, I carry out general administrative tasks and reception for both internal and external customers. I deal with the IT side of WECIL too, which I really do enjoy.

Outside of work, I enjoy reading, writing and spending time with my family and friends.

 

Black and White photo of a community

Finance Manager

Black and White photo of a community

Finance Officer

Graphic illustration of a diverse group of Disabled people next to WECIL sign

Navigators

Whatever your enquiry, our team of Navigators can signpost and give you support to access the right services for you. We understand that knowing where or how to begin accessing support can be confusing, and some language and policies are complicated – that is why our experienced team is here specifically to help you navigate and understand how WECIL or other organisations may be able to help you.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus rutrum laoreet euismod. Cras volutpat lectus id lectus rutrum sodales.

Our volunteers

Phasellus at varius erat, suscipit efficitur tortor. Praesent in ante nisl. Etiam eget tellus eros. Nunc lobortis elit molestie ullamcorper venenatis. Pellentesque felis ipsum, tempus eu pretium sit amet, pellentesque sit amet elit.

Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

We understand that everyone's needs are different. As a user led organisation, we know the benefits of individual, bespoke support and we are committed to doing our best to find that for you.

Social Model

WECIL is user led and the Social Model of Disability is at the heart of what we do. The Social Model of Disability states that people are disabled by societal, attitudinal and environmental barriers rather than their impairment. We help you understand this model and remove barriers to create a more inclusive society.

Unlike other organisations, our lived experience and understanding of what being inclusive and accessible actually means to a Disabled person helps you implement meaningful changes.

Woman in wheelchair pressing disabled elevator button

Policies

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent egestas pellentesque enim quis finibus. Nam ac purus at velit malesuada sollicitudin sed id mi. In non porttitor urna. Proin ut sem velit. Maecenas condimentum, nisl at lobortis vestibulum, felis mi cursus lorem, eget consequat nulla eros ut erat.

We support a whole range of people who use and are looking to use WECIL’s services. You could be a Disabled person, a parent or carer, local authority or another charity.

Research and Reports

Annual Report 2023

The quality of WECIL’s work is evidenced in much of the feedback we get – particularly for the relatively new Navigators’ Team, who are able to take a person-centred and holistic approach to establishing what people need, and how it can best be provided without passing them from pillar to post, which is so often the experience when Disabled people look for support. 

Click and Chat Community 2022-23

WECIL are pleased to publish our impact report detailing the achievements of our first year of Lottery funded Click and Chat project. Our Navigator team have significantly adapted the way in which we work with people ensuring we work in a holistic, person centred way and the feedback speaks for itself!

Young Adult Advisory Board Report

The YAA Board were formed in April 2021 at the request of Bristol City Council. Over the course of the year, seven disabled adults, aged between 18 and 25 have volunteered the project. We are a group of young people who all identify as having some form of disability (either currently or at another point in our lives). 

Climate Action Plan 2023

We’re please to present our Climate Action Plan for 2023. We’ve assessed five key areas of our organisation covering: Travel, Community Engagement, Waste Management, Energy Use and Operations. Within the plan we’ve documented what we are doing to monitor and reduce our carbon footprint, we’ve also made time based commitments on the required improvements. For more information email: [email protected]

WECIL 5 Year Strategy

We believe that Disabled children and adults are entitled to the same rights, choice and control over their lives as non-Disabled People, and that they must be fully included in all aspects of society, and have influence over the issues that affect them. Our guidance and services help Disabled children and adults to live independently, our strategy to acheive this over the next 5 years is detailed in the document below.

Annual Report 2022

The last few years have been incredibly difficult for WECIL, and more importantly for all Disabled people. We have seen people who use our services continue to struggle with COVID-19 restrictions, often feeling anxious about impact, and feeling the effects of the enforced isolation they found themselves in.

Experiences of Disabled People

The “Experiences of Disabled Children and their Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic” survey was launched by WECIL in October of 2020. This was in direct response to WECIL hearing informally from families about their experiences during lockdown and wanting to capture this in a more formal way.

Annual Report 2021

Since 1995 we have been working to challenge restrictions and change the possibilities for Disabled people in the South West. These past 18 months have been one of the most difficult and heartbreaking times for the country yet again and unacceptably impacting Disabled People the hardest.

Strengthening the Voice

Disabled People in Bristol have a long and proud history of organising to advance their interests and to push for a greater say over how their communities and city are run. Since the late 1980s, Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) – which are controlled by the disabled people they represent.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus rutrum laoreet euismod. Cras volutpat lectus id lectus rutrum sodales.

someone putting their hand on someone wrist

Charitable Objectives

Quisque aliquet lacus quis mauris porttitor, et condimentum mauris eleifend. Nam blandit malesuada lorem vel euismod. Maecenas rhoncus ac velit ac hendrerit. Proin eget sapien eget metus ullamcorper pretium in nec eros. Nam rutrum tincidunt dolor et suscipit. Nam maximus, ex non auctor lacinia, dolor nibh cursus lacus, et interdum massa nulla non tellus.

Skip to content