Re-established community co-operation and contribution making a Social Care system fit for the 21st Century, inclusively supporting individuals for who they are rather than highlighting their personal weaknesses.
All members of Free to Live are individuals who require some form of help to live independently using either a Personal Budget or Direct Payments and live in the Leeds area. We have set up this site to help other people in Leeds who manage their own care – or would like to know more about doing so. Our informal advice and support is free, impartial and confidential. If we can’t give you the answer to a question, we’ll let you know who can. We want to re-write the social model on disability so that it is no longer a reason for inclusion or exclusion, and make it so that those needing extra help to live their lives are not pigeon-holed into any one particular category.
What we do
We share our experience and knowledge with those already using the Social Care system and encourage those who aren’t already to adopt it. As well as offering peer support through this website, we consult with Leeds City Council and other social care providers. We meet monthly to discuss our peer support and consultation work, at the Leeds Centre for Integrated Living. The meetings are informal discussions, sometimes involving lunch and other activities. We also sometimes have ad hoc get-togethers to discuss other things.
Aims and Objectives
- Provide group members with Peer Support and open invite for individuals to attend group meetings for Peer Support
- Engage with the Council and local service providers
- Open a dialogue between service users and service providers
- Be run independently and be accountable to ourselves
- Replicate our success with support groups of similar sizes across the country in one unified network
- Help educate and train the next generation of workers within the Social Care system, through regular work with local and national institutions.
- Change cultural perceptions on an individual’s need for Social Care
- Facilitate full social integration so that those that require some element of care are automatically seen as the individuals they are, rather than being grouped or labelled
- Seek an end to positive and negative discrimination
Join the network!
We’re always interested in hearing from people who would like to join the network. You just need to live near Leeds, and be a personal budget or direct payments user – and confident enough to be able to advise other people (you don’t have to be an expert!). Monthly meetings are optional – you can just ask to be kept on the mailing list so you know what’s happening!
If you would like to join the network you can find all our details on our contact page.