MSP welcomes cash boost for Ayrshire charities

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SNP MSP Adam Ingram has welcomed news that charities across Scotland, and in particular Ayrshire Independent Living Network are set to benefit from almost £700,000 to expand and improve the information and advice they provide to thousands of disabled people and carers.

The money will help organisations which work with people who have physical disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health issues, dementia and sensory impairments, supporting them to access the care services they need.

It supports the goals of the Scottish Government’s national Self-Directed Support Strategy, in particular that people are assisted in their desire to live as independently, for as long as possible, in their own homes and communities.

The strategy and the Self-Directed Support Bill, to be introduced by the Scottish Government in the coming months, will put people who receive social care services in the driving seat. They will be able to have a big say in what services they think will best help them to live in their own homes and communities - giving disabled people the chance to change their lives for the better.

Commenting on the announcement Mr Ingram said: “This is great news for Ayrshire Independent Living Network which has received almost £28,000 in funding which will ensure they can both continue and build on their professional, welcoming service in partnership with the local councils.

“The funding both here in Ayrshire and across the country will ensure the Scottish Government’s Self Directed Support Strategy is firmly in place giving local people who access social care services an opportunity to relay their thoughts on the services currently provided and whether or not they could be improved to ensure they can stay in their own homes for as long as they wish.

Peter Joyce Chairman of Ayrshire Independent Living Network said: “We are delighted with this award which will ensure we can develop on the valued service we currently provide to our clients and stakeholders.

“The extra funds will be put to good use in employing a part time Development Worker to look at our current position and what our goals should be for the future taking into consideration the effects of legislative changes for both our clients and the organisation.

Details of further allocations will be announced in due course.

The 10-year Self-Directed Support strategy, drawn up with the support of COSLA and stakeholders, aims to make Self-Directed Support the mainstream route for funding of support services. It is hoped that as many people as possible will take advantage of this route.

Self-Directed Support, encompassing direct payments, provides individual budgets for people to buy or arrange their own support packages to meet their assessed personal, social and healthcare needs. More than 3,500 people across Scotland are already choosing to use Self-Directed Support, but the Scottish Government aims to increase this number.