IT was a proud day for Redditch’s Disability Support Group (DSP) when Mark Jackson OBE, the High Sheriff of Worcestershire, visited to present them with a special achievement award for their work in the pandemic.
DSP, a self funding charity set up by Alex Powell, is based in the Ecumenical Centre in Redditch town centre.
It has seen its workload steadily increase throughout the three lockdowns coupled with a surge in mental health case referrals.
“The High Sheriff visited us back in October and said he was so impressed by the work we are doing that he felt we warranted the award,” said Anita Clayton, often the first point of contact for people when they get in touch with DSP.
The charity helps people with Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claims who feel they have been unfairly penalised by the Department of Work and Pensions.
This has steadily broadened to include a range of people struggling to receive their benefits or who have problems managing money.
“We are still helping people with their PIP forms and ESA forms to make sure they get the benefit they are entitled to but there are also people struggling with their mental health with Covid about,” said Anita.
“More people are in hardship and we think it’s going to get worse.”
DSP is entirely self funded and survives thanks to the generosity of people and its success in winning tribunals.
“It all costs money to keep going and none of us take a salary out of it, but we’re managing to keep our heads above water,” said Anita.