Blackwood Get Science Centred For AGM

by Ross Stebbing

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Blackwood AGM PicturesInventive housing bosses who have helped improve the lives of disabled people are to hold a hi-tech celebration of their work – in Scotland’s science centre.

To underline the advances that have been made, guests will be treated to a showcase of antiquated wheelchairs to the latest in sport chairs alongside the latest exoskeleton technology.

Housing and care specialists Blackwood will also unveil a film tribute dedicated to its founder and disability campaigner Dr Margaret Blackwood, whose pioneering work 30 years ago set the pace for improvements across Scotland.

NOT THE MOST OBVIOUS CHOICE

Fanchea Kelly, who took over as Chief Executive at Blackwood a year ago, said: “Glasgow Science Centre may not be the most obvious choice for a care and housing event, but for us it is perfect.

“Technology it is at the heart of everything we do helping people with disabilities and impairments to live the most independent lives possible so where better to celebrate that?

“The Science Centre is where children and adults alike go to learn about the breakthroughs in science which have changed all of our lives. It’s therefore a fitting place for us to celebrate the achievements of Margaret Blackwood, the woman who gave our organisation its DNA.

“While we were researching the history of Blackwood, we discovered archive recordings and footage of Margaret dating from the 60s and 70s when she was a prominent campaigner for improved rights for disabled people.

“We have spent a great deal of time and effort having that pulled together into a film celebrating her work and her achievements.”

Stephen Gallagher, Chair of Blackwood, continues the sentiment and said: “It reminds us how far ahead of her time she was. The changes she campaigned for may seem commonplace now, but that just underlines that we are now striving to bring in changes which will shape the landscape for the next 30 years.”

INTERACTIVE

As well as the various displays there will also be a range of interactive ‘drop in’ style stalls manned by Blackwood staff so that tenants and guests can discuss a range of issues that affect them. The Blackwood Foundation will be exhibiting how technology really can help people live more independently through digital inclusion and SMARTCare.

Designed to echo the themes of the Scottish Social Housing Charter that Blackwood will return in October 2014, visitors will be able to talk directly to members of the Blackwood team on matters including value for rent, housing maintenance and access to housing support.

Colleen Robertson, Communications and Marketing Manager for Blackwood, said: “As well as creating a fun day out for our guests we also wanted to ensure that our tenants had the opportunity to come and talk to us on the day about issues close to their heart.

“It’s an exciting time for us with our recent office move and the launch of our home grown social media platform – www.bespoken.me – so we wanted to get feedback on how this has benefited our tenants and what improvements can be made.

“We very much see ourselves as being at the forefront of the housing and care sector but to remain there it’s vital that we listen to the ever evolving needs of our tenants to help shape our future and we hope the AGM will provide the perfect platform to do just that.”

BESPOKE FEATURES

Blackwood’s AGM and Expo will be held at The Glasgow Science Centre on 17th September from 4pm – 8pm. Attendees will include staff and tenants from across Scotland as well as special guest of honour Baillie Anne Simpson.

Headquartered in state of the art, wheelchair friendly offices in Edinburgh, Blackwood has over 350 staff throughout the country and a range of properties kitted out with the latest in bespoke features to help make the lives of its disabled customers easier.

This includes a range of adaptations from minor alterations such as lowering thresholds between rooms for easier wheelchair access, fitting grab rails and installing easy-to-use lever taps. Bigger projects can include installing wet rooms, level access showers and ‘rise and fall kitchens’ to improve the quality of life of its customers.

Working in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, Blackwood is more widely dispersed than any other care or housing provider and has embraced the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly limited.

With over 1600 homes throughout the country it is a leader in helping those who are disabled, elderly or living with sensory impairments live more independently.

Public rleations agency account executive Ross Stebbing

Private: Ross Stebbing

As part of the expert PR team at a fast-paced Scottish public relations agency, Ross Stebbing works on diverse clients in sectors including film and media, construction, healthcare and logistics. While he delivers PR in Edinburgh, his results appear in newspapers, magazines and websites all across the UK and beyond.

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