Take a look for yourself at what parents have to say about direct payments:

“This scheme has saved our lives and sanity!  I previously had no help and was spending most of my days in tears and could not cope with either of my children, let alone one who was in and out of hospital every other week. Our social worker suggested the scheme to us and after a lot of trial and error we now have a lovely helper who alleviates the burden for a few hours a week and we also get the option of having a weekend a month to allow myself and my husband to see each other.”

Kirsty Mackinnon

“I have found direct payments invaluable and I know that my son has benefited enormously from it. We have had some wonderful PAs, which we have managed to find ourselves through word of mouth and school.  The help we have received with regard to setting D.P up has been fantastic, with help and advice from Karen Dorling who is always available via email or telephone.”

Trish Ashby

“I would like to express my delight at being eligible for Direct Payments. My daughter is 6 but has global developmental delay and has proved difficult to entertain whilst trying to carry out mum duties to my older daughter. Since we have received direct payments we have regularly had help looking after Katie, which has enabled me to attend school activities, like sports day, tennis club and netball matches, without having to run around after Katie and worry that she is up to mischief or escaping! We have also recently had a trip to London Zoo and took our carer with us and we had a stress free day and were able to queue for things with our older daughter which otherwise would have split us as a family for the day.”

Karen Weddle

“Thanks to a very understanding Annette Yilmaz (Social Worker) and Tracy Woods (Support Worker), I have been able to access occasional and regular respite care, which during the long school vacations has kept me sane!”

Diane Sheddon

“I can only say what a great change to our family life it has been. We have 3 hours a week, which suits our situation at the moment. We have a fantastic family that take our son out and give my husband and I quality time with our 9 year old daughter.  I feel relaxed knowing my son is having a fun, well cared for time by a wonderful couple and my daughter feels like she is at last getting one to one time with her parents. We are able to do things with her that we would not be able to do with our son in tow.”

Tracy Mackenzie

“I am a single parent to my disabled son and so having the DP and freedom to employ a PA to come in and help care for my son has been a lifeline. It has enabled me to have some time to myself, which was previously unheard of! I can’t speak highly enough of everyone involved in the scheme and would like to pass my sincere thanks on to you all for making such a difference to our lives.”

Claire Sythes

“There is a lot to take in when you first start the process, especially when, if like me, you have been coming to terms with the situation you find yourself in. Having reliable and approachable people to help you is a great way of relieving the burden. Many thanks for letting me have a voice”

Amanda Stratton

“Firstly, the scheme works very well for our family. Our PAs are people we know and trust, which is the major concern on our list, and our child’s needs are met in the same way the family would meet them. Secondly, being able to allocate hours where necessary, rather than being told dates you have to have, is a great factor. The payroll company manages to take any paperwork issues from you, which is a great help for lots of parents who live our lifestyle”

Rachel Plummer

“It is so nice that Lottie has such a wide choice of opportunities that are helping her social development, as well as giving my family the break we need. Being able to get some support for myself and child is brilliant and we are extremely happy with the whole set up. Hopefully our experience in the adult sector will be the same, as my son is now nearly eighteen. Keep up the good work, you are doing fantastic work and making a very difficult situation easier. Many thanks”

Jackie Belfield

“Just a quick note to say how valued DP is to our family. We would have extreme difficulty in coping and managing everyday without this resource that we use for help and support as and when we need it.  A family member has given up her job to be our son’s personal assistant and we no longer feel we can’t ask for help for fear of burdening her. Being able to employ her for allocated hours and a clear job description helps her feel recognised for what she does and has given up for us. Thank you direct payments”

Sarah Adams

“A direct payment is such a flexible way to receive respite and it gives you, the parent, total control.  I recruited my son’s PAs myself and they each have a set number of hours to spend with him each month. We have a flexible contract and are able to move the hours around to ensure he can do all the things he enjoys.  By tacking a couple of hours onto the end of a school day with me dropping him in school in the morning and his PA picking him up, my husband and I get a whole day to ourselves and my son gets to go out to tea or swimming, etc with his special friend. Would I change the system – no. Could we cope without it – no.”

Alison White

“I am just writing to say how helpful Janet Grey (Support Worker) has been to our family in helping us to access Direct Payments (as well as our social worker, Caroline Baker). She has been so friendly, encouraging and helpful and has made things as clear as possible. I think the fact that she uses the scheme herself means that she has a really good understanding of what families with a disabled child go through and how important it is to have a break from the relentless caring of these children. She has been fantastic”

Emma Cross

“Holly has a young PA in the week, who plays with her for an hour or two, so that I can get on with helping my other two children with their homework or making the dinner. We then have another PA (Holly’s former TA at her school, so she knows her very well), who takes her out on a Saturday for 3 hours.  The weekends can get a bit fraught, with all five of us indoors and lots of equipment, so it is nice for Holly to be taken out to either swimming, physio, the cinema, or just shopping. I think you are all doing a great job! Many thanks”

Sharon Rawles

“Direct Payments is invaluable to our family. Without it the children would miss out on normal family activities. Our son can go out like all teenagers now.”

Allison Williams

“Alistair loves spending time with his carer, time which is devoted to just his needs and we get a few hours to ourselves!”

Stephen Bailey

“Direct Payments has really helped our family to access everyday activities that other people take for granted.”

D.A. Aspland

“Direct payments has enabled us to make a huge step forward with Sam. Sam has gained confidence, independence and a huge sense of well being. Sam has been able to access Youth Club, swimming, canoeing, ice skating, travelling by car, bus and train.”

C Hornshaw