Carol McGrath from Direct Payments Calderdale was our visiting speaker this month and she outlined some extremely useful information and advice on the service they provide:
Anyone who has had an assessment from Calderdale Council that identifies a need for care or support can ask for a direct payment. This is a cash payment made directly to an individual, with the amount granted depending on individual levels of need.
A direct payment is not a social security benefit and will not affect entitlement to any means-tested benefits such as Housing or Council Tax Benefit and Income Support. An individual may spend the money as they see fit, as long as it is only used to meet their assessed needs; examples include: buying care support from a care agency, paying for short breaks, going to private day centres, employing personal assistants and buying equipment to maintain independence. Assistance is available throughout the process and the team assist in all matters relating to setting up and managing direct payments.
Following the information session, everyone got actively involved with our gardening activity, where we planted a variety of garden herbs in jars and tried to recall the different meals and meats that the herbs complement. All of the jars were taken home to grow on windowsills and hopefully in our next session, we will be able to bring them back for a multi-sensory blindfolding activity focusing on textures, smells and tastes. We are all crossing our fingers that we will have some substantial herbs to bring back with us in the next session or two!