inclusive graphic design

Building Belonging

Barnwood’s mission is to ensure that no one feels isolated or alone by helping disabled people and people with mental health problems feel connected to their communities. They do this through their four key areas of focus – shaping homes, discovering opportunities, growing communities, sharing insights – and exploding myths around disability and mental health. Barnwood is a catalyst for social change and its operations are often described as having a ‘ripple effect’ on the lives of individuals, their families, and the community. What may start out as a simple conversation around a grant or idea usually transforms into something that benefits the wider community, often sparking other initiatives. And while it may be Barnwood that provides the initial funding and connections, it is the people, groups, and communities themselves who create the focus, ideas, and energy.

Barnwood describes this as ‘Building Belonging’ and no story better illustrates this better than the one below. It’s taken from Barnwood’s Annual Review and was the inspiration behind Brother’s solution to Barnwood’s rebranding and messaging.

A DJ’s spin cycle comes full circle

As well as having his own health challenges, Eric is a single parent and full-time carer to his teenage son who has autism. Barnwood first met Eric when he applied for a grant to help him buy a new washing machine. A Barnwood Home Visitor met him – and hearing he was spending a lot of time in the house suggested he chat to a Welcomer.

Eric agreed, so Hannah visited him at home. The two of them talked about his day-to-day life caring for his son, and the challenges of doing this alone with health problems of his own. Hannah also learnt about Eric’s colourful past as a DJ and his continuing love of DJ-ing.

As part of her work, Hannah knew the team at local radio station GFM. She decided to see if they could offer an opportunity to Eric and put them in touch. Eric’s enthusiasm and talent shone through and
he secured a guest slot on the ‘My Tunes’ show. Then, after only a few months, Eric was offered a permanent radio DJ slot of his own.

Eric loves his slot but, just as importantly, he enjoys being able to spend time throughout the week preparing his music and material for the show.

Once Eric was establishing himself as a DJ, Hannah introduced him to one of Barnwood’s Community Building Guides, Philip. In turn, Philip put him in touch with local organisers of the Tredworth Street Party. They hit it off and Eric and his son DJ-ed together at the party helping to create a day to remember for people in Tredworth.

What began as a short conversation about keeping up with the washing ended up in an event that united a community.

Hannah Allen
Welcomer, Barnwood Trust