Direct payments - Donna's story
It is a breezy but sunny day. Donna, a young woman rides along the pavement in her electric wheelchair on her way home from shopping in town.
Donna arrives home, we join her sitting on her settee chatting with Paul from Kent County Council about her experiences of setting up and using a direct payment.
Donna: Hello, my name’s Donna and I’ve been using direct payments for over 14 years.
Donna: So, direct payments gives me flexibility, gives me control over my life, and it enables me to live in my own home.
Without direct payments, I would not be able to live independently.
[Paul nods and listens]
Donna: When I was born, mum and dad got a bit of a surprise. I was born with a condition, a form of dwarfism. I always knew growing up that to live on my own I would need some support.
[Donna shows Paul photographs of herself growing up and having fun as a child]
Donna: I only have five hours support a week, which doesn’t sound a lot, but actually, it’s perfect.
[Donna and Paul sit on the sofa looking though photographs which show Donna having a full and independent life]
Donna: Originally I had an agency, now I have a PA. Because I know her, we’ll have a chat, if she’s doing the ironing for me and I’m here, we’ll have a cuppa and sit on the sofa, and have a chat and a catch up on what’s going on in each other’s worlds.
If someone is interested in direct payments I would say go for it. There is support out there with the direct payment coordinators who can help you through the process.
[Donna and Paul talk on the sofa]
Donna: Have a look at your social network, if you decide to employ a PA or self employed PA. Take a look at your social network, is there somebody within that network who can support you? And there are also websites out there, where you can advertise for the support of a PA.
I felt really supported throughout the process.
It gives you independence, support and control in your life.
In all our lives, especially for disabled people there are things we can’t control. So it’s really great to have some part of your life that you can control.
[we see an image of Donna leaving home going into town in her electric wheelchair, the sun is shining and Donna is smiling as she goes along the pavement]
I would certainly recommend direct payments if you want choice and control, it’s easy to set up and once it’s set up it’s brilliant, it gives you that independence that we all want.
[Title card] Find out more at www.kent.gov.uk and search direct payments
[Logo] Kent County Council