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Taking control of your support

Having a personal assistant is a way of taking control of your support and fitting it to your circumstances, so you can live the life you want.

That’s Donna’s experience (who you can see in the video below). Being disabled due to health problems and with her partner out to work, it was hard looking after two boys of primary school age.

When social services first contacted us asking if we could help Donna the family had already tried other support agencies, without success, and the situation was urgent. We were approached on a Thursday, and by the following Monday we were supporting the family. In that time we spent two hours with Donna finding out exactly what help she needed, and found two personal assistants (PAs) – Eloise and Molly – who could fit in with Donna’s requirements. Eloise and Molly spent four hours getting to know the boys and on Monday morning took them to school for the first time. Donna says:

“Choice Support came to us in a time where our family had been through a lot of upheaval and change which had taken a toll on my boys and my health. I cannot fault the warmth, kindness and professionalism of the staff of Choice Support, they saw the situation and made the change over to their agency run as smoothly as possible always putting the needs of my boys and myself first, putting us at ease through every step.”

Since then support has settled into a pattern of six and a quarter hours a day in term times, and twelve hours a day in holidays. The PAs help the boys get up and get ready for school in the morning, and then bring them home in the afternoon, with Donna on hand to guide and say what needs to be done. As well as the practical tasks there is time left for the fun and games that all children want and need. 


PA support is completely flexible. You could have a PA for an hour a week or 30 hours a week. You could just ask us to help you find a PA and then manage them yourself, or you could ask us to manage them and look after their payroll. It all depends on what you want help with.

Kate, pictured here with her two children says "Just because I'm blind it doesn't mean I don't want to do what all the other mum's can do."

Anyone can employ PAs, but the most common route is through individual budgets. An individual budget is a sum of money local authorities give to people eligible for support, which they can use to buy the support they want. If you have an individual budget – or if you have other income – you can use it to employ your own PAs.

Please get in touch if you:

  • would like to explore using PAs for your support
  • work for a local authority and would like to discuss PAs
  • are interested in becoming a PA.

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Tags in this document: Families Personal assistants


Contact us

Families team

Email: families-team@choicesupport.org.uk
or call 0207 261 4100

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