Newry residents to have their say on future of disability support fund

Posted by
editor@newrytimes.com
Wednesday, March 25th, 2020
Community, What's On

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, ILF Scotland has taken the decision to postpone these events until later in the year.

 

Independent Living Fund (ILF), the public body that provides financial support to help disabled people live independently, has called for Newry residents to share their views on the future of the fund in Northern Ireland.

438 people across Northern Ireland, including 100 Southern Trust residents, currently receive ILF support to live independently in their homes and communities.

However, the fund was closed to new recipients in 2010, leaving many who would have previously qualified without this financial support.

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Newry resident Maureen McNulty (pictured below) from Bessbrook requires daily support from personal assistants.

 

 

Maureen qualified for ILF funding prior to the 2010 cut off point.

Speaking of the fund, she told Newry Times, “Receiving money from the Independent Living Fund has been life-changing.

“I cannot praise it highly enough. It has allowed me to have much more freedom and flexibility.

 

 

She continued, “Thanks to the fund, I can stay in my home, with personal assistants coming in to provide support.

“I also get assistance for trips out of the home – my carers accompany me to the swimming pool or out shopping. It just makes my life feel more ‘normal’.

“I think so many more people could benefit from the fund.

“There are young people who never got the chance to apply and the current assistance only provides for those with the most acute disabilities. Sadly, social support is just not considered a priority,” Maureen added.

An event will be held in Newry on 30 March at Newry Leisure Centre, where ILF will gather insight and views from disabled people and their carers about the possibility of re-opening the fund.

 

 

Further events will take place in Belfast, Derry and Enniskillen over the coming weeks.

Speaking about the upcoming events, ILF Scotland Chair Susan Douglas Scott said, “This event will be a vital opportunity for the disability community in Northern Ireland to voice their opinions on the support available to them and what needs to change.

“We need to hear what people think about the possibility of re-opening the fund. Without hearing from disabled people themselves, we cannot move forward.

 

 

“It’s very important to us that as many people as possible attend the event to offer their insight. I look forward to personally meeting and talking to many of you as I will be attending and speaking at each event,” she added.

The event is open to everyone, with ILF keen to hear from disabled people, parents, carers and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs).

The Independent Living Fund Event takes place between 10:30 – 13:00 at Newry Leisure Centre, 60 Cecil Street, Newry, BT35 6AU.

To register to attend the event, visit www.ilf.scot/northernireland

 

 

 

For more of today’s top stories in Newry and beyond, click here.  

 

 

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