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Apr 11 2024

Independent Lives supports disabled people to access the Household Support Fund

In an ambitious effort spanning the last twelve months, the Direct Payment team at Independent Lives has played a crucial role in enabling disabled people throughout West Sussex to benefit from the Government’s Household Support Fund. The Household Support Fund scheme supports vulnerable households with the recent significant increase in cost-of-living. The Department of Work

Apr 4 2024

Independent Lives awarded contract to provide support to East Sussex residents

Independent Lives has been awarded a contract from East Sussex County Council to provide support to disabled people in the county. The service will ensure that recipients of Direct Payments have access to support from highly trained and experienced staff. Support is provided by our Information and Advice team and specialist Direct Payment website PA

Mar 27 2024

MPs suggest benefits are ‘too low’ to meet basic living costs

A recent report by the Work and Pensions Committee, calls on the Government to act to increase financial support for those who need it most.  The cross-party group of MPs has proposed the introduction of a new standard for determining benefit levels that would accurately reflect the cost of living.   This recommendation aims to ensure

Mar 15 2024

Debbie’s story

Debbie has been using Independent Lives services since 2007. She lives in Horsham. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) when I was in my early twenties. I was hit by a car, and immediately after the accident I had numbness from my waist down. The symptoms of numbness would subside and then return, and

Mar 13 2024

Maxine and Lottie’s story 

Maxine has been using Independent Lives services since 2023. She lives in Worthing with Lottie and her husband.    I had Lottie in 2003, which, looking back on it now, seems a lifetime ago. I didn’t know that I was pregnant with a daughter with Down Syndrome, she was diagnosed 24 hours after she was born.

Mar 4 2024

A daily struggle: Portrayal of life as a disabled parent caring for a disabled child

In the first part of a three-part series, our comms volunteer Sarah talks about her experiences raising her son, Jamie. By the time my son’s severe (mostly non-verbal) autism became clear at age three, the health issues that had affected me from age 18 were beginning to return. I had suffered from what was eventually

Jan 30 2024

Beyond assumptions: The Ask Don’t Assume campaign

Our comms volunteer Sarah gives her personal perspective on the Government’s ‘Ask Don’t Assume’ campaign.   As a disabled person, do non-disabled people make assumptions about you and/or your abilities or give help or advice when you don’t want it? If so, you’re not alone.   A Government campaign ‘Ask Don’t Assume’ features the voices of people with various disabilities who describe their feelings
Rebecca Smicle, CEO of Independent Lives receives grant from ASDA Foundation holding a cheque with the word 'Inclusion' in the background.

Jan 18 2024

Independent Lives receives essential grant from ASDA Foundation for Home First wellness bags

Independent Lives has received a £400 Empowering Local Communities Grant from the Asda Foundation. This funding is allocated for the creation of wellness bags for their Home First service customers. These wellness bags are designed to assist individuals transitioning from hospital care to their homes, providing them with essential items that support their recovery and
Independent Lives' community researchers, Polly, Gareth and Cara [L-R]

Jan 4 2024

More than just a job – community research at Independent Lives

Independent Lives community researcher – Cara Redlich (right), shares her experience of starting work with Independent Lives and working on a project she feels really passionate about. In June 2023, I started a new and exciting job with Independent Lives. This charity focuses on helping people with disabilities and carers. My job is to study
Accessible toilet sign with icons for male, female, and wheelchair users.

Nov 28 2023

Missing the mark: What a Government report reveals about accessible toilet access

It came to light recently that a Government report from 2020- 2021 into public support for the use of different types of public toilet provision produced some interesting results. One stood out: 2% of responses were said to support the use of accessible toilet provision – just 351 out of 17589 responses in total. Sound