Judith Waters, a resident of Maybole, has come up with
a plan which could be of mutual benefit to the community and to disabled
people in and around Maybole.
Judith's son, Michael, needs 24 hour support. After
leaving school two years ago, he tried out the traditional mode of "day
care" at a centre for adults with Learning Disabilities.
Recently through consultation with South Ayrshire
Council, Michael has been awarded the financial opportunity to become an
employer. This enlightened approach by the Council will enable Michael to
select and pay for his own Personal Assistants.
The "Direct Payment" scheme pioneered by the Scottish
Executive will increase Michael's choice and control over daily activities
and life. Michael and his mum would like his P.A.s to come from within his
own community, rather than using "Care Agency" staff, recruited outwith
Maybole. Judith explains that Michael can pay for care support for twenty
hours per week if enthusiastic individuals within the community come
forward for selection.
Judith feels strongly that there is often a missing
element in Care in the Community as it can be so difficult for Social
Services and local Councils to engage the community at grass roots level.
She believes that the local community accepting
responsibility for caring for local needs is the secret of realistic
success for Care in the Community.
Can Maybole lead the way ahead in this area as it has
in many others. The very successful community web site
www.maybole.org may be a tool which could be used to make the
community aware of local needs as well as the press. The Maybole Carers'
Forum can identify other community needs but would welcome support from
May-Tag Ltd, the training provider situated in the
Castle, Signposts and Maybole Community Development Group are working with
Judith to try and raise awareness of the situation in the community and to
identify people who may be interested in working with her and Michael.
Judith also has a vision of a learning centre which
could accommodate the special requirements of disabled clients and allow
them to engage with life long learning. A lot of funding would be
required but indications are that the Government is currently planning to
support the rights of people like Michael and Judith to have the same
opportunities as the rest of us to access learning.
If anyone would like to have more information about
working for and with Michael, or about Maybole Carer's Forum, they should
contact Ellen Hawkes at 01655 883765, Peter Walker at 01655 884022, Gerry
Ferrara at 882377 or Judith herself at 01655 884474