Zara has been a recipient of ILF (and now ILF Scotland) for 24 years. She is a socially active person who thoroughly enjoys going out, making people laugh and being a part of her community.

She loves participating in a variety of activities, ranging from nights at music concerts, to evenings at pub quizzes, to Saturday afternoons visiting her favourite local shops to evenings of beauty pampering and massage. Her ILF Scotland award allows her to employ two Personal Assistants (PAs) who facilitate her engagement in these social activities, during evenings and weekends.

Zara’s participation in these activities enables her to interact more regularly with those in her community, be more confident and feel more relaxed. This leads to Zara feeling happier and far less agitated.

Zara’s mum, Claire, explained, “I’ve always wanted to give Zara a normal life. ILF Scotland funding not only gives Zara a life, but it also gives me a life. Zara’s ILF Scotland award provides so many additional benefits, improving the quality of her life enormously. Without it, she would only be able to go out three days a week to a day centre, with limited access to a wide variety of activities. This would lead to Zara being unable to participate in the things that she loves and that enable her to feel an inclusive part of her local community”.

Claire continued, “Undoubtedly, without this social interaction and stimulation, Zara would become bored, lonely and socially isolated, particularly during the evenings and weekends. This would have a devastating impact on Zara and her current ability to live her life independently, potentially leading to a risk of being forced into residential care”.

Zara’s belief is that her ILF Scotland award empowers her to have the necessary choice and control over her life and how she can live it independently and to the fullest.