| Recipient Org: Description || Mission : Our mission is to improve and empower the quality of life for disabled people and carers living in South Essex ; critically, we are the only charity to provide a service to people and their carers regardless of their form of disability or impairment. Main Aims: Our aims are that disabled people will be able to :- • live more independently because they can afford more transport or customised assistance • buy healthier food to enhance personal health as they will access more income e.g. benefits • participate in clubs and social activities to boost well-being and health • get support to help manage their medical conditions • access respite care to allow their families time off to take care of themselves • develop more self-respect and autonomy as a stepping stone back to employment or training • have more choice on how to lead their lives independently Activities : To achieve our aims, we provide Advice, Support, Advocacy and Guidance to local people, through the following activities:- (1) Information and Advice Line [plus telephone advice consultations, e-mail and text correspondence] : delivered face-to-face via appointment and drop-in (2) Advice Desks e.g. we regularly deliver ‘pop-up’ provision on an outreach basis (3) Signposting and Referral Services to access other and specialist services (4) Advocacy and Casework [as and when required] (5) A specialist appeals service relating to benefits and personal budgets As a progressive organisation, we are just about to launch “Life On Line” which will enable disabled people to learn how to access advice, information and the benefits of the internet to improve their quality of life and counter exclusions as increasing numbers of statutory services e.g. pensions and benefits, and support e.g. ‘choose and book’ health appointments, migrate on-line. Issues Addressed : Areas of Assistance include :- • Welfare Benefits [Including Appeals, Mandatory Reconsiderations, Supersession’s] • Social Care [Including support for home care, residential and day care] • Support Groups [to bring people together to share learning and develop a ‘community voice’] • Medical services, equipment and adaptations • Recreational activities and supported holidays • Mobility [disabled transport, wheelchairs and general travel] Individual Requests are considered as we strive to customise our support to meet the individual enquirers’ needs Performance : During the last year we helped 1,673 people dealing with 2,498 enquiries :- • We assisted people with applications for financial assistance and benefit applications and in Thurrock alone, this amounted to generating £442,208 for working age people and £108,056 for people over retirement. • Back pay for approved applications amounted to £64,611 giving a total of £614,875 extra generated income into the district to be spent locally to assist local businesses and organisations as well as improving the quality of life for disabled people, their carers and families. • This has also allowed them to improve their health and lifestyle by having additional income to improve diet and environment. • Of the applications that we completed 50% are still awaiting results therefore the following figures can be assumed that the true income generated is double that which is displayed. • Of the results received we have achieved a 65% success rate. • Results still do not take into account any additional income generated by the award of one benefit that leads to entitlement to other benefits, e.g. an award of Attendance Allowance that then leads to an entitlement to Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, etc. • On top of this the annual income generated through successful appeals was £131,170 and total back pay of £111,382, giving a grand total of £242,552 for our help with appeals and casework to the Tribunal Service.