New guide on personal budgets to help seriously ill young people take control of their care

Categories: Care.

Using simple and clear language, the guide explains what a personal budget is and how they can be managed and used.

It also features three case studies involving young people, Heidi, Leah and Chris, who all have experience of managing a personal budget.

Leah, who has had a personal budget since 2008, describes it as the “best thing ever to happen for [her]”.

“It gave me the freedom and means to explore life just like other people my age,” she told the Together for Short Lives website.

“It allowed me to find myself and learn to be the person I am today. I have always had a determination to do what others have done and the personal budget has allowed me to do that. It has given me the independence I craved and allowed me choice and control for the first time in my life.”

The guide goes into detail about the different types of personal budget, outlining what each can offer a young person with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. It also gives advice on how to manage and review a personal budget, as well as pointing readers in the direction of further sources of help and guidance.

Lizzie Chambers, development director at Together for Short Lives, explained: “Young people with life-limiting conditions, like all young people, just want to get on with their life, achieve their ambitions and live life to the full. Sadly these young people can struggle to get the care and support that’s right for them.

“Personal budgets can give young people more freedom, help them have more control and more choice. The Young person’s guide to personal budgets in England has been written for young people with their needs in mind and aims to help them decide if a personal budget is right for them as well as answering any questions they may have.”

The guide has been written for Together for Short Lives by In Control, a charity whose aim is to build “an inclusive society where everyone has the support they need to live a good life and make a valued contribution.”

Nic Crosby, director for children and young people at In Control, added: “It has been great working with an organisation so committed to making young people’s voices so central to their work.

“This resource is a real example of co-production in action and a very valuable addition to information about personal budgets for young people. The real life stories from Chris, Leah and Heidi bring to life how personal budgets can have a really positive impact on the support young people are receiving, their lives and the lives of people who love and care for them.”

The guide can be downloaded for free from the Together for Short Lives website.

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