Posted: Fri 25th Mar 2016

Monmouthshire Direct Payments Co-Operative In The Making: First In The UK

This article is old - Published: Friday, Mar 25th, 2016

Disability Wales and Wales Co-operative Centre is delighted to announce that Wales’ first Citizen-Directed Direct Payments Co-operative is in the making. The My Life My Choices Co-operative, a group of organisations and families from across Monmouthshire has been awarded £50,000 to help set up an alternative model for the provision of social care. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Rhian Davies, Chief Executive of Disability Wales said: “From the outset, the aim of Citizen Directed Co-operatives Cymru was to reignite the debate surrounding direct payments to support and enable greater choice, voice and control for disabled people across Wales. As hoped, the project has sparked the long-awaited transformation, in the selection of what will be the first group in the UK to pioneer a co-operative approach to the management of direct payments, allowing more people to achieve independent living.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The co-op aims to support disabled people to achieve their goals through using direct payments. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mike Logan, who works with disabled young people as part of the Building Bridges project in Monmouthshire, is one of the founder members of the My Life My Choices Co-operative. He commented: “Our group is really excited to have this opportunity, and we would like to thank Disability Wales, Wales Cooperative Centre and Big Lottery Fund Wales for setting up this initiative. We hope that our group will help more people to use direct payments and find more creative ways of meeting their support needs.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Founding members of My Life My Choices Co-operative include – Abergavenny People First and Monmouth People First; Best Buddies Monmouthshire; MAGIC Parents and Carers Network and the Building Bridges Project. A strong partnership of local organisations and families is set to lead the way in social care innovation. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Professor Mark Drakeford AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, welcomed the announcement. He said: “This is an exciting opportunity to deliver a co-operative approach in Wales. Direct payments can support people to get on with their lives in ways that really matter to them. This is a great example of a project being delivered co-operatively and will provide opportunities for organisations across the country to learn from the experience.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Derek Walker, Chief Executive of Wales Co-operative Centre added: “Citizen directed co-operatives are a real game-changer in terms of how people who receive direct payments take ownership and control of social care services. This funding takes us a step closer to establishing the first organisation of this kind in the UK, showing that Wales is blazing a trail for the delivery of social care. The Wales Co-operative Centre is looking forward to working with the members of My Life My Choices Co-operative as they take the next steps in their development.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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