Launching the North West Disabled Members Network

I am the Branch Treasurer for Preston Central Branch, North West Disabled members rep and
also on the DWP Group Women’s Advisory committee.
As a woman with several disabilities, throughout my career in the Civil service I have faced
numerous barriers. Some of those are securing reasonable adjustments, DETP and fighting for
equality. Within my branch I have raised the profile of PCS and also pushed for disabled
members to be treated equally. I have achieved this through sending out newsletters,
empowering members through education about the Equality Act and ensuring that they are
aware of the Departments policy especially around reasonable adjustments. I have also
encouraged members to join the Equality networks and to get involved.
Within my business area I noticed that after the re-organisation the Department didn’t have a
Disabled Persons Officer. This was a huge concern to me as I have many colleagues that have disabilities and without someone in that role, colleagues wouldn’t get the support they needed in work. I contacted the senior leaders regarding this and have now become the Disabled persons officer for the whole of Carers Allowance and Attendance Allowance. This will give me the opportunity to ensure that disabled colleagues will have reasonable adjustments put in place, specialist equipment supplied and are treated equally. It also gives me another platform to use to raise the profile of PCS and recruit new members.
In June last year I was given the opportunity to be part of the steering committee for the North
West Disabled members network and to help relaunch that network. I attended several planning meetings where we decided what agenda we wanted and also agreed the terms of reference for the network. I wrote an article on reasonable adjustments for the first newsletter for this network and regularly update the networks Facebook page. I also co-chaired this event in November and it was a resounding success. We have had another meeting since then which was well attended and we agreed to three campaigns for the year ahead. I am continuing to help build this network by signing up members to the equality strands.
I am passionate about Equality, growing the networks and recruiting new members to PCS.
Equality transcends across everything that we do and should be at the heart of any decisions
that are made not only within PCS but throughout society.
Suzanne Grice
Suzanne Grice is standing on the Left Unity slate for the DWP GEC.