North East Suffolk

Useful Information

Blue Badge

Blue Badge

You should automatically qualify for a Blue Badge if one or more of these criteria apply to you:

  • You get the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • You claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) because you can’t walk further than 50 metres.
  • You have a permanent and substantial disability which means you are unable to walk or have considerable difficulty in walking (you will need to show that this criterion applies to you, and you may have to be assessed by a medical professional such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist).
  • You’re registered as blind.
  • You receive a War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement. 
  • You have received a lump sum benefit from the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme (within tariff levels 1-8). You must also have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability that causes the inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.

If you don’t automatically qualify you may still be able to get a Blue Badge if:

  • You have problems walking – including problems caused by hidden disabilities such as dementia or mental health problems.
  • You have a severe disability in both arms which means you have considerable difficulty operating parking meters.
  • You often become extremely anxious or fearful of public or open spaces.
  • You have a terminal illness, which means you can’t walk or find walking very difficult.

We can advise on how to apply for a Blue Badge, or for more information go to Blue Badge website link below:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-blue-badge-scheme-rights-and-responsibilities-in-england/the-blue-badge-scheme-rights-and-responsibilities-in-england

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower

MAKING THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a globally-recognised symbol for non-visible disabilities, also known as hidden disabilities or invisible disabilities.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower enables people with non-visible disabilities to access the support they need. It acts as a prompt for someone to choose to let people around them know they have a invisible disability and that they may need a helping hand, understanding, or simply more time.

As diverse as these conditions are, so are each person’s access needs and the barriers they face in their daily lives. So, some individuals with conditions that are not immediately obvious to others opt to wear the Sunflower, to discreetly identify their individual access needs in shops, at work, on transport, or in public spaces.

These come in the form of lanyards with a sunflower card attached, wristbands including children’s ones, and car stickers, these can all be purchased from the DANES office in Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft.

  • Lanyards £2
  • Wristbands £1
  • Car stickers £3
Motability Scheme

Motability Scheme

You can exchange your qualifying mobility allowance for a brand-new car, wheelchair accessible vehicle, scooter or powered wheelchair, so you can enjoy more freedom and independence.

To be eligible for this, you need to be in receipt of one of the below qualifying benefits, with at least 12 months left on the award.

PIP – higher rate mobility part of Personal Independence Payment

It’s to help with the extra costs of living with a long-term health condition or disability. It is not means-tested, or affected by earnings or savings.

DLA – higher rate mobility part of Disability Living Allowance

It helps you with the extra costs you might have because of a disability. It isn’t means tested or affected by earnings, other income or savings.

Transport

Transport

We work closely with bact, signposting our clients who need transport to hospitals and other destinations.

Bact provides transport for people living in the Waveney district of Suffolk and the South Eastern Area of South Norfolk for whom other forms of public transport are not easily available. In the average year, we transport around 40,000 passengers on journeys covering 400,000 miles. We have several services:

CARS

  • Wheelchair accessible vehicles
  • Minibus Door to door / Dial-a-ride

These services are open to all: young, old, able-bodied or infirm. The majority of journeys undertaken are for transporting passengers to medical services and day centres on behalf of the local authorities, but many others are for shopping, family visits and similar. Transport is provided by volunteer drivers, using either their own vehicles or our minibuses and wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

If you are interested in helping the community by becoming a volunteer, we would love to hear from you. Bact is funded by fares, contracts, grants, fundraising and donations. Bact increasingly relies on fundraising and donations.

If you are a relative, carer, or neighbour and know of someone that would benefit from our help, please put them in contact with us or pass on a leaflet.

Likewise, if you are an organisation that can share your details with us and would welcome new members to your fold and we do not already know about you, then please let us know. We’d love to hear from you and put others in touch with you.

What do I do next?

  1. First step – you have read this leaflet and shown an interest.
  2. Second step – contact us using any of the links below.
  3. The third step – Let us help you now and improve the quality of life for you and those around you too.

Contact us:

By email: info@bactcommunitytransport.org.uk

By phone: 01986 896896/895665

By facebook: www.facebook.com/bactcommunitytransport1 and send us a message Bact.

New Community Transport Service

A new community transport service has been launched to help people living in the villages north of Lowestoft to get out and about more easily.

Operated by BACT and funded by East Suffolk Community Partnerships, Buzzabout is a new bookable bus service for residents in Gunton East, Somerleyton, Lound, Blundeston and St Olaves.

Using a 16-seat minibus, Buzzabout can be booked to pick people up at existing bus stops, from their homes or anywhere else they need and take them exactly where they want to go, including into Lowestoft town centre, Somerleyton and Lowestoft train stations, the Tesco superstore at Leisure Way, Somerleyton Hall or into other neighbouring villages. Buzz about is fully accessible, including for wheelchair users.

The service operates on Mondays and Thursdays between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm and can be booked by calling BACT on 01986 896896, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.

East Suffolk’s Community Partnerships set up a Transport and Travel group to identify parts of the district lacking in rural transport and are working across East Suffolk to introduce new on-demand transport options.

A recent survey found that 23% of residents in the villages to the north of Lowestoft do not have access to a car or traditional public transport, leaving them feeling isolated and dependent on other people. Buzz about has been launched as a direct response to this issue, to help people of all ages access shops, services and social activities more easily.

Cllr Norman Brooks, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for Transport said: “Introducing new on-demand transport options for those living in rural communities where there is limited public transport is one way in which we are tackling social isolation, which can have a real impact on people’s mental and physical health. Shared transport is also cheaper and better for the environment than using a car, especially for short journeys.

“We are delighted to have launched Buzzabout which will help people of all ages travel independently to groups and activities where they can meet others, as well as carry out everyday tasks such as shopping and attending appointments.”

Buzz about fares is discounted until July 2023; a return trip from Lound to Lowestoft is just £4.00. Payment can be made when boarding the bus, using either cash or contactless payment.

Cllr Paul Ashdown, Chairman of the Lowestoft and Northern Parishes Community Partnership who has contributed to the development of the service, said: “This service is for those in rural areas to get into surrounding villages and the town, but also encourages those in Lowestoft to use the service to visit family, friends and attend events or functions in the rural communities. We hope the service will also encourage passengers to visit the countryside for walks and fresh air and experience the beautiful Suffolk rural areas.

The new service was launched on Sunday 3 July 2022 at the 25th-anniversary celebrations for Bungay-based BACT. BACT provides transport for people living in the north of Suffolk and part of south Norfolk, for whom other forms of public transport are not easily available.

BACT manager Debbie Blowers said: “We are delighted to have received the funding from the East Suffolk Community Partnerships to run this vital service in the rural areas north of Lowestoft where bus services have been reduced and left passengers without easily accessible transport options. Our driver, Eddy, is looking forward to welcoming passengers on board the service and will greet you all with a smile!”

To book Buzzabout, please call: 01986 896896 ~ Monday to Friday (9 am – 4 pm).

Lowestoft Shopmobility

Lowestoft Shopmobility ~ Charity number 1100208.

We’ll get you mobile in Lowestoft. Shopmobility offers affordable day and long-term hire of mobility scooters, powered wheelchairs & manual wheelchairs, enabling local residents and visitors to Lowestoft and surrounding areas, to have some independence. 

For more information on rates and membership please call: 01502 588857

Email: lowestoftshopmobility@btconnect.com

Website: www.lowestoftshopmobility.co.uk

We are located at: 15 Station Square, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR32 1BA

Vehicle Tax Exemption

Vehicle Tax Exemption

You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax if you get the:

  • Higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • Enhanced rate mobility component of Adult Disability Payment (ADP).
  • Higher rate mobility component of Child Disability Payment.
  • War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement.
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment.

The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person’s name or their nominated driver’s name.

It must only be used for the disabled person’s personal needs. It cannot be used by the nominated driver for their own personal use.

You can only have one vehicle tax exemption at any one time.

You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the:

  • PIP standard rate mobility component.
  • ADP standard rate mobility component.

The vehicle should be registered in the disabled person’s name or their nominated driver’s name.

You cannot get a reduction for getting the PIP or DLA lower rate mobility component.

For more information please visit:

www.gov.uk/get-vehicle-tax-exemption-disability

Mobility Scooters

10 Rules You Should Know About Mobility Scooters
PDF
Radar Key

Radar Key

The RADAR key is a universal key that unlocks over 9000 accessible toilets across the UK, helping you to access locked disabled public toilets without needing to ask a member of staff to let you in.

The idea for the key came from the Royal Association of Disability and Rehabilitation, aka RADAR.

Prices can vary, but make sure you purchase a genuine one from a reputable supplier, as there are cheaper alternatives, which may not work.

We sell RADAR keys here at Disability Advice for £4 these can also be purchased at Shop mobility in Lowestoft.

Changing Places

Changing Places

Why are Changing Places toilets important?

Thousands of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well other disabilities that severely limit mobility, cannot use standard accessible toilets.

People may be limited in their own mobility so need equipment to help them or may need support from one or two carers to either get on the toilet or to have their continence pad changed.

Standard accessible toilets (or “disabled toilets”) do not provide changing benches or hoists and most are too small to accommodate more than one person. Without Changing Places toilets, the person with disabilities is put at risk, and families are forced to risk their own health and safety by changing their loved one on a toilet floor.

This is dangerous, unhygienic and undignified.

It is now accepted and expected that everyone has a right to live in the community, to move around within it and access all its facilities. Government policy promotes the idea of “community participation” and “active citizenship,” but for some people with disabilities the lack of a fully accessible toilet is denying them this right.

Although the numbers are increasing, there are still not enough Changing Places toilets across the country.

Providing these toilets in public places would make a dramatic difference to the lives of thousands of people who desperately need these facilities.

Find out where they are and how to use them on the link below. DANES is not affiliated with this company so see their website for more information

Changing Places - Accessible Toilets
Accessible Toilets Map

Accessible Toilet Map

GREAT BRITISH TOILET MAP

If you are looking for accessible toilets in an area you travel to in the UK. DANES can recommend the great British public toilet map service, which allows you to search for accessible toilets follow the link below to find accessible toilets in your area.

(We are not affiliated with them if you know of any other service like this let us know and we can add that here as well)

Lowestoft Stroke Support Group

A Support group for stroke survivors and those affected by stroke.

Every Friday 10am to 12midday
St Margaret’s Church Hall
Hollingsworth Road
Lowestoft
Suffolk
NR32 4BW

Disabled Parking, Wheelchair Access, Adapted Toilet.

For more details contact: Kate Oubridge ~ 07917 795453

Gt Yarmouth & Waveney MS Society

(Latest information on the group's Facebook page)

Contact details: 07434 742100

greatyarmouthwaveney@mssociety.org.uk

MS Society Ten Pin Bowling
Usually the last Sunday of the month except for August, September and December.

At Richardson’s Leisure Ltd, Whapload Road, Lowestoft. NR32 1TY

Contact: Eileen Kent ~ 01493 393999

Suffolk Disability Advice - Sunflower Photo

Notices

See below for latest news, announcements, events, vacancies & more...

What‘s On ~ 2024

Download the PDF below for a full list of our various activities running throughout 2024...
NOTICE

Back On Your Feet

A 12 week OTAGO strength and balance programme for people who are at risk of falling
Download full details below...
NOTICE

Carers Support Group

Come along to our Carers Support Group.
Held every other week, on the second Wednesday of the month...
NOTICE

Digital Inclusion- Easy IT

IT course covering: Word documents, Internet usage and safety. Creating and using email, and much more!
The course will be running every Thursday (starting 20.06.24). Download PDF for details...
NOTICE

Crafty Creations

Let your creative side shine! Come along and try different crafts or bring your own project.
Third Monday of every month. Download PDF for details...
NOTICE

Catch-Up & Colour

Would you like a safe space to colour and chat with other people with learning disabilities?
Every Wednesday. Download PDF for details...
NOTICE

Workability in Waveney

We believe many workplaces are missing out on a great source of talented and committed employees. Workability in Waveney offers 1:1 sessions focusing on wellbeing for volunteers, trainees or employees.
NOTICE

Outreach Times & Places

Contact us for information and appointments for our outreach times at:

Lowestoft Job Centre
Beccles Job Centre
Bungay surgery
Marram Green in Kessingland
NOTICE