Click to listen highlighted text!

Neal Crowley My Journey

My name is Neal Crowley. I am from Dagenham in Essex. I have Cerebral Palsy. I used to go to the National Star College in Cheltenham were I completed my course which was Information Technology. I am a community volunteer and have been for 11 years. My roles have included variety of things across all areas but always disability sector I have met some fantastic people that have given me chances who I owe and still do to this day. For the support and believe they have shown and still continue to do so as I held/hold some quite important roles within organisations so I consider I have been incredibly fortunate to have met those people and the trust and support they shown/show in me . My work is extremely important to me as all of my complete Social network apart from my family has come from my working life and I feel that these services I have been involved with may benefit disabled people but not exclusively. I just love to help people and love the work I do. I feel that my skills are empowering young people to achieve their full potential, event organisation. good with IT and building basic web-sites/Developing Social Media/Social Media Management My interests: Inclusion Disability Equality, Transitions, Disability Issues Disability Sport, Sport, politics

Youth work
In the October of 2003 I was asked to do some volunteer an a inclusive youth club called

AbPhab in my borough with a view to develop 18 plus social club

Through AbPhab I met the manager of crossroads which is a restbite service in the borough. I started working there as a volunteer in 2006. I went for paid employment as a play worker and was successful but in March of this year I had to give crossroads up due to other commitments .

I am the leader of the 18+ group
I am also a committee member of the organisation
I have recently taken the role of planning project for the youth group and my

In October 2014 I resigned from leading the 18+ group I was still involved as I was still a Committee Member and I still work in the office as I help to develop our website and Social Media

Within this role I also volunteer for DABD UK Children and Young People’s services As Ab Phab Buddy Club is jointly run with Ab Phab Youth Club as we work very closely with DABDUK I sometimes do some volunteering with DABDUK

In March 2015 with a really heavy heart resigned from this role which was by far the hardest decision and then I was invited on a day trip with Ab Phab in June 2015 and spending the day with Ab Phab really confirmed to me that something was missing in my life and that was Ab Phab so I asked if I could rejoin the Commitee and thankfully they said yes

Trinity School

In November 2010 I started support the work at Trinity School as an Information Adviser and Volunteer Lead in a voluntary capacity.

My role is to support and provide students with information about opportunities and services in the local community. There are a number of great organisations and services in the Borough of Barking and Dagenham and surrounding areas that do some fantastic work with disabled young people and adults. However the information is all over the place and when students get to the FEC age range (16- 19) the information can be even more inaccessible. So my role is to harness all that information and to work with my colleagues at Trinity to present it to the students in whatever format is needed to make the information for that student accessible. In January 2013 I was delighted to take the voluntary role on as the School’s Volunteer Lead which means that I lead on some aspects of volunteering at Trinity School. The things I don’t deal with are work placements/experience. Also I work with the staff and other partners at the School to promote the work of the School The next slide shows a snapshot of the projects I am currently or have been involved with, to give you more of an idea of my role


Innovations Project – This was a joint project between Trinity School, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the Learning Disabilities Foundation. The projects’ aim is to focus on a small cross-section of young people who are pupils of the FEC of Trinity School and approaching transition, by undertaking detailed, person- centred planning work with them and their families in order to establish new ways of supporting young people more effectively through the transition process.

Local Venues Revealed – The aim of this project was to visit local venues, such as Osborne Partnership and Barking, Redbridge and Havering Colleges to conduct an audit. The audit criteria is determined by the students of Trinity Schools’ FEC.
Trinity School Information Hub – The aim of this ongoing project is to harness as much information about opportunities and services in the local community as possible and to work with my colleagues at Trinity School to present it to the students in the FEC. It will be presented in whatever format needed to make it accessible to that student. A service passport is compiled and designed for students and parents/carers to support them in the transition process from the School’s FEC into the wider community. Local leisure opportunities are also highlighted.

In February 2016 with a lot of sadness I left my role as my work load dropped significantly but I still co-coach Trinity Boccia’s team

Barking & Dagenham Progress Project

In 2013 Iwas delighted and honoured to become Chairman of International Day of Disabled
People (IDDP) since 2013 under the The (Barking & Dagenham) Progress Project as the host organisation. The day is arranged by a committee of local organisations including the Council
and individuals. We are really keen to make it a community event as we are celebrating the achievements of local disabled people.
We also want to highlight how local organisations and companies have made adjustments to their services to make them more accessible for disabled people.

We welcome input from all groups and organisations working with or supporting disabled people, and individuals that can help plan and celebrate the day.
As the people planning the day is a mix between disabled and non-disabled people, we are promoting inclusion at the highest level to make it much more of a community event.

IDDP 2015 theme is 50 years of disability in B&D as it is 50 years of Barking and Dagenham becoming one borough so we would look at over the 50 Years the changes in:-


  • ·  Education
  • ·  Employment
  • ·  Health and Social care
  • ·  Benefits
  • ·  General attitudes
  • ·  And much more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Background to the (Barking & Dagenham) Progress Project
The organisation was established in 1998 as a joint venture (Consortium) between 5 local charities, leaders in the field of working with disabled children & young people :-

DABD UK (formerly the Disablement Association of Barking & Dagenham) Crossroads Care
Barking & Dagenham MENCAP
Parents of Autistic Children Together (PACT)

The Centre for Integrated Independent and Inclusive Living (CIIIL)
These 5 organisations established and developed the Consortium’s structure and set operations

in motion developing track record and effective governance, however over the past 17 years, the voluntary sector has changed with groups dissolving and merging – as such, the partners at 2015 are

Sycamore Trust [Merged organisations : MENCAP & PACT]
Ab PhabAs part of our structure, we also engage individuals on the Board and receive input from the Young People’s Development Forum enabling our disabled young people to influence the development of the organisation and participate in governance – we are truly user led.

I also created and help run the Progress project /IDDP website

For more information in IDDP please look at our website cont

supporting disabled people, and individuals that can help plan and celebrate the day.
As the people planning the day is a between disabled and non-disabled people, we are promoting inclusion at the highest level to make it much more of a community event.

IDDP 2015 theme is 50 years of disability in B&D as it is 50 years of Barking and Dagenham becoming one borough so we would look at over the 50 Years the changes in:-

  • ·  Accessibility
  • ·  Education
  • ·  Employment
  • ·  Health and Social care
  • ·  Benefits
  • ·  General attitudes
  • ·  And much more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I also created and help run the Progeress project /IDDP website For more information in IDDP please look at our websiteFor more information please go to our website For more information please Iddp go to our

Barking And Dagenham Access Group

In Janary 2015 I stated at The Barking & Dagenham Access Group was established in 1991 to help raise awareness and promote disability issues. We have spent many years campaigning for access and equality and have worked closely with the Local Authority to make improvements within the borough. We consult on all major planning applications to ensure compliance with any relevant legislation. We also work with other disability organisations and charities and offer advice and guidance to local residents and businesses. We are members of the boroughs Public Transport Liaison Group forum and the recently established Transport for London Sub Regional Mobility Forum. All these things give our borough a voice regarding accessibility and equality.

My role includes
developed and look after our website and Social Media platforms Support with the day to day running of the group.
Attend access visits
Attend Local and sometimes Regional meetings/forums

For more information on this project please go to our website “MY DISABILITY IS MY ABILITY”

LBBD Community Volunteer Team working in the Sports and Physical Activity Team

In March 2015 I landed my dream job as I have started volunteering with the LBBD Community Sports Development Team I am supporting on setting up an Panathlon Network Forum the idea of the network it to get existing sports club /organisations that deliver Panathlon sports in the borough to really drive forward and establish the Panathlon Club in the borough and how we can maximise the participation. The club will be for all ages and abilities and will also be linking in with the special Olympics GB. The Panathlon Sports are Athletics, Table Top Games, Boccia,Football and New Age Kurling. I am the head coach at BaD Jax Boccia is an inclusive community Boccia club based in Barking & DagenhamThe club is going to be a part of the Panathlon Network and B&D Special Olympicswill be the first borough to set up a Panathlon club,

Please see the Panathlon Website for information about the Panathlon ttp:// and Please see the Special Olympics GB website for information

Sports Access

In 2005 I tried to set up my own project. It was called “Sports Access “ the aim was to work with local sport providers to assist them to assist disabled people to fully participate in all sporting activities.
But In 2007 I was majorly gazumped by another organisation as the other organisation secured a 70K bid and at the time we only had a £500 grant so I had no choice other than to put Sports Access to “Bed”.

The thing that disappointed me with this is I actually consulted with that organisation as I did not want to step on anyone’s toes and they gave me the “green light”, I have no doubt they copied my concept.
Which is fine as I am all about supporting services and opportunities for disabled as I not in it for myself . When people do things under hand I get really disappointed especially when nothinng came of it to my knowledge.

In 2007 I Joined the Boroughs Transitions Team. At this time the Transitions Team was all new and the LBBD Transitions Team was a flagship team in the UK which meant that all other Local authorities across the UK would look to us as we was so advanced in the setup

The role of the Transitions Team
The Transitions Team is made up of Social staff who work with the Children’s Social Care Teams, Connexions and Education professionals to support young people with disabilities through the transition to adult services. Unlike Connexions who support all young people this team only work with young people and their families who are likely to require social care services as an adult.
My role was to co Manage projects around transitions also I helped to support adults with Learning Difficulties but in 2008 I had to leave due to circumstances.


In 2005 I started volunteering at Stubbers is a outdooradventure centre in Essex where we do activities ranging from
Sailing to quad biking to abseiling my role is to assist on sessions

Since I have been @ Stubbers
I have gained a lot of qualifications such us My Powerboat,Jetski,Quad bike licences.

whilst at Stubbers I took on a new role as Access Adviser. I assist the centre manager making the centre more accessible

For more information please go to their website

Docklands Canal Boat

In February 2009 I joined the Docklands Canal Boat Trust as a Youth Liaison Officer We provide boating holidays and day trips for people with disabilities on the River Lee, River Stort and London’s waterways. But I left in May 2011 due to physical health

For more information please go to their website

Lee Valley Cycle-Ability

In 2010 I decided to start my own project up called Lee Valley Cycle-Ability
The idea come from me Working on the canal boat. I suddenly discovered that while cruising along the river I realised there are many beautiful sites on either side of the river that disabled people do not have the opportunity to experience. What better way to experience these sites than by bike. There are a number of excellent cycle hire centres in the park however few of these opportunities are inclusive of disabled people, particularly for those requiring specialist adapted equipment. The aim of Lee Valley Cycle-Ability is to increase accessibility to the vast network of cycle paths within Lee Valley Regional Park and to create a sustainable, inclusive club. The park is home to the 2012 Velodrome and hope our project will support this and help create a lasting Olympic legacy.
I left in 2011 health reasons which was the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my working life but I gained valued experence and it learnt me a lesson not to go above my capability which I so did on this project
For more information on the LVCA and inclusive cycling opportunities in North and East London to my colleague’s site

The next two slides are Not work related as they are hobbies of mine but I feel it may benefit some people

I have been playing Boccia about 12 years.

What is boccia

Boccia is a Paralympic sport for athletes with disabilities that have a major impact on motor skills. Boccia is a target

ball sport belonging to the same family as petanque and bowls.

I started playing when I was at college in Cheltenham and I won the South West Region in the singles in 2002. And in 2011 I came 7th

in a national competition In 2004 I done my Boccia Community Leaders Award formerly the Boccia Assistant teachers Award this

enables me to provide individuals involved in Boccia at a community level with a basic understanding of the sport and how to

introduce it to their group and referee at my club. I also ran a club at a local special needs school under the” Change 4 Life Sports


I also play for Romford YMCA where we have been quite successful.

My ambition is to progress in the game and I would like to work my way up to be a national player /official and to carry on playing and

to promote the game as I believe it brings people together no matter of ability

Neal Crowley Boccia is designed to act as a information hub for people new to the game and to promote and get people and groups

to play Boccia as Boccia is such a unique game. No matter what the ability everyone is included at grass root level.

It was while I was running my club that I came up with the idea of Neal Crowley Boccia as I have difficulties in typing so it is difficult

for me to produce facts sheets for my members so I thought of “Neal Crowley Boccia “ which will act as an online information hub for

people new to the game as it took me ages to find out information about the game when I started playing

To Find out more about Neal Crowley Boccia please visit the Neal Crowley Boccia Website

Current Boccia Qualifications I hold

Regional Officials Award (LEVEL E)

Boccia Assistant teachers Award

I went to the pentathlon challenge with a local School as I co-coach them. When I got there I was asked to coach the whole borough

team which was a big opportunity, it was such an honour and worrying role for me but I loved it and we came second in boccia. If was

such a rewarding and privilege to be involved and we have just made it though to the London Finals to be held at the Copper Box

Arena within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in June 2014 and it just really confirms my motto ,”a disability is an ability” and that

is why I would like to promote Neal Crowley Boccia. I also co-coach a Team at Trinity School

I have just lauched a Facebook page called Neal Crowley Social Media it is just to share my love of basic web-sites/ Social Media/ Design and Management.
I am into Social Media in a big way and as as a disabled person myself I think this is a fantastic tool for a disabled person like myself who has verbal communication difficulties. I feel that the internet and Social Media is a fantastic tool.

I have also helped some local organisations to build their web-site and to get them onto Social Media and to support with the website and Social Media Development and Management but it is all self taught. So It is much more of a hobby so Neal Crowley Social Media is just to share my love of basic web-sites/ Social Media/ Design and Management Please get in contact or just search “Neal Crowley Social Media” on Facebook

to find out more about Neal Crowley Social Media please watch the short video on the Neal Crowley Social Media page of my site



As you can see from the presentation I have been incredibly fortunate in my work life. All of my complete Social network apart from my family has came from my working life. My work is extremely important to me as I have met some fantastic people who I owe and still do to this day.

I have gained valued experiences and lessons not to go above my capability which I so did on trying to set up my organisation especially the Lee Valley Cycle-Ability which was the lowest point in my life as I was so out of my depth.
I am a strong believer in chasing you dreams but have learnt to stay within your capability and you wont go far wrong.
The reason why I have done this presentation is I have been incredibly fortunate to be involved and involved with some fantastic services/people. These services may benefit disabled people but not exclusively. I don’t mean to come across arrogant by doing this presentation but I just love to help people and love the work I do.

Contact ME

Please feel free to contact me

Linkedin: Facebook:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Font Resize
Click to listen highlighted text!