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Ideal for All faces closure

30 July 2013

“Cuts in support services to disabled people will increase hospital admissions and visits to GP surgeries in Sandwell” says Vice Chair of Ideal for All charity

Ideal for All (IFA), disabled people’s charity in Sandwell, could be forced to close its doors as early as October 2013 to disabled people due to severe cuts in support services by Sandwell Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group(CCG).  The CCG has already announced that their part of the funding will end from October this year.   On the other hand Sandwell Council has decided to make drastic cuts to their share of the funding.  The result of this will be to the detriment of disabled people’s independence and quality of life.

The Vice chairperson of IFA, Mrs. Doreen Veale said; “Although Councillor Cooper claims that the Council hasn’t cut the funding of IFA, the total funding that the Council is making available for the delivery of support services after taking out the fixed costs will be £105,000.  Overall IFA is facing a 75% cut in core funding due to the action of SMBC and CCG”.   Mrs. Veale further added that; “this means that we would also lose the additional £500,000 that IFA raises every year with help of the core funding.   Taking the national average of 10% of disabled people within a population, the Council will now spend just over £3 per disabled person per year as appose to the current joint spending of £44 per disabled person per year”.   She further added that; “pouncing on vulnerable and disabled people’s funding is a disgraceful act of the Council and CCG”.

The Executive Director of Ideal for All, Mr. Naeem Arif said; “the Council has told us today that IFA is the only qualifying organisation in the current tendering process.  While it is good news for us, the issue of significant cut in funding means significantly reduced service.  The accumulative cut to funding is 75% from both the CCG and SMBC.   It is a real tragedy that during the times of austerity when support services are most needed by vulnerable groups, Sandwell Council and CCG have decided to make such drastic cuts”.

“Cutting budgets from vital community support services is a false economy.  The CCG could pay even higher price for completely withdrawing the funding.  Our experience shows that the support services are a life line to many isolated and marginalised groups in society.  The cuts would also mean 50 employees losing their jobs, many of whom are disabled.   Sandwell councillors and MPs are urged by disabled people to make Mr. Cooper and CCG Board rethink their plans”  said Naeem Arif.

“Support services have been delivered by IFA for the past 17 years with a very high satisfaction rate.  Last year alone, IFA received more than 33,000 calls and visits requesting help, information and for small pieces of equipment that help people to be more independent in their own homes.  IFA provides pain management sessions and employment and training amongst other services.  Funding for these come from a wide variety of sources, but the inward investment is dependent on the certainty of our core funding.  The cuts would mean most of these extra services that we provide on top of the statutory contracted services would also cease.  The pressure on Sandwell Council’s Social Services will become unmanageable”. 

“The Council should stop spending money on flowers and shrubs on islands, little white bicycle markings on local roads, the proposed refurbishment of West Bromwich Town Hall, when they have the Public.  These are considered to be non-essential spending items in times of austerity”, said Naeem Arif.

Sue Bott, Director of Policy at Disability Rights UK said, "Ideal for All in Sandwell, West Midlands, is one of the country’s finest examples of what can be achieved when disabled people are supported to lead their organisations and empowered to decide how they want to live their lives. As one of our valued members, Disability Rights UK supports their campaign.  We have been closely watching the developments in Sandwell and call Sandwell Council and CCG to review their decision as it could become a national case study”.

~Ends~

Notes to Editors

There will be a demonstration planned by disabled people at 5.00pm on Tuesday 30th July 2013 outside Sandwell Council House and within Sandwell Council Chamber in front of the full council meeting.  At 5:15pm Disabled people will be presenting a Petition Stop, Consult, Listen with over 6000 signatures to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Darren Cooper. 

For more information please contact Naeem Arif, Executive Director on 0121 558 5555.

About Ideal for All

Ideal for All is a not for profit company and registered charity set up in 1996 and which is run by disabled people for disabled people in Sandwell. We provide a range of social and health care services for disabled people, carers and disadvantaged groups. Our aim is to help the people using our services to learn new skills and live as independently as possible.

Our range of services promotes independent living, health and wellbeing and we bring people together through our social events for members and local people.  Ideal for All has been recognised as a thought leader in health and social care and has won numerous awards for empowering disabled people to support them lead an independent life.

We have also set up Ideal for All Enterprises, a social enterprise venture, incorporating training, payroll and design & media services.  All profits made through the social enterprise are reinvested to achieve charitable aims.  For more information on Ideal for All please visit www.idealforall.co.uk