There are various sources of funding, from government agencies and charities, supporting disabled people to live independent lives. The grants are available to disabled individuals as well as groups working with the youth. Financial grants will help you with everything from participating in the arts, short breaks for carers, contributing to your heating costs, starting driving, moving home, among other situations.
Are you a budding artist, musician or disability arts group?
If you are a disabled individual with an interest in music or the arts or you organise and run a group for disabled artists, there grants for disability arts you can turn to for financial support. Music instruments can be expensive, and trying to kit out an entire band or orchestra even more so. Below are a couple of grants for music and arts for people with disabilities, they cover both individuals and groups:
- EMI Music Sound Foundation – The EMI MSF grant is available to individuals in education and provides funding for music instrument and equipment purchase. Schools can also apply for the grant so that they can provide music education e.g. paying for music teachers, equipment or workshops. Music teachers can also seek funding to develop their courses in schools, making music more accessible. Exceptionally talented musicians can apply for bursaries to study at music colleges in the UK and Ireland.
- Youth Music Network (YMN) – provides financial support to groups working with young people to make music more accessible and help it change their lives for the better. YMN supports youths and young children with behavior problems, sensory disabilities or impairments, youngsters who cannot afford to participate in music and young people from challenging backgrounds.
- Music for Alice – A charitable foundation formed in the memory of Alice Macgill, the charity works with groups championing accessibility to music for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as those with disabilities.
Carer and need a short break? These resources will help.
Caring for a loved one can leave you drained both physically and emotionally, especially if you are a full time carer. It can easily turn into a tedious routine and have damaging consequences on the carer’s health and well being. For this reason, it is crucial that carers get some time off to do something out of routine and relaxing. There are a number of grants for carers which you may access for some well needed time away including the following:
- Respite and replacement care – allows you to replace the care you would normally provide as a carer. If you are struggling and overworked, you may consider discussing your needs with your local authority. They may provide overnight respite care so that you can get a good night’s rest. Longer term respite care may be available. Speak to your local council about the available options.
- Extended respite breaks – as a full time carer you have a carer’s assessment which looks at your needs and support requirements. Local council’s may contribute financially to your holiday short breaks if you’re eligible for a grant. You can then use the grant to pay for a carer while you’re away or book a holiday. Funding sources include the following:
- Local authority or council funding.
- Funding and grants from charities – examples include Saga Respite for Carers Trust, The Family Fund, Children’s Country Holiday Fund plus many more.
The levels and nature of grants will vary depending on each organisation. Give yourself a chance to recharge and revitalise, whether you go away on your own or with the person you care for. Affording a short getaway is always a worry and the above resources should help you find the support you need to make this happen.
Get Help with Energy Bills with Energy Saving Grants
Gas and electricity bills are a strain on the budgets for many families. For the elderly and disabled who have lower incomes and huge care expenses, they may eventually become unmanageable. A range of support systems are in place, from both the energy companies as well as charitable organisations. Money Advice charities, as well as the Citizen Advice Bureau can offer support in managing your finances and keeping on top of your bills.
Using Third Party Deductions to Manage your Energy Bills
Also known as the Fuel Direct scheme, the Third Party Deductions is a scheme designed to help those receiving benefits to pay off energy debts, as well as pay towards future debts. The scheme works by setting aside a small portion of each benefit payment to cover utility bills. Currently, the rate is set at £3.70, which offers a convenient way of managing your bills if you are struggling.
Energy Debt Relief Grants for Utility Companies
If you are struggling with your utility bills, it is advisable to speak with your supplier. Energy suppliers are often able to put measures in place to help you manage your bills. Measures such as moving you to a lower tariff or energy saving advice may not do much to reduce your energy debts, but will help stop them increasing.
Companies like EDF and the British/Scottish Energy Trust may offer energy grants to help you clear your utility debts. If you are a customer of EDF or Scottish Power you should give them a call and discuss your options and eligibility for these types of grants.
Find out more about the energy saving grants you can apply to for help managing your energy bills.
Improving home energy efficiency to reduce bills
Making a few changes to your home could help improve its energy efficiency and reduce the amount of energy you need for heating. Measures such as eliminating draughts or cavity wall and loft insulation will help your home retain more heat, reducing demand for gas for heating. Under the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme, energy companies must provide free loft insulation for their customers to improve energy efficiency. Cavity wall and loft insulation can save, on average, a combined £310.
How to get on the road with driving lesson grants for the disabled
Getting out and about when you have a physical disability is often a challenge. From needing adapted cars to the hassle of getting on and off buses, being able to drive and get a driving licence will open you up to new experiences and freedom. As much as family and friends can drive you where you want to go, it is often frustrating when you have to rely on someone else’s timetable. Getting through driving lessons, theory and practical tests is not cheap, and will require a lot of money. If you suffer from a disability, there are organisations that can help you with driving lesson costs and access to vehicles.
Get free driving lessons with Motability
The Motability Scheme provides free driving lessons to disabled aspiring drivers who wish to start driving. You will need to pay for the theory portion of the test, and the practical driving exam out of your pocket. If you are eligible, you will get access to 40 driving lessons. The lessons are split into two, the first portion is for 12 lessons, after which you need to sit and pass the theory test. You stand to make a saving of nearly £1,000 should you be eligible for the driving lessons grant.
If you are a carer, you may also be able to get some help if you want to learn to drive. Read more here about the process you will need to go through to check eligibility for free driving lessons, and the requirement to pass a provisional driving test before applying. Checking whether your disability does not exclude you from driving is also important so make sure you contact the DVLA Drivers Medical Group beforehand.
Funding for wheelchair ramp to get in and around your home
The independence to get in and out of your home is often taken for granted. If you are a wheelchair user, having a ramp to access your home is essential. Whether you need a wheelchair ramp for short term or permanent use, there may be a grant available to help with the costs of having one installed. The following options are available:
- Temporary folding ramp – temporary wheelchair use may restrict your movements. Your home may not have easy access and a temporary ramp may help, contacting the Red Cross for help is the best way forward.
Permanent wheelchair ramps – if you have a permanent disability and having difficulty accessing your home, a wheelchair ramp may be the answer. Constructing a wheelchair ramp can be an expensive exercise but the Disabled Facility Grant may cover all costs if you are eligible. This is a grant offered by the government and administered by local authorities. Its aim is to support disabled people to live independently by facilitating home adaptations. Grants of up to £30,000 are available. Find out more about how to get funding for a wheelchair ramp by clicking here
Moving house? Here is how to get help with the cost of moving
Moving house when you are on a low budget or suffering from a disability is often a challenge. It is costly as well as a logistic nightmare, and you may need some financial assistance to make your move smooth. If you are on certain benefits, you may be able to get help with moving costs and getting your new home ready for you to move in. Sources of moving help include:
- Social housing landlords may offer incentives for you to move. If you are living in a home bigger than your needs, they may offer you a smaller home and help to move. This is not a legal obligation but worth asking.
- Local welfare assistance is a program run by local councils which may be able to help to partly meet your moving costs.
There are other avenues to explore, which includes your Citizen Advice bureau or other charities. You will also get more information on help with the cost of moving home and the different sources of support by searching for charities at your local library.
This article contains information on a variety of grants and support available to you if you are disabled. The information is provided to help you find the financial support you need to live an independent life, whether you are looking to start driving lessons or move home. The government, local authorities and independent charities run different programmes to support disabled people. Sometimes just asking the questions will help you find the finances you need to improve the quality of your life.