Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS) is a user-led pan-disability charity operating primarily in Buckinghamshire. We are a successful, dynamic and influential charity, focused on supporting disabled people by fixing the biggest issues facing them. We aim to build a world which is Fair4All, including disabled people.
BuDS works by permanently removing barriers facing disabled people and finding answers to the big issues facing them, alongside helping individuals. Our projects and partnerships deliver unique and lasting change and effective support that helps nearly all the 41,000 disabled people in Buckinghamshire – plus many beyond our county.
Uniquely, BuDS is a mainly voluntary charity. We have over 150 volunteers, mostly disabled people, supported by a small staff team, who themselves run our projects and services. Many of our volunteers are jobseekers or needing help to move forward in their lives and we actively support them by the way we work.
BuDS is a modern and flexible charity with a can-do attitude. We have remote working and secure IT systems which work for disabled people and we use Agile project management across the charity. During the Covid pandemic, we expanded to meet demand and found new ways of working, not shut down like so many other charities. We are independently funded and not reliant on state grants or contracts.
Removing barriers and finding answers
Disabled people face huge barriers preventing them from living normal independent lives – physical barriers and barriers caused by bad attitudes and lack of knowledge. As a social model charity, we believe it is these barriers that disable people, not their medical condition or impairment. BuDS helps disabled people by finding practical, affordable solutions which permanently remove these physical or attitudinal barriers, so people are no longer disabled by barriers and become part of the wider community. The fact that BuDS is the only independent pan-disability charity in Bucks, made up primarily of disabled people, gives us unique insight and knowledge, especially as our volunteers include hugely experienced experts and professionals. As a result, BuDS can find new, innovative, permanent and sustainable answers to the big problems disabled people face every day.
A Fair4All World
BuDS Fair4All projects aim to fix the big structural issues that create barriers for lots of disabled people, such as bad attitudes, lack of information, the design of structures and places, and how services work. Our Fair4All Public Spaces focuses on accessibility and inclusion for disabled people in public places of all kinds, from streets to libraries to shopping centres. Our Fair4All Events project (temporarily shelved for Covid) helps event organisers make public events inclusive for disabled people. For disabled children and young people, our Fair4All Education project works to improve SEND education and services. Disabled people face prejudice or negativity in society and our Fair4All Attitudes projects works to educate and inform. And our Fair4All Services project monitors and seeks to improve the NHS, council and charity services on which disabled people rely, such as social care support, respite care and wheelchair services.
Supporting Disabled People
BuDS also has projects which support individual disabled people with the biggest issues they face. Our Reach4Work project helps disabled people move into or closer to work or education and training. Our Fair4All Card helps disabled people get the support they need (and are legally entitled to) in their local community. Our BuDDies service supports lonely and isolated disabled people and helps them make social networks. We are a third-party reporting hub for disability hate crime and we support all victims of hate incidents. And our IAG (information, advice and guidance) projects help hundreds of disabled people with a vast range of questions and queries, from benefits to social care and accessibility to education and employment.