Young disabled people will be able to access a £5 million fund to help them live more independent lives, Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell has announced.
The Independent Living Fund (ILF) will provide a short-term award to people aged 16-to-21 to help the transition into adulthood.
It can be used to help the young disabled person to be active, participate and contribute to their local community; aimed at helping them to reach their potential and make a lasting difference to young lives.
It follows the set-up of the Scottish Independent Living Fund, in 2015, following the UK Government’s closure of the previous UK ILF scheme. Ministers had previously committed that on top of the £47.2 million a year of support provided to 2,600 existing Scottish ILF users, extra funding of £5 million would be made available to create a new ILF scheme.
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said:
“We want everyone in society to have the same quality of life and providing support to disabled people is one of the areas we have worked on.
“This fund will support young disabled people to take up opportunities to contribute to and participate in their communities, to help them live as independently as possible.
“We have worked directly with disabled people to develop this fund and to ensure that we give people choices and treat them with the fairness, dignity and respect they deserve.”
Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman said:
“Disabled people must be given the support they need to live the life they choose.
“Our Disability Action Plan lists 93 actions to transform the lives of disabled people in Scotland and that includes actions setting out to tackle the inequalities and barriers faced by disabled young people, including tackling social isolation and improving lives at points of transition.”
The Ministers visited Upward Mobility to launch the fund, meeting young disabled people who receive training and support at the centre in Edinburgh.
Susan Douglas-Scott, Chair of the ILF Scotland Board, said:
“We are delighted that Scottish Government has committed extra funding of £5 million to provide a real opportunity for young disabled people, to create a lasting impact on their lives.
“I would like to thank members of the ILF Working Group for their enthusiastic support throughout the co-production of this new ILF scheme.
“At ILF Scotland we will ensure our implementation of the new scheme will continue to put disabled people at the heart of what we do.”