In April 2019, ILF recipients from Scotland and Northern Ireland held their inaugural joint Stakeholder Group meeting with the Scottish Minister for Public Health and Sport, Joe FitzPatrick MSP. The meeting provided an opportunity for fund recipients to share experiences of ILF Scotland and to discuss what future developments they would like to see with the Fund, such as looking at whether the Fund could be re-opened to new recipients.

These experiences included how ILF helps Stakeholders do the things other people do in their natural lives such as; study and work, attend concerts, travel, meet friends, spend quality time with family, and perhaps most importantly, have genuine choice and control over their lives.

As well as meeting with the Scottish Minister, the two groups discussed, for the first time, the future of their relationship and the joint areas of policy development that they would like to work on together.

Chair of the ILF Scotland Stakeholder Group, Dr Jim Elder-Woodward said:

“I had a great time meeting my fellow stakeholders in Northern Ireland. I’m hoping we will continue to coalesce around how to help ILF Scotland provide better services to more people. The policies and practices of ILF in both Northern Ireland and Scotland are not only inclusive and empowering, but can be seen as a prime example of how state resources can facilitate positive self-directed support outcomes, in terms of disabled people living an active meaningful life.”

Chair of the Board of ILF Scotland, Susan Douglas-Scott, commented:

“It was a great pleasure to spend time with both the Northern Ireland and Scottish Independent Living Fund Stakeholder Groups in Belfast. I was inspired by their stories and their challenges, and believe that together they have a strong voice to promote the value of Independent Living for all disabled people. Independent living needs to be fully supported by the state in order to ensure that disabled people can fully embrace their humans rights. As Chair of the Board of ILF Scotland I am fully committed to working in partnership with disabled people, supporting them to achieve their rights.”

For more information about our Scotland and Northern Ireland Stakeholder Groups, or if you are an ILF recipient who would like to be a part of either one of the groups, please contact us here.