The Swaffham Crier Online

Personalised approach to social care

It's all about us!

For people in need of social care, Self-Directed Support gives them choice over when and how they are supported to live their lives. Following assessment, individuals eligible for support are allocated a Personal Budget. This is an upfront sum of money for them to plan the support they need to meet their assessed needs. It means that if they want to people can choose to manage their own support through a Direct Payment, or they can ask someone to manage it for them. In some cases they may still be expected to make a contribution -subject to financial resources -to the cost of their support.

But Self-Directed Support is not just about how an individual's support is managed. It really can change lives as demonstrated by a new film It's all about us! Made by a group of individuals who use services, their carers and social care professionals together with Stories Projects in Film and Cambridgeshire County Council, the film shows how Self-Directed Support is enabling Tim, Annie, Darren, Fran, Ushka, Steve, Malcolm and Mick to live independently, stay healthy, exercise choice and control over their own lives, be part of their communities and to do the things that are important to them. It demonstrates how despite age, disability or ill health, Self-Directed Support enables people to lead a life as fulfilled as possible. "It's quite unbelievable really," says Mick, "the things that I can do now I never even dreamed of I'd be able to do again. It's like being back before I was ill. It's given me a new lease of life."

The film was premiered to an invited audience at the Arts Picturehouse in Cambridge who provided their facilities free of charge through the Cambridge Film Trust.

You can loan a copy of It's all about us! from your local library. The stories featured are also available on the County Council website at

If you think you may be eligible for social care support you should phone Cambridgeshire Direct on 0345 045 5202, or if you have a mental health need speak to your GP.