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 a phone line, website, a range of factsheets, handbooks and where appropriate, home visits. A Direct Payment is an amount of money given to an individual by a local authority or the NHS so that they can better manage their own health and care needs. Direct Payments promote autonomy and independence by allowing someone to choose the most appropriate support to suit their needs. Independent Lives formed in 2001 and, every year, provides Direct Payment support for over a thousand people. Rebecca Smicle, Chief Executive of Independent Lives said: “We’re thrilled to have been chosen by East Sussex County Council to provide Direct Payment support and have the opportunity to bring our services and knowledge to the area. The contract is testament to, not only the high levels of support we strive to provide and how much we’re valued by our customers, but also, to our incredible staff who work tirelessly to make us who we are.” Support will officially begin from 1 July, although Direct Payment recipients that will be affected by the change will be able to speak to Independent Lives about the contract change immediately.