Disabled people in Wales are set to benefit from a new, pioneering way of receiving social care, thanks to a scheme being officially rolled out across Wales.

The ‘Together as One’ project, launched by the disability charity Leonard Cheshire, will offer people who receive social care the option to take part in shared social and sporting activities with other disabled people living locally. This scheme allows disabled people the option to connect with others with similar interests develop friendships and develop digital skills.

Leonard Cheshire is working with Reason Digital, a digital social enterprise which specialises in working with charities, to create an online hub which offers shared carer resource for disabled people wanting to attend social activities.

Neil Heslop, Chief Executive Officer of Leonard Cheshire, announced the launch the new scheme at the National Assembly of Wales, alongside First Minister Mark Drakeford AM and Rebecca Evans AM, Finance and Trefnydd Minister.

Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales and Leader of Welsh Labour, said:

“I am very pleased to be sponsoring the introduction of this innovative scheme, which aims to bring people together and give them a real say in how they access their care. Its key objectives of reducing social isolation, increasing digital literacy and empowering people who receive direct payments, are all to be commended.

“Enabling Local Authorities to increase capacity and identify opportunities for reinvestment in social care are at the heart of the Innovate to Save Fund*. We hope the pilot of this scheme in Anglesey will do exactly that and that its success can then be replicated across Wales.”

The national launch of the scheme follows a successful trial in Anglesey last year, where participants took part in activities including drama workshops and photography sessions.

One young participant, Gary, said:

“Together as One has boosted my confidence and opened up more opportunities for me.”

Matt Haworth, who co-founded Reason Digital in 2008 with a mission to use digital to do good and only work on projects that ‘have a positive social impact on people and improve lives,’ said:

“We are partnering with Leonard Cheshire to develop a specialist online hub, which will ultimately empower disabled people to be able to attend and take part in more social activities, by offering opportunities to pool carer resources.

“This project builds on many of the recent digital tools we’ve created for charities which share the common theme of enabling users to take control of their lives.”

Neil Heslop, Chief Executive Officer at Leonard Cheshire, said:

“We are delighted to usher in a new pioneering approach to social care. Disabled people need to have more of a say, and more control of their care, and the Together as One initiative delivers it.

“Response to the pilot scheme has been very positive and we now want to bring its benefits to communities in the rest of Wales.”

 Leonard Cheshire was the first provider to be awarded £1million from the Welsh government to deliver the new care scheme over the next three years.

 The charity is now rolling the scheme out to communities across Wales.

About Leonard Cheshire

We are Leonard Cheshire – supporting individuals to live, learn and work as independently as they choose, whatever their ability. Led by people with experience of disability, we are at the heart of local life – opening doors to opportunity, choice and support in communities around the globe. Leading by example, we do everything humanly possible to empower people to live their lives as freely and as fully as they choose.

Visit: www.leonardcheshire.org or follow us on twitter: @leonardcheshire

About Innovate to Save

Innovate to Save is a £5million programme supported by Welsh Government, seeking to tackle some of the most complex issues currently facing our public services – while generating cashable savings. Through grant funding, non-financial support and repayable loans, it will support public and third sector organisations to prototype, trial, scale and evaluate innovative projects.

For Leonard Cheshire to raise income realised through savings for each local authority, it will be required that the local authorities and Leonard Cheshire enter a mutually agreed contract for the roll out of the scheme. 

About Reason Digital

Since launching in 2008, Reason has worked on several notable projects for leading third-sector organisations, including:

Designing and building a new website for Alzheimer’s Research UK, resulting in a 50% increase in traffic, 20% increase in average time spent on pages, and a 53% increase in resource downloads

Creating a website cloning system for The Trussell Trust, enabling 50% of foodbanks to deploy their own local site within 4 months, and an 80% reduction in overall hosting costs

Launching a fundraising coaching platform for Teenage Cancer Trust’s partnership with the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon, driving 1,300 applications to run on behalf of Teenage Cancer Trust in the first two months of launch

Developing SafetyNets, an app to protect the lives of sex workers discreetly. It works by empowering sex workers to share time-critical safety alerts with others nearby, using smartphones

Reason Digital has worked with 300 charities and non-profit organisations, in 70 locations and is currently celebrating its 10-year anniversary. It offers services including website design and development, mobile apps, fundraising, animations, campaigns, research and digital strategies: