My name is Neal Heard I am Project Manager of Bradford Alliance on Community Care (BACC) a charity & voluntary sector organisation that works with groups of people to help them improve and develop the services they use particularly in health, social care and housing. We work very much to the ideas that people who use services are ‘experts by experience’ they hold the information that can develop better services, basically they know what works and just as importantly what doesn’t!
BACC in April 2015 will be merging with 2 other Bradford based charities – Bradford Disability Services and CONTACT Peer support to create a new disabled people led organisation for the Bradford District and beyond called Equality Together.
I first met Gary Staniforth a number of years ago when he was still living in a hostel and starting out on his journey campaigning for the rights of single, homeless people. We were able to support Gary with a number of his ideas in partnership with Artworks, these included a poetry competition & workshops for homeless people, photography and launching the Hidden Voices magazine. We introduced Gary to the Supporting People Service User Involvement Group that BACC facilitates for Bradford Council, where he developed his skills to act as an advocate for homeless people.
It has been a privilege to work with Gary and see Hidden Homeless LTD develop. The organisation has developed cost effective services that produce life changing, positive results for people who are ready to change and move on in their lives.
I have lived and worked in the Bradford district for almost 30 years and as well as spending time with my family enjoy cycling, walking, film and music. I am also interested in campaigning to challenge and develop alternatives to the austerity policies of our mainstream political parties.