Remaining politically neutral during General Election 2024


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Adaptions. We've been fighting with our council over changing out wetroom

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Siwheels73
Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
Hi! My wife and I both have Spina Bifida. We live in a local authority flat and for the past year we have been fighting with our Council over changing our current Wetroom and putting in an adapted bath with a hoist, to suit us better as we age. The Council have agreed that it would be safe for us, BUT we cannot get a DFG and are being pushed to finance it ourselves. We have tried engaging with the Council Housing Dept, but they are not being very helpful, and will not tell us why! It's so frustrating

We have raised £2540 out of a total of £8800, we really feel we need an advocate to help, but do not know where to start! The local CAB still have barriers up post-covid.
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Comments

  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @Siwheels73

    Thanks for making this post, and sorry to hear that you are having challenges with getting the funding you need. Although, the amount you have raised so far is fantastic.

    Regarding your nearest CAB, I appreciate that they might not be offering an in person service at the moment but have you tried getting in touch with them remotely such as by phone? 

    It's a shame that you haven't been able to access the DFG.
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  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    Hi @Ross_Scope. The CAB sent me here to Scope, after emailing them a long and more detailed explanation of the situation. As for the DFG, the Policy for our local council is that Private Tenants can apply but NOT Council Tenants like us. I mentioned the Equality Act back to them, and strangely they went quiet on me! It has been a complete farce. We have even found a High Court Case that might help us, but no-one will comment on it for us, so we are playing a game without even knowing the basic rules we are playing by. V unfair. Sorry, I do tend to go on when I get passionate!
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,508 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm also sorry to read that you've been struggling to make progress with your local council @Siwheels73. It must be frustrating for you both. 

    You may find our page on getting home adaptations helpful, as it outlines a few options for making your home more accessible. 

    Have you had a needs assessment from your local authority at all? 

    In terms of advocacy, it varies from area to area. Have you tried searching online for 'advocacy service in [your area]', such as 'advocacy service in Leeds'? I believe you can also sometimes ask your local council about independent advocacy services in your area- have you tried that? 

    There's no need to apologise, you're not going on at all. It sounds like a really tough situation, and I can see why you'd feel passionately about it!

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    @Tori_Scope, thank you, firstly for advising me when I was having trouble getting into the Forum(!), and for your advice above!
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,153 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2022
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    Hi @Siwheels73 - I don't know if this might be another avenue for you to explore, as Tori has mentioned, but hope it is. You can get an advocate to help you voice your concerns. Please see: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/help-from-social-services-and-charities/someone-to-speak-up-for-you-advocate/

  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    @chiarieds thank you. This evening I have applied online to see if we can get an Advocate from one of the organisations. It's tough when it is your Council and Landlord that you are fighting and they are telling you nothing other than "No!" Our NEED for an adapted bath is, I believe, agreed, but it is funding where we need help as Charities have been MASSIVELY squeezed, and do not have the funds they might otherwise have had if it weren't for COVID. Also, our age is against us as we are mid 40's where there are less funding opportunities!
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,153 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2022
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    Hi @Siwheels73 - I do know one of our members (who has Spina Bifida by coincidence) was enormously supported by VoiceAbility to get the adaptations they needed (tho they took a year), but sadly they're not available in all areas.
    I do so hope you get the help you need, & please keep in touch to let us all know how you get on.
  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    Fantastic! It is VoiceAbility that I have applied with. We have been going round in circles for a year thus far! @chiarieds
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,153 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2022
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    Hi @Siwheels73 - I do hope VoiceAbility will help you both too. I'd like to continue to hear how you're doing, & if they're able to help. Your input may also help another of our members, so would be great, thank you.
  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,508 Disability Gamechanger
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    @Tori_Scope, thank you, firstly for advising me when I was having trouble getting into the Forum(!), and for your advice above!

    No problem at all @Siwheels73 :) It's good to see you getting stuck in. Fingers crossed VoiceAbility will be able to help!

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    Today I received a review of our Council's actions in our case, done by one of the Council's own Lawyers. You will never believe who they decided to agree with? Yup, our local Council!! No brainer there, then but our fight continues!
  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    Further to my comment above, my wife, Az, and I spent hours last night going through the documents we were sent yesterday. We found a massive but very important error in what the Council legal team were using as fact, but that we can PROVE is wrong!
  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    Today VoiceAbility came through and said we can have an Advocate through them! Yesss
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Disability Gamechanger
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    That's fantastic news @Siwheels73 thanks for the update :)
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  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    @Alex_Scope and @Teddybear12, if you don't keep chipping away at a decision that you feel is wrong, then you achieve nothing. We know we are right, fundamentally.
  • Spoonie_Naila
    Spoonie_Naila Community member Posts: 464 Courageous
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    @Siwheels73 just reading this thread today. Well done for persevering. Can’t imagine how tough and frustrating this must be for you and your wife. Hope it all works out in your favour SOON. Looking forward to hearing more updates from you. 
  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    Thank you @Spoonie_Naila, very good of you to say. It's been quite a struggle, but I am a persistent little beggar, and I know we have right, and the law, on our side.
  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    Still our saga goes on! Currently waiting for our council to send ALL the documentation they have on our case, including meeting minutes and reasoning for their decisions, via a legal Subject Access Request. If nowt else, it means someone has a helluva lot of work, though it should provide some answers.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,153 Disability Gamechanger
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    Have VoiceAbility been any help in advocating for you both?
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