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User Group Review 2003


New User Group Members

At the September 2002 meeting the User Group felt that our membership should be expanded. We agreed that there should be a minimum of 10 members of the group.

ILF Users in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire were approached to join the Group. New members joined in March 2003 and in May 2003, and another 2 or 3 people have expressed an interest; hopefully they will be attending the September 2003 meeting.

New Premises

The ILF move to new premises in January 2003 had a positive impact on the User Group. The building and facilities are an improvement for everyone. (The January 2003 User group, meeting was cancelled because of the move of premises.)

Opening of new premises, meeting with Maria Eagle

Two members of the group and myself attended the opening on 12th March 2003. We met with the Minister of Disabled People, Maria Eagle, Trustees, and staff. This gave us the opportunity to highlight the User Group’s involvement and achievements.

The new User Guide literature, which we advised on, was displayed, and received positive feedback. Maria Eagle looked at the User Guide and discussed it with the Chair of the ILF User Group. She was very interested in our involvement and expertise, congratulating us on our input.

Annual Report

The User Group suggested some information they would like to see in the Annual Report, as follows:

  • ILF users should have a more prominent place in the report. “A day in the life of...” was also suggested.
  • Photographs in the Annual Report should be brought up to date, also showing ILF Users doing something rather than just smiling.

Liason Worker

Following the First Year Review of the User Group we suggested that the group was growing to an extent that we would benefit from a dedicated Worker. Holly gave us enormous support, but she was actually performing two roles! Kate Blenkinsop became our Liason Worker in May 2003.

A regular newsletter for ILF Users will be one of Kate’s first tasks. The first newsletter will be distributed to ILF Users in September 2003. The user group have been involved with giving their ideas of the contents of the newsletter.

Definition of Personal Care

We were asked for our suggestions on the definition of ‘Personal care’. The definition used in the Trust Deed was quite narrow and consideration may be given to redefine the term. We raised the following points:

  • The definition of Personal Care was restricted to the home and did not cover social activities.
  • The definition needs to ensure that people with impairments have equal opportunities to do everything they choose to do.
  • The definition of Personal Care is actually very wide, as anything a person chooses to do is personal to them – everyone has a unique lifestyle.
  • There is no mention of quality of life within the definition
  • All day to day activities should be included within the definition, although it was agreed that this may be quite difficult because of the individuality of the ILF users.
  • We agreed that we wanted a definition of Personal Care that underpinned the principles of Independent Living.

Inland Revenue Research

The Inland Revenue were carrying out research into the Simplified Deduction Scheme. Some members of the User Group gave their individual response to the researchers.

A researcher for the Inland Revenue was invited to our May 2003 meeting to enable the User Group to hear about the findings of the research and give a group response.

Freedom of Information Act

We were asked our opinions of the Freedom of Information Act, the information the ILF publishes. Our comments included:

  • The minutes of the User Group meetings should be available as hard copies, also made available to the website.
  • Staff, how many, which department do they work in.
  • Statistics of ILF Users - information about people rather than their impairments.
  • Comparative statistics, e.g. what happened over the last 5 years.
  • Large print copies
  • The User Group and the expansion of the consultation process.
  • The stages of application to the ILF
  • The Criminal Records Bureau, more information is required.

Disability Equality Training for ILF staff

We felt very strongly that the training should be by a disabled person. The User Group are in the process of passing their ideas of what Disability Equality Training may be useful to the ILF.


The User Group have recently written a glossary of acceptable and unacceptable terminology, to encourage consistent use of language, which will benefit the ILF staff during their communication with ILF Users.

Members of the User Group 2003

The group currently consists of 11 members who attend regularly. The members live in 6 local authority areas. 7 members are users of the Funds, (5 1993 Fund users and 2 Extension Fund users). 4 members are parents whose sons receive help from the Funds.

The areas represented are:

Derby City
Leicester City
Nottingham City

The Sheffield local authority area has also been represented but presently there are no members from the area.

ILF User Group Chair
September 2003

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