We are immensely proud of our Trailblazers network and all it has achieved since it was founded by MDUK in Northern Ireland in 2007. Sadly, it is one of the areas of work impacted by the action we are having to take.
In 2008, Trailblazers expanded into a national network thanks to a grant of £250,000 from V Inspired. It has secured many campaign successes and has been an important source of peer support for young disabled people.
From 2 September 2020, Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Trailblazers network has a new home from today at pan-disability charity Whizz-Kidz.
Trailblazers, and this group, will continue to operate as usual, but through a new charity that has exciting plans for its future. The network will continue to be open to all disabled young people who want to campaign for change. Its mission will remain the same: to challenge the barriers in society that stop disabled people from living full and independent lives.
Our helpline, advocacy and peer-support services and online forums remain available to Trailblazers living with a muscle-wasting condition, as does our wellbeing coaching offer to help people process the stress of lockdown. We will also continue with our Moving Up employability project, which is open to all young disabled people, once this becomes possible again as employers are able to re-engage with us and staff returning from furlough.
We know this is very disappointing news and that Trailblazers is a very special network for its members. We are hugely grateful for the contribution that both Trailblazers employees and network members have made since 2007. It is a decision we have been forced to make to safeguard our future and to continue to support people living with muscle-wasting conditions.