The Dunelm Phab club is based at the Durham Daybreak Centre, Abbey Road, Durham City and is registered with the Charities Commission (Registered Charity Number 1039295).
At this time, there are seven Phab clubs in County Durham spread over the County, whose activities and age groups vary from club to club. Each club runs independently but they come together sometimes to enjoy social occasions and join in training and events organised by the regional body, Phab North.
Phab clubs work on the social model of disability which looks at the person and not the disability.
The purpose of the club was initially to integrate physically disabled people into the wider community. Nowadays, by the time people with disabilities reach adulthood, a majority of them have already been integrated into society. Our role as a club still has the original aim but the purpose of the club has shifted slightly to providing a social outlet in a safe environment where able bodied people and people with all manner of disabilities can join a group and enjoy many different activities.
For some families who care for their disabled member at home, we do offer them a couple of hours of respite though this is not our prime aim. Everybody comes voluntarily and we are not trained carers. It is merely a social club for people with disabilities.
There are 40 members who attend the club regularly. The group encompasses all manner of disabilities e.g. cerebral palsy, epilepsy, downes syndrome etc. It is a very mixed group but the club maintains a good balance so that all the attention is shared amongst the whole club rather than on one individual.
From the beginning the club has had the use of a heavily subsidized social services bus to pick up members who live within our catchment area (West of Durham City) who can’t make their own way to the centre. This is part of our service provider pack from Social Services and we also have free use of disabled friendly premises in one of their Centres but we receive no financial help from them. In the last two years, the membership has grown and we also use the services of the specialist bus that is maintained by the Voluntary Welfare Committee in Chester-le-Street in order to make the club accessible to members from that area. This is paid for by a small contribution from the members and the rest comes out of the club funds.
The club is based in the Durham Daybreak Centre, Abbey Road, Durham. We meet on a Monday night though we do not run on bank holidays or throughout the summer. Each member pays a subscription (sub) of £2.00 if they make their own way to the centre or £2.50 if they make use of the social services bus provided by the club.
The club provides a tuck shop that sells hot and cold drinks, crisps and sweets at the retail price and is a small source of profit for the club funds.
There are numerous activities that the club enjoys. A list of some of the past activities is seen below
- Bar meals
- Craft nights
- Trips to the seaside
The club tries to have breaks away every year whether they are for a day or for a weekend. These trips are only able to take place with the help of external funding as they are very expensive. Some of the trips we’ve enjoyed are listed below
- Calvert Trust, Edinburgh
- Borwick Hall, Lancashire
- Calvert Trust, Kielder
- Tees River cruise
- Butlins, Ayr
- Theatre trips
- Bendrigg Lodge, Cumbria
History of the club
The club was set up in May 1991. The Dunelm Phab club started with only around 12 members and advertised for able-bodied members to help with the running of the club to which a few came forward and some have stayed in excess of 20 years. Currently the club is run by Lee Stephenson who has been a member of the club since 1996.