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This month we met with several family carers in a socially distanced fashion in our event space whilst their children took part in our Art Breaks programme in our studio spaces. An artist maker from our studio programme and their family also joined us online via Zoom. It was great to catch-up and talk about some of the challenges during this time as well as finding a way to celebrate the positives. The sound of creative chaos unfolding in the studio space below reinforcing the fact that we all need a break away and a change of scenery to take stock.

Some people are at crossroads, either approaching transition to adult services or looking for more support to enable greater independence in the community. Conversation turned to how to go about getting a Personal Budget for greater control over the way in which they are supported to live their lives. We discussed particular situations relating to finding the right support, employment and options for independent living. Resources shared are summarised below.

Following our announcement of free training to support families, we have received questions about how to go about securing a Personal Budget for a person with complex support needs.

What are Personal Budgets and Direct Payments?

A personal budget is an agreed amount of money a local council will pay towards any social care and support an individual needs. The money in your personal budget can be paid to the individual, to help them make more decisions about how it’s spent with the support of their carers. You will usually need to set up a separate bank account for Direct Payments to be paid into. The budget may be used to pay support workers to enable greater independence in the community and access to services.

Find out more:

These free resources from Independent Lives give an overview of managing a personal budget. Including an introduction to being an employer, recording costs and managing your financial records, and setting up processes to manage your staff.

What about Personal Health Budgets?

A personal health budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support health and wellbeing needs, which is planned and agreed between an individual or (or someone who represents them), and their local NHS team. A person may be eligible for a PHB if they have a primary health care need and receive Continuing Healthcare Funding.

A personal health budgets gives greater control over managing healthcare and support such as treatments, equipment, personal care and maintaining independence in the community. It works in a similar way to personal budgets, which allow people to manage and pay for their social care needs.

For further information about Continuing Healthcare and the National Framework visit:

For more information about Personal Health Budgets visit:

If you’d like to find out more about the options open to the person you support and how we can help you, visit:

Training announcement

The meet-up was a chance to bring everyone up to speed on the latest training and development for family carers and support workers through our Support Collective programme. The training is open to family carers and support workers supporting adults (18 years +) through a Personal Budget or an Education, Health & Care Plan from Adult Social Care. There are limited places available for people funded through Personal Health Budgets, or people who support someone aged under 18 – please contact Esther to check availability.

You can find out more by visiting:

Useful resources

Social Stories – We discussed useful resources to help guide conversations and reassure during the current Covid era. Books Beyond words have published a series of picture stories to support people with learning disabilities and autism through the coronavirus pandemic:

Looking after a child or young person’s mental health – guidance formulated by researchers and NHS mental health specialists:

The Art Room – free projects for primary aged children to make at home or school together with parents, carers or teachers:

Next steps

We have invited representatives from East Sussex County Council to join the Support Collective and share the latest information about Personal Budgets under Adult Social Care with families and care-givers.

Find out more about how we can support you to plan for the future: