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National Award For Disabled People’s Organisation

Published on: 9 Dec, 2014
Updated on: 9 Dec, 2014

A service to help disabled people find and recruit the right personal assistant (PA) has won a national award for providing greater choice, control and independent living.

Surrey Independent Living Council (SILC), based in Burpham, Guildford, received the Breakthrough UK award in recognition of a free online service, called PA Finder, it has developed.

Dean Beverley, who leads on managing PA Finder at SILC, pictured with the award.

Dean Beverley, who leads on managing PA Finder at SILC, pictured with the award.

It enables people with social care and / or support needs to find and employ PAs directly to enable them to live their life as fully and independently as possible.

The service also enables people who are looking for work as a PA to see information about vacancies in this specialist area and apply to work directly for an individual.

The judges said they were looking for “an organisation that can evidence a service / product or approach that has offered real choice and control for disabled people to achieve, or move towards independent living”.

When selecting SILC’s PA Finder as the winner, award judge Asif Iqbal MBE, one of the UK’s top 100 most influential disabled people, said: “This service allows disabled people to be the key decision makers over decisions that affect their daily lives. It gives disabled people the opportunity to take real control and make real choices over the personal assistants they employ.”

The National Independent Living Awards have been hosted by Breakthrough UK since 2008 to celebrate the organisations or individuals that show a commitment and innovation to the independence of disabled people.

SILC’s chairman, Jason Vaughan, said: “SILC is extremely proud to have won this award recognising the contribution we have made to increasing choice, control and independence for disabled people in Surrey.

“PA Finder and all SILC’s other services are developed and managed by disabled people, which is key to their success.”

The Surrey Hubs, which are managed by SILC alongside Surrey Disabled People’s Partnership, were also listed as one of the three finalists in the Overall Independent Living Initiative category.

SILC is a voluntary organisation run by disabled people. It wants to encourage disabled adults, children, older people and carers in Surrey to take advantage of its free support and services so they can live more independently.

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