Physical & Sensory Impairment

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Physical & Sensory Impairment2021-04-16T11:18:27+01:00

About the Physical and Sensory Impairment Network

Through Forum Central we support third sector organisations that work to improve the lives of disabled people with physical and sensory impairments or long-term conditions in Leeds.

We promote the social model of disability, and the inclusion, independence and equality of disabled people.

Volition Logo


Established in 1987 as the Leeds Voluntary Sector Mental Health Forum, the charity changed its name to Volition-Leeds in  2004. In November 2017, Volition merged with the PSI-Network, the key Leeds Third Sector infrastructure group working in the field of physical and sensory impairment, and then with the Learning Disability Forum  – Tenfold – in February 2020. Having been known as PSI-Volition after the first merger, following consultation with all members a decision was taken by the board to be known as Volition in April 2020.

The organisation is a charitable company limited by guarantee, incorporated on 3 August 2000 and registered as a charity on 21 May 2002. The company was established under a Memorandum of Association which established the objects and powers of the charitable company and is governed under its Articles of Association as amended by special resolutions on 22 January 2018 and 22 August 2019.


Physical and sensory impairment include, for example: long-term physical conditions, hearing impairments, visual impairments and mobility impairments

Our member organisations support people through a variety of different ways including:

Independent living, housing and specialist supported housing
Carer support, employment support, peer support, one to one support
Information and advice, campaigning and awareness
Healthy living, sport, social activities, accessible transport, art and wellbeing

To find out more about our members please search the Forum Central members directory

For more information on joining please contact us.

What we do

We work to ensure that our members are involved in strategic planning and development of services for disabled people.

We encourage partnership between agencies and across sectors, and provide information to third sector organisations to support them in delivering high quality services.

We hold networking events, run consultations, and communicate local and national news amongst our members. Our member organisations are at the heart of everything that we do. They are a mixture of:

  • Groups and organisations run by and controlled by disabled people
  • Organisations commissioned or funded to provide services for disabled people, including support to live independently, housing or employment support
  • Local groups which run social and other activities
  • Local support groups that are part of large, national charities for people with specific impairments or conditions
  • Disability sport organisations
  • Third sector organisations that support a range of people or communities, and which have specific regard for people with physical and sensory impairments

Physical & Sensory Impairment News & Events

The Leeds Moving Together Film Now With British Sign Language

31st March 2021|Communities of Interest, featured, PSI|

The BSL version of the Leeds Moving Together Film is now available with thanks to the Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People and William Merritt Centre. Watch and share the BSL version of the powerful Leeds Moving Together Film [...]

PSI Information and Strategy Updates

We hold regular physical and sensory impairment information and strategy sessions open to everyone with an interest in the disability third sector. These meetings are an opportunity to network, get the latest strategic updates and hear from guest speakers.

Updates from previous PSI Information and Strategy Sessions 

Upcoming Meetings

  • Thursday 29 June 10.30 t0 12.30

If you’d like to join us, please email [email protected].

International Day of People with Disabilities Event – #LeedsForAll 2020

International Day of People with Disabilities Event – Leeds For All

In December 2020 we jointly with the William Merritt Centre, coordinated ‘#LeedsForAll’ a large programme of events and activities which took place online over 4 days to celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities.

The event was a huge success with 13 live events attended by over 300 people and many more pre-recorded activities that people joined in with in their own time and offline. It brought the disabled community and wider third sector in Leeds together during a time when we couldn’t be together in person.

To read more about the event and it’s highlights see the post-event thank you message. Catch up on recordings of some of the live sessions and enjoy all of our pre-recorded content on our YouTube channel:

2020 Event Reports

There are 3 versions of the report which you can download and share:

Planning #LeedsForALL 2021

Last year’s event built on the success and learnings from the 2019 celebration and we’re sure 2021’s will be even better! If you wish to be involved in planning for 2021 or give feedback following the 2020 online event please contact [email protected] or call 0113 242 1321.

  • Next planning meeting: Tuesday 27 April, between 14:00 and 15:30


We work to ensure that third sector disability organisations are involved, along with the rest of the health and care sector, in major strategic developments that go beyond our specialist areas – It is important that disability organisations have a voice in this work.

Our members and the Forum Central team also take up opportunities to represent the third sector at boards, meetings and steering groups on issues that affect disabled people, such as transport, housing and employment.

Better Lives Board

The Board oversees and provides leadership for implementation of Adults and Health’s Better Lives Programme.

Chair: Phil Gleeson, Leeds Involving People and Volition Trustee

Forum Central Representation: Karen Fenton, Volition Operations Manager

Inclusion for All Action Group

This group, chaired by Healthwatch Leeds was established in November 2019 aims to bring together representatives from health and care organisations across the city to address the effective implementation of the Accessible Information Standard, which became law in 2016 and makes accessibility a legal requirement for particular

Aiming to provide energy, ideas, actions to making health and care services in Leeds accessible for all communities. Focusing on actions and moving this important agenda forward, with commitments to taking actions individually, within own organisations and collectively as a city.

The group was established, following findings and recommendations from the Visual Impairments Snapshot report which Healthwatch Leeds produced in 2019.

Versions of the report can be found here  

For more information please contact [email protected]

Third Sector Reps: Karen Fenton, Volition Operations Manager | Jez Coram, LD Development Worker

(Also present are representatives from DeafBlind UK, Leeds hearing and sight loss service, Leeds society for deaf and blind, National Federation for Blind)

Contact Us

Photo of Zaira Khanum's head, smiling in a peach headscarf

Zaira Khanum

Zaira is the Development Worker for Physical and Sensory Impairment.

Zaira joined the team in February 2021 having previously worked in the NHS, Local Authority, and the Third Sector across Bradford and Leeds. She has experience of engaging with services to address inequalities and promoting inclusion.

At Forum Central Zaira’s role is to strengthen the strategic influence of the Physical and Sensory Impairment network and lead on the Leeds for All planning group. Zaira understands the many challenges faced by people with disabilities through both personal experience and working life, she is passionate about promoting the social model of disability, in reducing inequalities and promoting inclusion to improve health and well being of people living in Leeds. She acts as an advocate for people with disabilities to empower them to achieve and not limit themselves by adopting a “can do “approach. Zaira has experience of creating engagement initiatives to build strong organisation culture working with underrepresented groups to build confidence and progress to a fulfilled future.

When Zaira is not working you will find her spending time with her nearest and dearest and exploring different cultures. Zaira is in her element when outdoors in particular walking and running. Zaira is multilingual which includes British Sign Language. Zaira enjoys challenging herself and is learning to play the piano using self-taught tutorials during lockdown.

Email: [email protected]

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