There have been a number of changes to the PF Disabilities Team in recent months, so I thought it was high time I gave you all an update on what has happened, and what we hope to do going forward.
Firstly, I’d like to introduce myself as the new National Disabilities Manager, as well as the new Deputy Community Support Officer. I am a Heathen, living in West Yorkshire with my wife, rabbits and dogs. I have been following a Pagan path for around 15 years, something I discovered whilst travelling with my family through Scandinavia. I am the chair of the Defence Pagan Network as well as the Confederation of UK Heathen Kindreds, and Gothi of Heathens of Yorkshire. I have been part of the Disabilities Team for a while as the District Liaison for the North East and I am very much looking forward to leading the fantastic team that I have inherited.
The fact that the Disabilities Team is as organised and productive as it is is in no small part down to our current Community Support Officer Debi Gregory, who before stepping up to the role was the National Disabilities Manager herself, and revolutionised the way the team ran. I would like to thank her for all her hard work. I would also like to thank new PF President Sarah Kerr for taking the reins on a temporary basis before I volunteered.
There have also been some changes within the team. We have had several new District Liaisons, and some members of the team have departed. I would like to welcome our new team members and thank those that have left the team for all their hard work.
Whilst 2020 has so far not been the year any of us envisaged it would be, there have been some positives. We have increased the amount of online content being put out by the PF, and the various blogs and the podcast are getting very positive feedback. We have continued with the online festivals and worked alongside other organisations such as Pagans Care UK, Asatru UK, PF International and The Flame of Frith to provide online rituals. All of this is good news for disabled Pagans who have difficulty getting to real world events. Going forward, we have to make sure this continues as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. We must also continue to build on the positive work the team has done over the last 5 years to make sure that disabled Pagans have the opportunity to fully integrate into the wider Pagan community, and that awareness of disability continues to spread. We also need to do more to recognise the work of carers, who are often overlooked.
Finally, I would like to remind everyone that the Disabilities Team is here for you. If you have suggestions or ideas of how we could do things better, or new things that you would like to see us doing, please let me know, and I will see what we can do. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
National Disabilities Manager & DCSO