With well over 200 local people benefitting from a Disabled Facility Grant in the past year, Amber Valley Borough Council has taken its expenditure on adaptations beyond the £1m mark.
The 207 completed projects represent a wide range of initiatives ranging from simple stairlifts to complete house extensions. The Council works very closely with Derbyshire County Council to deliver these much-needed adaptations for residents who are struggling to access facilities in their home.
One recent adaptation, and typical of the work the Council facilitates was for Pastor Andrew Miles in Belper. Andrew has benefitted from a level-access shower. He sustained a spinal cord injury in a car crash while working in Brazil and returned to the UK for surgery and rehab and now uses a wheelchair for mobility.
Commenting on the work Andrew said: “My independence is key for me and the shower has helped enable this. I never imagined the difference this would make. I mostly can get showered without help now and this means so much to me. The guys that did the job were fantastic!”
In the last five years the Council has given the green light to help around 880 households, representing around £4.4million of funding from both Central Government and its own resources.
Disabled Facility Grants are available from local authorities like Amber Valley Borough Counciland are issued subject to a means test. They are available for essential adaptations to give disabled people better freedom of movement into and around their homes, and to give access to essential facilities within the home.
The type of work that mandatory DFGs can cover includes;
- making it easier to get into and out of the dwelling by, for example, widening doors and installing ramps
- ensuring the safety of the disabled person and other occupants by, for example, providing a specially adapted room in which it would be safe to leave a disabled person unattended, or improved lighting to ensure better visibility;
- making access easier to the living room
- providing or improving access to the bedroom, and kitchen toilet, washbasin and bath (and/or shower) facilities; for example, by installing a stair lift or providing a downstairs bathroom
- improving or providing a heating system in the home which is suitable to the needs of the disabled person
- adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
- improving access and movement around the home to enable the disabled person to care for another person who lives in the property, such as a spouse, child or another person for whom the disabled person cares.
The Council received just over £1million from the Better Care Fund to help finance work.
Pictured – Pastor Andrew Miles on a Walk for Life fundraising event.