Changes to Blue Badges

Number: 45/19                                                                                  

20th June 2019                            

Changes to Blue Badges


Blue Badges are a lifeline for disabled people, giving them the freedom and confidence to get to work and visit friends independently. The scheme already means people with physical disabilities can park closer to their destination than other drivers.

But with effect from the 30th August, new rules come into effect which will enable people with other, sometimes hidden disabilities, to be able to apply for a badge.

Just leaving the house is a challenge for many autistic people, involving detailed preparation – and sometimes overwhelming anxiety about plans going wrong. And some might not be aware of the dangers of the road or may become overwhelmed by busy or loud environments. Quite often, the possibility of not being able to find a parking space near where they’re going can mean they can’t contemplate leaving the house at all.

The new guidance, which represents the biggest change to the scheme in 50 years, will offer a lifeline to people who often find road travel difficult and help many to reduce loneliness and isolation. To coincide with this, a task group will be set up to help local authorities tackle fraudulent use of the badges, and help the public to understand that the people using a badge may not immediately appear to need one.

These changes will make a huge difference to thousands of people with non-visible disabilities, enabling them to enjoy the freedoms that many people take for granted.

More information can be found at.

Learning Disability Week 2019


Number: 44/19                                                                                                                  19th June 2019                                                                                                                                                                           

Learning Disability Week 2019


Learning Disability Week 2019 focuses on Sport and inclusion; in a survey of over 300 18 to 35 years olds with a learning disability 49% responded to say they would like to spend more time outside their house and 18% feel alone and cut off. Our Mission and Vision are at the core of the work that we do with people affected by disabilities; empowering them to exercise choice and control, live independent lives and actively participate in society.

LDWeek 2019 is a fantastic way to raise awareness of the isolation people with a disability face.  We are proud that our staff are committed to encouraging and facilitating service users’ hobbies, holidays, sporting endeavours and social lives; from Yam Jams parties to cycle rides; trips to London and creative workshops; participating in these all help to empower people to lead an independent life and feel part of society.

In addition, SIL is the only organisation in Herefordshire to have been awarded Disability Confident Leader status. This is in respect of the work that we do to challenge attitudes towards disability, and our dedication to recruiting and retaining disabled workers.

A minimum of 51% of the Board of Trustees are disabled people or a family carer who bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge which ensures SIL is the provider of choice for anyone with a disability seeking to live their life to the full.



Services for Independent Living is supporting ‘Getting Carers Connected’ this Carers Week

News Release 43/19

11th June 2019

10th – 16th June is Carers Week this year, and the need to support people who care for partners,  relatives and friends who can’t manage alone is greater than ever.  There are an estimated 6.5 million people in Britain providing care, and often they are juggling this with looking after children and paid employment.

Services for Independent Living(SIL) is inviting carers, services and businesses to recognise and support unpaid carers this Carers Week and celebrate the vital contribution made by carers in Herefordshire.

Shelagh Callaghan, SIL’s Head of Marketing and DPSS said: “It’s hugely important our community recognises the contribution of unpaid carers this Carers Week. We work with a great many families with caring responsibilities; looking after someone can be a hugely rewarding experience, but it sometimes comes with its difficulties, including getting the right support. This Carers Week all parts of the community – family and friends, employers, businesses, schools, health and care services – have a role to play in getting carers connected to the information and support they need.”

“SIL shares information on national and local support groups on our website and social media.  In addition all of our services are not just about supporting the individual with the support plan or budget but improving and empowering the whole family”.

Hundreds of events are taking place across the country during Carers Week and many people have already pledged their support for carers online. To find out more about events in Herefordshire visit