Supporting Independent Living in Scotland and Northern Ireland

CILNI was delighted to be represented at the gathering of the Independent Living Fund Northern Ireland and Scotland Stakeholder Groups in Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Tuesday 2nd April.  The first reunion of its kind between Scotland and Northern. The event was hosted by Doug Beattie, MLA and David McDonald, Chair, NI Stakeholder Group.  The impressive line-up of contributors included representatives from government – Richard Pengelly, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health and Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing and a number of inspirational disabled people including Susan Douglas-Scott, Dr Jim Elder-Woodward, Michaela Hollywood, Lee and Caroline Martin and Declan and John McMullan.

 

Thanks go to the organisers of the event and to all the uplifting and motivational speakers.  People were moved by the testimonies of users of the Independent Living Fund.  This is a sample of quotations shared at the stakeholder showcase.

 

“Disabled people have to fight for equality in every aspect of life.”

“If UK if 5th largest economy in the world then there shouldn’t be any difficulty with disability rights. Let’s just get on with it! “

“Lots of money has been spent on dropped curbs and accessible transport. What a waste if disabled people can’t get out of their house. “

The Fund is available to a limited number of people before it was closed to new applicants in 2015.  Today in Northern Ireland over 460 people are supported by the Fund.  The Northern Ireland stakeholder group are doing the groundwork to potentially open ILF to new recipients in the future.  The Fund can help to improve the lives of people living with the most severe disabilities, their families and carers.  CILNI is excited about lending its support to the team and to bring more independent living opportunities to a new generation of folk.