Francesca is 55 and has been a recipient of ILF and ILF Scotland for 10 years. She is a woman with a generous nature, a highly infectious laughter and a happy smile.
Her ILF Scotland award allows her to pay for two support workers, who assist her during evenings and weekends, to participate in numerous activities, however her favourite thing to do is to attend her local zumba class. She thoroughly enjoys the socialisation and interaction that she has with other group members and has now made many new friends as a result of her participation in this class.
Francesca’s mum, Sarah, explains, “Prior to Francesca receiving ILF and ILF Scotland funding, she was restricted to a specific number of hours and days of support from a local day centre, with limited access to a wide variety of activities. However, her ILF Scotland award has significantly improved her life for the better. Since participating in her zumba class, I have seen such a dramatic increase in the level of Francesca’s confidence that she now even helps the zumba instructor demonstrate some of the sequences for the class! By attending zumba, Francesca has also greatly improved her mobility and coordination, guaranteeing positive overall physical and mental health”.
Prior to her involvement in zumba, Francesca’s speech was incredibly limited, however through the ability to interact and socialise with others during the class, Francesca has strongly improved her communication skills. She now has so much more confidence in this area that she recognises she can also communicate in other ways and is developing her use of Makaton Sign Language. This a great additional skill for Francesca and enables her to live more independently.
Sarah also states, “Francesca’s award over the last 10 years has changed her life forever and the skills that she has developed and achieved would not have been possible without the funding she has received. Undoubtedly, without her ILF Scotland award, Francesca would be unable to attend her favourite zumba class and obtain all the benefits that brings. She would also be highly restricted in the things she could participate in. As I would no longer be able to take Francesca out to attend activities, like her favourite zumba class, she would become socially isolated, restless and bored”.
Francesca’s understanding is that her ILF Scotland award has made an insurmountable difference and, since being in receipt of it, is now “loving life”.