Entourage UK had the pleasure of delivering a conference in Glasgow for our new client C-Change Scotland. The Conference debated the rights of those with learning disabilities to live full lives of their own choosing. The keynote speaker, Sandy McGregor, had spent 37 years in residential care, from the age of 8, following a brain injury sustained in a traffic accident.
Sandy told delegates at the sold-out conference that he did not appreciate that he had a right to a voice, or to be listened to, until well into his forties when the residential institution which looked after him was closed and he was re-housed within the community.
Now supported by charity and conference hosts, C-Change Scotland, Sandy lives much more independently; got married last year and is currently planning his second holiday abroad.
The conference heard from a range of speakers involved in Social Care about the benefits to individuals and the State of Self Directed Support (SDS); allowing people greater freedom to choose the care package they need, rather than having it imposed on them.
Dr Sam Smith, C-Change CEO, said, “When he realised he not only had the right to opinions but that we were genuinely interested in hearing them, Sandy’s attitude changed immeasurably. He is a lovely man and now an outspoken advocate for SDS. We worked closely with him to dismantle some pretty pointless restrictions which limited his life and it has been a true pleasure to see Sandy retake control over his life and choices.
“C-Change Scotland passionately believes in the human right of any individual to self-determination. Success for us is when someone builds sufficient independence to reduce their dependence on us – or indeed does not need us at all any more.”
The conference sold out quickly and delegates included Local Authority and political decision makers; care providers; families and individuals keen to hear more about SDS and their rights to greater choice and autonomy.