I am an advocate for my brother Anthony who has severe learning disabilities, autism and bi-polar. As a result of maladministration by Bradford council, when my brother went into supported accommodation in June 2001 he lost his support from the Independent Living Fund. This experience demonstrated brutally the difference between life with and without the ILF and the limitations of Local Authority care packages.
For the six years my brother went without ILF funding his life ceased. After returning from daycare at 3.30pm he did not go out again until the following morning at 8.30 back to daycare. His social life disappeared, no longer could he access the community, you could forget the days out or the occasional visits to the seaside. To my brother, a short walk down the road with his coat and shoes on can make his day seem so much more yet without the ILF he couldn’t step out of the four walls he was imprisoned in.
Although the local Council was made aware of what position they had put my brother in they refused to fund or help in anyway, continually stipulating they did not have the resources.
The ILF may well have certain flaws but the biggest flaw or mistake would be to transfer full responsibility for meeting social care and support needs Local Authorities. The lives of people without a voice, like my brother, will be ruined.