GFI Project Development News 2018

GFI signed up to be a part of a Creative Fuse pilot in the Tees Valley in 2018, working with Teesside University to take forward an idea we have had to produce a new board game with embedded technology to make it more accessible for people with sensory impairments. 

Lottery funding - 
We were successful with our first application for lottery-funding- to run a programme of social activities in 2018 for people who are isolated because of their sensory impairment or mental ill health.

ASSC Project 2020

We have started to work on our communication project, using "old" technology to help to keep people connected with the communities of their choice.

Our big investment in 2017

Inclusive Art - GFI has a new department which will develop accessible art and craft activities in the community, including working with art galleries and museums to help to make their exhibits more accessible for people who are less mobile and/or who have sensory impairments.

Following some very successful art workshops delivered in 2016 for Focus on Vision in the Teesside region, GFI has been commissioned to do more and will develop tailored services for local organisations in the NE.

What we did in 2016

GFI sponsors an employee to spend one day a week working for the charity Centre of Excellence for Sensory Impairment 

GFI Directory

After careful consideration we decided to close the GFI Directory as there are now two good alternative sources of information about independent OTs - the newly updated COTS-IP directory at  and . 

GFI set up our directory in 2011 when there was no easy-to-search option and we feel we have served our purpose of supporting OTs by providing them with a free platform to advertise their services, and helping our own customers to find a local independent OT when they need one.
We will now use these other directories when we need to find an OT!

Independent Living Centres
Also on our Directory we listed independent living centres because of the closure of the charity Assist-UK - which was the umbrella organisation for all ILCs and which hosted a list of its members. We are currently researching the ILCs now operating nationwide (April 2016) and  will be listing them on our website  at the beginning of May 2016 so they can still be found in one place. We will update this information every 6 months.

At the start of 2015 we are looking forward to liaising with participants working on the National Challenge - an Innovate-uk initiative for the Long Term Care Revolution. 

One Precious Life Project
In 2014 we partnered with an organisation called Rescon to run the One Precious Life pilot project for the Technology Strategy Board. This was an innovative programme motivating people with a long term condition back to health, enabling them to live their lives to the full.   Http:// 


GFI Independent OT Directory

The GFI Directory is growing and we will be investing in it further in the coming years to ensure it becomes an invaluable resource for people around the UK as they navigate their way to finding equipment and timely OT advice.

Centre of Excellence for Sensory Impairment (COESI) Consortium

GFI is a founder member of a group of 6 organisations providing services for people with disabilities and sensory impairment in Croydon. Read more about COESI and our customer Charter.

Health and Wellbeing

During 2010 Going for Independence and a social enterprise called AnyBodyCan Ltd. came together in order to develop the SMILE Learning health and wellbeing programme.
Read more about the SMILE Learning Programme here.


GFI Brochure

Our brochure about equipment is now available. It is A4 sized with photographs showing equipment in the home and in room settings. The text is available in a Word version in large print.

The Care Act 2014 

GFI is in a good position to offer services to GP Commissioners when the roll out of the Care Act and NHS changes take effect. In particular our Independent Living services will help to prevent falls and potentially unnecessary admissions to acute services.

Our Helpline - GFI is responding to numerous calls from around the UK, helping people to find the local information and services they need.

Access to Allied Health Professionals under the GFI umbrella - GFI is looking at how we can offer a support network to Occupational Therapists and also Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists and other Therapists with a social conscience who want to connect with an ethical organisation. 

The key aim of GFI, underpinning all that we do, is to enable individuals to have access to the right information at the right time giving people greater choice and control over their lives. 

"If GFI had been around a few years ago we would have had access to a one-stop-shop offering different kinds of therapy services in addition to those available from the state. This would have been so helpful for us and our disabled son."  

(Consultation feedback from Parent in London area, 2008)

Page updated January 2018