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Let's celebrate

Barod formally started on 31st January 2013. We started trading June 2013.

This year we celebrate five years of existing.

That may not sound a huge achievement. But it is. We were trying to do something rarely attempted, and never before achieved: a cooperative of equals, all deciding that we wanted to come together as a cooperative, all earning equal pay, all with an equal say in running the company, all colleagues with the same status, despite living in a society that assumes people with and without learning disabilities are not equal.

To everyone who said the idea of Barod was unrealistic or impossible - Hello! We found a way to make it happen. And five years later we are still here to tell the tale.   To the person in the job centre who said 'starting a business isn't for people like you' - we think you'll find we've proved that it is. 
For five years, we have worked together. We have proved we were all ready to work, ready to run a business together and ready …
Recent posts

£149,946 for new National Lottery funded research project

Barod Community Interest Company is delighted to announce that we will be working in partnership for the next two years with Carmarthenshire People First, My LifeMy Choice (an Oxford organisation), People First Dorset and Social Firms Wales on a project called The Bridge. Says Anne Collis, project lead, The project is called The Bridge because we aim to bridge the gap between the current situation where too many people with learning difficulties are working for free and their organisations struggle for funding, to a future where individuals and organisations are well paid for their work”.
People with learning difficulties across the UK have developed highly desirable skills through their involvement in self-advocacy and are engaged in high level policy and service design work. However it is rare to be able to secure well paid work that uses these skills, and many groups struggle to find funding.

Five years ago, a small group of people with and without learning difficulties founded Ba…

Changing Places Campaign

David works for Barod and is a member of Powys People First. He has been a passionate campaigner for Changing Places a project aimed at getting everyone access to bathrooms and the freedom and independence that goes with it.

you can find out more here:

Swansea really does have jargon busters

On Tuesday, we ran a game at the Swansea Behaviour Change Festival. We called it 'Swansea’s Got Jargon*-Busters'.
*Jargon: a word or phrase not used in everyday life, or that is being used with a different, special meaning. It often goes with waffling and speaking too fast.
We wanted to see if, when faced with a panel of three people with learning difficulties, people could talk for 2 minutes about their job or what they'd learned at the Festival without using jargon. If someone on the panel couldn't understand them easily, they would buzz. Three buzzes and you're out. If you are still going at 2 minutes, you got a rosette saying 'I'm a Jargon Buster'. 
People who took part, the panel and the observers were surprised and pleased that people succeeded.Face to face communication is easier than communicating in writing.Jargon is comfortable.You need to know your subject to be able to explain it without jargon.If you find a connection with the people, c…

Things to do in a coffee shop

I’m sat in Café Nero in Fforestfach. I’m drinking coffee and blogging. I’m watching people sat alone, reading papers, staring into the distance, doing paperwork. I can see the couples sat in silence, and the couples talking. I can see the women in the window seats glued to their smart phones. Usually, but not today, I watch a group of mothers laughing together with babies in prams, or a group of older women Earlier today I was part of a talking couple, catching up with my husband. And then we got talking about ‘coffee shop conversations’. That’s something I do in coffee shops as part of Barod, but not today. And it’s something I’m researching for a PhD. Imagine, the group of mothers get talking about the local maternity service. A fly on the wall would have a field day learning by listening to them. The fly would hear all sorts of things that weren’t said at the formal consultation on the future of that service. I did listen in to one of those conversations a few years ago in Holyh…

Drill Wales Roadshows

Drill Wales Roadshows- Alan Armstrong (Barod Worker)
We went to Cardiff to Disability Wales meeting. The point of the meeting was to do with research that people could put in the bids to get money for research.
How did I find the day?
I found it interesting but very long day. Some of the information they gave is okay but could have been done better it had a lot of jargon. It was very easy to talk to people in groups. Anne’s talk about co working research was very interesting.

What next?
I think it would be good to have a day to get skills to put in a bid. It would be good if there is a day like this. Barod could put in a bid for a research work shop so that we could have a day with people we work with and can learn how to coproduce and so that people can learn to how to put in for bids of research. I think that we need to think about what we want to research before trying to do research work. I learnt this when I went in front of Mars research group. I think it would be much easier and peo…

You’re not ready

One worker-director’s personal journey
I value myself as an ordinary person, as a human being, and went down the route of looking for employment. I was told by Job Centre Plus that I had to seek advice from a disability employment advisor (DEA). I attended the appointment where the DEA spent the appointment on explaining how I’d never find employment. It made me feel unworthy and felt I was the problem, where the problem was they couldn’t find the appropriate employment for me because it wasn’t out there.
So the message I’m giving is it wasn’t my problem, it was theirs.
So, he sent me to supported employment agencies that he thought would suit me, and the various work placements and training came into this. I decided to knock that on the head because it made me feel ‘special’ in the shut out and stared at way. And none of it led to employment.
I’ve always remembered the Wetherspoon’s story, and that story kept me going. Wetherspoon’s was started by someone who was told by his teacher he w…