Press release

New initiative unpicks complicated data for disability groups

Small disability groups could boost their chances of getting funding and improve their services thanks to new government help.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Small disability groups could boost their chances of getting funding and improve their services thanks to new government help to tap into a goldmine of data.

The ‘Community Data Toolkit’ provides everything disability groups and other grassroots organisations need to know about how to analyse and interpret data in one place.

Often these organisations are run by volunteers or have limited resources, so the Data Toolkit will help them to make sense of what can often be complicated statistical information and build a business case to pitch for work.

Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning said:

There are literally hundreds of disability charities and grassroots organisations in the UK, all of whom need to be given the best possible chance of accessing sources of funding and services from providers.

The data toolkit does precisely that by offering clear guidance so groups can get to grips with what can often be baffling and confusing information and give them the confidence to work up professional and practical business cases, which they can use to pitch for work, services and funding.

The document provides an overview of what constitutes data, the types of data available and advice is given on how the different data types should be evaluated. Links to websites run by key data providers, such as the Office for National Statistics, are also provided.

This has been done under 8 main themes:

  • disability
  • education
  • employment
  • income
  • health and wellbeing
  • transport
  • housing
  • other disability data

The toolkit is easily accessible and has been brought to life with a series of case studies and scenarios demonstrating how these organisations can put the data to good use and how issues may affect their clients.

It has been created with the help of grassroots organisations including Merton Centre for Independent Living, which provides services to people with all types of disability but employs just 4 staff on a part-time basis.

Lyla Adwan-Kamara, Manager of the Merton Centre for Independent Living said:

It’s really difficult to know where to look for data that an organisation like ours needs.

The toolkit is really useful in identifying the different sources of information and helping us to think about how we can interpret that.

Mental health charity Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind also contributed.

Performance monitoring officer Chris Buglass added:

Small organisations often find it difficult to have specific members of staff with a background in statistics.

This will really make a difference in helping them make use of data that can support new funding bids and build a greater understanding of their own target audience.

See the ODI website for ‘Making Disability Data Work for You: A Community Data Toolkit

More information

The Toolkit was drafted by the Office for Disability Issues with the support of several charities and disabled groups including Scope, Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind, and Merton Centre for Independent Living

The Toolkit will help small organisations in a number of ways such as:

  • improving their services for their clients
  • understanding their local community better
  • evaluating their services
  • helping build business cases for securing new work

A second document detailing how to create new sources of data will be published later in the spring.

Read more about Merton Centre for Independent Living

Read more about Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind

To comment on the initiative or to find out more email –

Contact Press Office

Media enquiries for this press release – 0203 267 5134

Press Office

Caxton House
Tothill Street


Follow DWP on:

Published 16 January 2014