Hampshire County Council is already seeing how self-directed support (SDS) is making a difference in people’s lives.
For most of our service users these life changes will be around practical aspects of daily living, such as having support in getting meals from their culture or having a bath rather than a shower.
We are also hearing from individuals in Basingstoke who have been able to create new friendships, learn new things and take part in activities in their local area.
These are the stories of individuals in Basingstoke who have experienced self-directed support first hand:
Jackie has learning disabilities and describes herself as a ‘wild child’. Since going on to self-directed support Jackie’s life has been turned around. With self-directed support she’s been able to employ two relatives as part time personal assistants. With their help she has a new home which is shared ownership and has also had the confidence to set up a social evening for people with learning disabilities. Jackie is a keen horse rider and she dreams of entering the 2012 Olympics.
Jackie says of self-directed support,
“I reckon everyone in Hampshire should get it. It’s given me my life back.”
Gillian is in her 70’s and has physical disabilities. She chose to get her care manager Hayley to commission services for her rather than have a direct payment. She still has a say in services and has found SDS has given her the flexibility to have care when she wants it.
“Since I’ve come into Hampshire County Council I’ve become a human being whereas I didn’t feel I was before. For me life began at 73, not at 40 as everyone says!”
Maria is a young woman with multiple sclerosis. Here she explains what SDS has enabled her to do.
“Self-directed support has given me the choice to employ a personal assistant for a longer length of time. It’s given me the flexibility that I didn’t have before. Having a PA for longer means that I’ve been able to go on days out. Art is a big interest of mine and I’ve been able to visit the Tate Modern and National Portrait Gallery in London. I’ve also been able to visit the aquarium, go up the Thames and on the London Eye.
I applied for and was fortunate enough to get an assistance dog to help me be more independent at home. I needed training to manage and work with an assistance dog and my direct payment enabled me to pay for a personal assistant so that I could attend."