ILF recipient Dolores Hannigan pictured on holiday.
A Derry woman has revealed how being able to avail of the Independent Living Fund has saved her from being 'cut off' from her family.
The Independent Living Fund (ILF), the public body that provides financial support to help disabled people live independently, is urging Derry residents to share their views on the future of the fund in Northern Ireland.
Sixty-seven Derry residents currently receive ILF support to live independently in their homes and communities.
However, the fund was closed to new recipients in 2010, leaving many who would have previously qualified without this financial support.
Derry resident Dolores Hannigan, from Clon Elagh, has a condition that requires round-the-clock support from two personal assistants. Dolores was one of the first recipients of ILF funding in Northern Ireland.
She said: “I have received funding from the Independent Living Fund for over 25 years and it has truly given me access to independent living.
“Without this fund, I would probably be in a nursing home, cut off from my family, friends and community.
“I have been able to set up my own home and employ my own staff who assist me in dressing, cooking, and going out to church.
“This fund has afforded me a dignified life and ensured my wellness, both physically and mentally. Independent Living Fund support should be offered to a new generation of disabled people.”
An event will be held in Derry on Thursday next, March 19, from 10.30am to 1.00pm in the Everglades Hotel where ILF will gather insight and views from disabled people and their carers about the possibility of re-opening the fund.
Speaking about the upcoming event, ILF Scotland chairm Susan Douglas Scottm said: “This event will be a vital opportunity for the disability community in Northern Ireland to voice their opinions on the support available to them and what needs to change. We need to hear what people think about the possibility of re-opening the fund.
“ Without hearing from disabled people themselves, we cannot move forward. It’s very important to us that as many people as possible attend the event to offer their insight. I look forward to personally meeting and talking to many of you as I will be attending and speaking at each event.”
The event is open to everyone, and ILF is keen to hear from disabled people, parents, carers and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs).
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