I’m proud to announce that as of today Diverse Cymru is delivering direct payments to more than a quarter of Wales. We have retained Independent Living Advisors working across the three counties of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, as well as an office in Carmarthen. We have designed the transition to be as smooth as possible to ensure that service users will not experience any disruption, and within weeks will start to feel the benefits of our unique service.
I would like to thank Carmarthenshire County Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and Ceredigion County Council for working closely with us since the announcement of the contract and I look forward to working in collaboration with our new partners to explore further opportunities for innovation in rights-based approaches to the promotion of individual and community well-being in West Wales.
We are currently well into Disability History Month, and looking forward to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities this Thursday, so to be able to highlight such an important project at this time is particularly exciting. Direct payments were established to empower those receiving care with choice and control over how that care was managed and, significantly, the system was designed by disabled people for disabled people. Its application was later extended to include older people, carers and the parents of disabled children.
While this week’s focus is on disabled people, it is now older people that make up the majority of our service users whilst carers are extremely under-represented. This may be because many carers are unaware of what support is available or what they are entitled to.
We recently detailed all the support we can offer and I would urge all carers to get in touch if you think you may be eligible.