NBC Planning Day

For the last 18 months or so Outside the Box has been providing support to New Beginnings Club (nbc) members.

nbc is a member led charitable organisation, offering friendship, activities, fun and adventure to people with disabilities throughout East Lothian. The ethos of nbc has always been about using people’s talents, skills, and knowledge – building on their strengths.

Last week we facilitated a planning day with nbc members as part of our Connecting Equalities project which is working with a diverse group of older people to support them to connect their everyday experiences with human rights and equalities.

The focus of the day was Human Rights and Responsibilities with an aim of encouraging the members to become more involved in the running of nbc and taking more responsibility being taking on little tasks.

We started the session thinking about what Dignity, Rights and Respect meant to the members which is not as easy as you think to put into words. After lots of references to songs by Deacon Blue, Erasure and Aretha Franklin the members came up with a great list to capture what the words meant including:

  • Being valued
  • Being polite
  • Treating others how we want to be treated
  • Treated equally

And much more..

We then thought about how nbc ensure that people are being respected, treated with dignity and that their rights are being upheld. Again the members had lots to offer saying:

“We have a voice”

“We are allowed to say what we are thinking”

“Members don’t mind if we take too long”

“Everyone understands that we are all different”

“Accepted for who we are”

The members all agreed that they felt comfortable talking about things at nbc, that they felt safe and that they were felt part of any decisions that were being made.


After lunch we moved onto discussing what responsibility meant to the members.  Their thoughts included:

  • Turning up on time
  • Doing what you say you will do
  • Obey the law
  • Acting in a certain manner
  • Looking out for others

After discussing the responsibilities, the members who are Trustees have, some of the responsibilities nbc has as an organisation and what it means to be responsible, have responsibility and take responsibility we moved onto looking at some scenarios that the members may face and what they could do to take responsibility or be more responsible in that situation which included thinking about what they had worked on before lunch about ensuring dignity, rights and respect were all taken into consideration.

Throughout the day we asked the members lots of difficult questions, many of which they have never been asked before ‘What else could nbc do to ensure your dignity and human rights are being respected?’ and ‘What could you do to be more responsibly or take more responsibility at nbc?’  As always they rose to the task doing everything, they were asked to being open, honest, respectful and supportive to each other but now the real work begins as they put their words into action.

For more information about Connecting Equalities visit https://otbds.org/projects/connecting-equalities/ Or contact Christine at Christine@otbds.org.