Surrey Independent Living Charity (SILC)

Charity of the Month

About Surrey Independent Living Charity (SILC)

Surrey Independent Living Charity (SILC) was founded in 1997 and has been working since then to provide support and information to enable more disabled people to live independently.

Their vision is that every disabled adult, child, older person, and carer in Surrey will be able to live more independently, with the same freedoms and opportunities as anyone else.

As a user-led organisation, they have an in-depth and personal understanding of the challenges facing disabled people in our county and a strong desire to provide the right support services to them.

SILC provides a range of services to help their clients remain independent and feel supported. They assist with lots of areas like supporting clients to recruit and employ care workers and Personal Assistants (PA), training for employers of PAs and PA training, practical advice on staying safe and independent at home and support with budgets, bank accounts and financial management. 

Surrey Independent Living Charity (SILC)'S Challenges

SILC have always had a large demand for their services, and they continue to see this demand increase. This is due to:

  • A lack of other services for their clients to access
  • Difficult circumstances for many of their clients due to factors such as the cost-of-living crisis, cuts to local authority and NHS budgets, and benefit changes, etc.
  • Clients are having difficulties recruiting Personal Assistants to provide them with the care and support they need, so require a greater level of support from SILC

It is also a difficult time for charities generally regarding fundraising and lack of volunteers and SILC have struggled to meet the rising demand with increasingly stretched budgets and expanding operating costs.

Donors have the ability to make a transformational impact on their services, find out more about the work SILC are doing and the impact that it is having by reading some of their case studies.

SILC's Achievements / Goals

Since April 2023 SILC have received 1,071 new referrals from people needing out support and helped 1,758 people.

Two examples of the outcomes they have achieved are:

Luke’s story – Luke has a learning disability and their support enabled Luke to employ a Personal Assistant to help him not only cope with day-to-day tasks and develop his domestic skills, but also to pursue hobbies and interests and have the confidence to build this into a small business.

Sam’s story – SILC supported Sam to access the right funding to ensure that she could employ a PA to help care for her daughter’s complex needs. SILC helped Sam to arrange the correct training and insurance for the PA so that Sam can get a break from her caring role, knowing that her daughter’s needs are being met by a PA with appropriate training and experience.

SILC consistently receives positive feedback from their service users. Some examples include:

  • When we first received direct payments, we were lost. SILC helped explain everything and helped with contracts and a DBS check.
  • Paperwork can be puzzling at times and having SILC to call/email is very helpful. They are a lifeline.
  • Very helpful and beneficial advice, as I wasn’t doing payroll correctly before their help.
  • The prospect of going through the employment process was daunting, but SILC simplified matters and provided thorough support and guidance.
  • I felt relieved to be able to access SILC’s services and get their support, and most importantly, not judged.
  • Excellent support and advice regarding PA recruitment and set up and other aspects in relation to PA hours, contracts etc.
  • SILC were supportive, friendly, and informative, they helped me during a very difficult time.
  • There would have been a lot to do on my own (when becoming an employer of a PA) and it was very daunting. SILC’s support made a big difference. The process was seamless, and I am very grateful.
  • SILC’s support was faultless. They were patient, clearly explaining what to do and guiding me through the process.
  • You would not believe how good it is to have someone on your side. I felt safe, valued and not alone.

Surrey Independent Living Charity's Social Channels

Donate to Surrey Independent Living Charity here, or check out their social media channels below!

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