Hi Folks, we have won a lottery grant for the BLUE IRIS project, this will get people chatting to one another and is designed to combat loneliness. A simple but great idea. You sign a pledge to be open to chat to people when you wear your blue iris badge. The badge is a sign that you will be willing to chat. No pressure, no home visits, you just wear the badge when you feel you have the time to chat. The chats can be anywhere in a public place, shops, bus stops, doctors etc.

If you are a warm, kind, friendly, person who would like to be involved in this project, you can get further information and your BLUE IRIS badge from Jo Coulson or Rob Lamonby via the Blue Iris Facebook page here. The badges are free but we hope people will make a donation so we can buy more badges.

To read the story about the launch in the Sentinel Click this link

Our sincere thanks go to all the people who are now wearing the Blue Iris badges and our wonderful ambassadors who are spreading the message about the Blue Iris Project and giving out Blue Iris Badges.

We have the support of some wonderful people including our MPs.

On Friday 14th July 2017 we met with Ruth and she signed the pledge to wear her Blue Iris badge.

The campaign is going really well with 1500 badges already given out.

If you spot someone wearing the badge, please go and say hello.



On Monday 18th Sept 2017 we were invited to meet Gareth Snell MP for him to receive his Blue Iris badge. He is really supportive of the project and has promised to publicise it where he can. It is great to have the backing of our hard working MPs.




In April 2017 STAND members had a talk from Michaela who works for Revival in Stoke. They offer all kinds of help. Click link to see their literature Help016 or visit their website or phone 0333 014 3389.

Unity Walk Hanley

STAND exec. have a meeting with Realis on Fri 31st March to discuss the development of the old bus station in Hanley. Members are concerned about how this work will affect their ability to access shops, banks and places of work both during the work and afterwards.

Missing Medical Aids

Often people are loaned medical aids in hospital and when they no longer need them they do not know where to return them.

If you have any medical aids, crutches, walking sticks, hoists etc. that you no longer need you can ring Mediquip 01785 273950 and either arrange for them to be collected or take them to Mediquip in Tollgate Road, Stafford. They will ensure that they are made ready for someone else to use. Returning medical aids could save our local NHS thousands of pounds.

Accessible Toilets, Safer Places, All Inclusive Opportunities

The Council has started mapping facilities in Stoke-on-Trent, including Accessible Toilets, Safer Places and All inclusive Opportunities. 
Please click this link: 
Once the map appears, click onto:
1.       What do you want to do
2.       Map layers
3.       Society
4.       Accessible toilets, Safer Places or All-inclusive opportunities
We will also add the Changing Places facilities soon, with information on what equipment is available in each one. 
The maps are still being added to so it would be worth checking back soon to see the full map.
We hope that anyone who needs these facilities will find this useful.
Kind Regards,

Campaign for extra seating

I have had a letter from Ruth Smeeth MP asking STAND to back a campaign by Anchor called Standing up for sitting down www.SU4SD. They are campaigning for Councils to provide seating in town centres to make it easier for people to access the shops. As this campaign is in line with STAND’s aim to improve accessibility. we are happy to back this campaign. As you know STAND is continually campaigning for extra blue badge spaces to allow  people with disabilities to access shops and the extra seats would also be a benefit both to the general public and to the shops themselves.

Closure of Community Hospitals

At the next STAND meeting on 8th Nov 2016 at Hanley Fire Station at 10am we are going to discuss the problems that will be caused by the closure of the Community Hospitals. Please come along and let us know how this will affect you.

The Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Staffordshire makes it clear that these hospitals will have to close as there is no money to keep them open, but many people fear the alternative “care” will not be safe as the infrastructure is not in place to deliver the care packages.

To see the points made by STAND members please click on the link below.