28-year old Michaela Hollywood is a campaigns officer at Muscular Dystrophy UK and an ILF recipient. Michaela lives with a genetic condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which means that her mobility is limited, and she requires regular care. The support from ILF means that Michaela can fund personal assistants to meet her care needs, which in turn allows her to lead a more independent life.
"My personal assistants (PAs) are an extension of my arms and legs – from being able to get me out of bed, to supporting my driving and being able to fulfil my potential, my PAs play an essential role in my life. They can help me with the everyday things which are really important to me, allowing me to live independently."
Since Michaela first started receiving support from ILF when she was 17 years old, she has gone on to complete an undergraduate degree in PR and has a Masters in PR and Communication, specialising in Political Lobbying. Michaela has also recently passed her driving test.
"Receiving support from ILF has allowed me to achieve goals that previously would not have been possible. I’ve been able to support more fundraising, and I have recently joined a political party to try to shape disability policy and legislation in Northern Ireland more directly. I have also been able to become more active in my community and am able to go on social outings more often."
ILF Scotland, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Government, provides funding and support for over 400 people in Northern Ireland and has done since 1st July 2015.
This funding allows people living with a disability in Northern Ireland to lead more independent lives and actively participate in their communities. Do you have a story to share with ILF Scotland? We’d love to hear from you.
If you would like to get in touch with ILF Scotland, please click here.