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About HAD

The Charity was set up in 1958 by the then Welfare Department of the County Council to supply equipment to disabled people. HAD has grown a great deal in the intervening years and today we are proud of the services we offer that help Hertfordshire’s disabled and older people maintain their independence and keep on the move.

These services are available to:

  • People with disabilities as well as their families and friends
  • Carers of people with disabilities
  • Children with disabilities
  • Parents of children with disabilities
  • Health/Social Care Professionals
  • Local Authorities
  • Private care/service providers

To provide the services we employ more than 25 people at The Woodside Centre. We also have a team of regular volunteers.

Operations & Development

Operations
The services and responsibilities of HAD are overseen by the Board of Trustees who in turn delegate functions to the Chief Executive. Each department has a Manager who is responsible for the daily running of the service and for employees providing the service. Development is carried out with the Department Manager, a Board Member, the Director of Finance and the Chief Executive plus a service user.

All development is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees. Approximately 12,500 face-to-face services are provided annually and over 30,000 telephone calls taken each year. HAD has produced a quality assurance questionnaire which is sent out regularly to a random group of service users for each service. The response to these questionnaires helps us to develop our services at HAD.

Development
When HAD first moved into The Woodside Centre the organisation had 3 members of staff whose function was to oversee a federation of local groups and to run the holiday accommodation. Now more than 25 people deliver the services that have evolved and developed since then:

The Equipment Centre, Transport Service, Self drive Hire Service, Driving Centre, Information & Advice Service, Counselling, Benefits Advice and Access Audits are all flourishing.

The Equipment Centre initially was just an exhibition and saw only about a dozen people a week. Now it sees many more and all items of equipment are for sale.

The Transport Service started with one vehicle and now has eleven including four that are specifically for self-drive hire. The department contracts with Access to Work, County Council transport, First Capital Connect as well as independent travellers to transport disabled people to work, medical appointments and social events. It carries thousands of disabled people to destinations and events across the country that they would not otherwise have been able to enjoy.

The Driving Centre also started with one vehicle and now has seven with different adaptations, offering driving ability assessments to people with disabilities to ascertain which type of vehicle would best suit them and if they require any adaptations to the vehicle. The team also provides driving ability assessments for the Department of Transport (DVLA), full tuition to first time drivers and re-familarisation lessons to disabled people post trauma.

The Information and Advice Service developed as a result of the provision of other services and all staff now provide this service for disabled and older people. HAD receives between 25,000 and 30,000 telephone calls each year.

The Benefits Advice Service HAD offers free, impartial and confidential advice on benefits, including advice on entitlement and help with form filling.

A video about Hertfordshire Action on Disability