Welsh disabled people take control of their care

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

Delivered by the charity Leonard Cheshire, the ‘Together as One’ project offers people who receive social care the choice to share activities, like swimming, with other disabled people in their area, rather than having to receive it on a one-on-one basis.

Disabled people can then connect with others that share common interests.

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

Mark Drakeford said:

‘I am very pleased to be sponsoring the launch 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.’

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

One young participant, Gary, said:

‘It has boosted my confidence and opened up more opportunities for me.’

Neil Heslop, Chief Executive Officer at Leonard Cheshire, 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.’

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

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

Media enquiries

For further information and interview requests, please contact: Jonathan Sim on jonathan.sim@leonardcheshire.org or 07845 773 370.

About Innovate to Save

Innovate to Save is a £5 million programme supported by Welsh Government, seeking to tackle some of the most complex issues currently facing our public services — while generating cashable savings.

Through grant funding, non-financial support and repayable loans, it will support public and third sector organisations to prototype, trial, scale and evaluate innovative projects.

For Leonard Cheshire to raise income realised through savings for each local authority, it will be required that the local authorities and Leonard Cheshire enter a mutually agreed contract for the roll out of the scheme.