Council disability grants pass £1million for the year

Pastor Andrew Miles has had a level-access shower installed at his home.
Pastor Andrew Miles has had a level-access shower installed at his home.

Amber Valley Borough Council has completed more than 200 home adaptation projects for disabled people in the last year, worth over £1million.

The borough council works closely with Derbyshire County Council to deliver much-needed adaptations for residents who are struggling to access facilities in their home.

The 207 projects represent a wide range of initiatives ranging from simple stairlifts to complete house extensions.

One of the most recent was for Pastor Andrew Miles in Belper, who requires a wheelchair for mobility after sustaining spinal injuries in a car crash.

Andrew asked the council to install a level-access shower 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 too.”

The announcement comes as the council wraps up its accounts for the financial year and compiles reports on the Disabled Facilities Grant programme.

Grants are available from all local authorities and 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 the ability to carry out essential tasks of daily life.

The type of work that grants can cover includes widening doors and installing ramps, lighting to improve visibility, stair lifts, downstairs bathrooms, and control systems for heating and lighting.

They can also fund room adjustments to help other people who live in the property such as a spouse, child or anyone else for whom the disabled person is a carer.

In the last five years the Amber Valley has given the green light to help around 880 households, representing around £4.4m of funding from both central Government and its own resources.

The council received just over £1m from the Better Care Fund to help finance work in 2016/17.

If you think that you or a member of your family may require works on a property, you can contact the council’s grant fund team to find out more by calling 01773 841443 or writing to housinggrants@ambervalley.gov.uk.

Before the council can accept a grant application, they will need a referral from an occupational therapist or community care worker following an assessment of the needs of the disabled person.

To request an assessment, contact the social care office via 01629 533190.

A preliminary test of resources will be carried out at an early stage to estimate whether you may have any contribution to make towards the cost of works. Children’s adaptations are currently not subject to a means test.