Welsh disabled people take control of social care.


Disabled people in Wales are set to benefit from a new way of receiving social care, thanks to a scheme being officially rolled out across the country.

The ‘Together as One’ project, launched by the disability charity Leonard Cheshire, will offer people who receive social care the option to take part in shared social and sporting activities with other disabled people living locally.

Leonard Cheshire was the first provider to be awarded £1million from the Welsh government to deliver the new care scheme over the next three years.

Working with Reason Digital, a digital social enterprise which specialises in working with charities the aim is to create an online hub which offers shared carer resource for disabled people wanting to attend social activities.

This scheme allows disabled people the option to connect with others with similar interests develop friendships and develop digital skills.

Neil Heslop, Chief Executive Officer of Leonard Cheshire, announced the launch the new scheme at the National Assembly of Wales, alongside First Minister Mark Drakeford AM and Rebecca Evans AM, Finance and Trefnydd Minister.

The national launch of the scheme follows a successful trial in Anglesey last year, where participants took part in activities including drama workshops and photography sessions.

Neil Heslop, said: “We are delighted to usher in a new pioneering approach to social care. Disabled people need to have more of a say, and more control of their care, and the Together as One initiative delivers it.

“Response to the pilot scheme has been very positive and we now want to bring its benefits to communities in the rest of Wales.”

Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales and Leader of Welsh Labour, said:

“I am very pleased to be sponsoring the introduction of this innovative scheme, which aims to bring people together and give them a real say in how they access their care. Its key objectives of reducing social isolation, increasing digital literacy and empowering people who receive direct payments, are all to be commended.

“Enabling Local Authorities to increase capacity and identify opportunities for reinvestment in social care are at the heart of the Innovate to Save Fund*. We hope the pilot of this scheme in Anglesey will do exactly that and that its success can then be replicated across Wales.”

One young participant, Gary, said:

“Together as One has boosted my confidence and opened up more opportunities for me.”

Matt Haworth, who co-founded Reason Digital in 2008, only work on projects that ‘have a positive social impact on people and improve lives,’ said:

“We are partnering with Leonard Cheshire to develop a specialist online hub, which will ultimately empower disabled people to be able to attend and take part in more social activities, by offering opportunities to pool carer resources.

“This project builds on many of the recent digital tools we’ve created for charities which share the common theme of enabling users to take control of their lives.”

 The charity is now rolling the scheme out to communities across Wales.