I am a 59 year old SCOPE services user aand have been a service user with either SCOPE or the former Spastics Society for most of my adult life. Going away (preferably abroad) for at least one week's annual holiday is extremely important but highly expensive for me. I have only a minimal income like so many disabled individuals.
For some years now SCOPE Staff have not been allowed to go away with service users. My understanding of this policy change is that it arises from the limitations related to "Lifting and Handling". Thus, I now have to pay for an enabler to go away on holiday with me. I have been fortunate to find a very good enabler but the extra costs of making use of this facility are very considerable. I manage to cover the costs of going abroad with the private enablement service for just one week per year. Whereas in former years when SCOPE Staff could act as our enablers I was able to enjoy some short holidays in the UK throughout the year this is now prohibitive to me due to the costs of enablement. My lifestyle is therefore considerably the poorer!
My needs for lifting and handling are minimal. I am very independent. I always pay for good accessible accommodation and such accommodation is now much more available for disabled holidaymakers. The very limited personal enablement needs that I have could easily be satisfied by use of a hoist if necessary. Thus, I cannot understand why I cannot continue to have a member of SCOPE Staff go away on holiday with me.
Please will you explain to me why - given my minimal enablement needs - I should be denied the opportunity to draw upon SCOPE Staff availability instead of having to pay out for costly privately run services?
From a very frustrated SCOPE service user.