A selection of the staff of Independent Lives.

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 Pages where residents can view information, recruit personal assistants, and access training. We will also support people through home visits where appropriate.

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 was formed by disabled people in 2001 and, every year, we provide Direct Payment support for over a thousand people. The charity is still led by disabled people and we provide a range of services which promote independent living.

In June 2022, we were awarded a contract to provide Direct Payment support to a small number of East Sussex residents. This has expanded to support almost half of all Direct Payments recipients. From April, we will be the leading Direct Payment provider for the county until at least 2029.

Rebecca Smicle, our Chief Executive said:

“We’re thrilled to be able to continue working with East Sussex County Council to provide Direct Payment support and we look forward to continuing to provide our services and knowledge to the area.

The new contract is testament to, not only the high levels of support we strive to provide and how much we’re valued by our customers across the county, but also, to our incredible staff who work tirelessly to make us who we are.”