Ideal for All

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Perfect 20th birthday for a Sandwell charity

23,000 milestone provides a perfect 20th birthday present for Sandwell charity

One of the Black Country’s leading charities is celebrating its 20th birthday in style by passing an important milestone in its history.

Ideal for All (IFA), which is run by and for disabled and disadvantaged people, has supported more than 23,000 individuals since it was founded with information, guidance and access to a range of independent living activities and service


The Sandwell-based organisation has overcome a volatile funding landscape to continue to operate across the region and has even diversified its offer to include vital employment and skills training.


It has also been able to pick up a number of new contracts, including Building Better Opportunities, Birmingham Direct Payments and City Deal through Accord Housing.


2016 has been a real milestone year for us,” explained Khatija Patel, Chief Executive of IFA.


Our philosophy has always been to empower and enable disabled and disadvantaged people to fulfil their potential as active citizens and to achieve this aim we have had to continually look at the services we provide.”


She continued: “This means on any one day we can offer peer support, information points, an independent occupational therapy service and support groups to tackle arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and those who are deaf or hard of hearing.


We can also provide tailored assistance to individuals receiving direct payments to help them manage their care requirements and personal budgets. That’s really been the key to our longevity…we listen to our service users and deliver support that is really needed.


Supporting 23,000 people is a big achievement for an independent charity and we are now working right across the East and West Midlands.”


Ideal for All’s work has been recognised recently by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, who awarded the charity its Community Champion of the Year Award at a recent ceremony in Wolverhampton.

Judges praised the organisation’s ability to continue to reinvent itself and its increasingly important employment and skills support that is helping many people secure jobs.


IFA overcame the significant challenge of the Midland Air Ambulance, The Haven and Wolverhampton NHS Trust to claim the prestigious honour and will now use the publicity to take its message across the Black Country.


It is a great feeling knowing that what you are doing is making a difference and that difference is being recognised against such strong competition,” continued Khatija.


We have some exciting plans in the future and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce Award will be an important promotional mechanism to be able to impartially tell our story and why our services are so important.”


Ideal for All has been hitting the headlines for its ‘Growing Opportunities’ project, which has brought three derelict sites back to life, including Salop Drive Market Garden in Oldbury and Malthouse Garden in Smethwick.


The person-centred approach involves local people in therapeutic and learning opportunities, utilising the medium of sustainable gardening and food growing projects. Those involved report positive improvements to mental and physical health, reduced isolation, improved skills and confidence.

Photo above is from left to right Khatija Patel, Carol Goff and Emelye Westwood holding the award.

Independent Living Service Survey

Sandwell Council is carrying out a review of the Independent Living Service provided by Ideal For All.
We are doing this because our contract for the service will end on Friday 30 September 2016, and we have a duty to carefully consider the best way to use public funds when buying services.
We want to talk to people who use these services before any decisions about the future of the Independent Living Service are made.
We want to make sure we understand what is important to you, and what other services may also be available in the local area.

What next?

Please complete the survey online using the link below.

Alternatively paper copies of the questionnaire will be made available at the Independent Living Centre and other Ideal For All premises.

All responses must be received by Friday 15 July 2016

If you would like any additional information, would like the survey in large print or plain text or have any questions please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. telephone 0121 569 5764

What does the Independent Living service provide?

Currently, the Independent Living Service is contracted to provide the following:


This service is delivered by and for people with disabilities on a telephone helpline, internet or drop in basis.
The service provides advice and accessible information on a wide range of disability and independent living related issues, including signposting to other organisations and sources of support.

Strategic Representation and Engagement

This service provides opportunities for disabled people to engage and influence decision making which affects their daily lives, on a local and national basis. This includes support to get involved in shaping services and representing the interests of people with disabilities at decision-making meetings hosted by the council.

Peer support for younger disabled adults

This service offers opportunities for young adults with disabilities to meet and support each other in a safe environment. The service supports people to gain confidence and skills to access leisure, education and employment opportunities.

Reception Service

A reception service is provided at the Independent Living Centre during public opening hours.

Specialist Equipment and Duty Service

This service offers information, advice and signposting. Occupational Therapists and Community Assessors also provide assessments on a drop in basis; and provide low level equipment items free of charge. The service promotes safety and independence within people’s own homes and in the community.

Findings from this questionnaire will be made available online by September 2016.

Walsall Personal Assistant Network

Ideal for All has been commissioned by Walsall Council to increase the number of Personal Assistants registered on the Walsall Personal Assistant Network (a free online directory bringing together PAs and those looking to employ their services).

As part of this contract, Ideal for All is also offering PAs advice and training to improve their knowledge and skills in personal care.

If you are interested in becoming a PA or already work as personal assistant, Ideal for All can offer you advice and support in the following ways:

Help to register

- If you are PA and are available to work for Walsall residents, you can register online today by visiting the Walsall Personal Assistant Network web page.
- You can also contact us for advice on registering or improving your profile on the directory.

Interested in working as a Personal Assistant?

- Attend one of our introductory events or book a one-to-one meeting with one of our advisers for information, advice and guidance on working as a personal assistant in care.

Training and Qualifications

- Enrol onto the ‘Introduction to Personal Care Assistant Award Level 1’ delivered by Walsall Adult Community College.
- Begins August 2016.
- Fully funded (no cost to you).

Walsall PA Network Steering Group

Would you like to take part in a service user steering group to improve the Walsall PA Network? Ideal for All is looking for members to join a small group who either access the directory as a PA or as an employer, and are willing to share their views and experiences. There will be three steering group meetings held over the next six months. The first meeting will take place on 13th July 2016 in Walsall.

For more information about the Walsall PA Network contact Viv Palmer on 0121 558 5555 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

What is a PA?

Some people use their Direct Payment or own resources to employ a Personal Assistant. A Personal Assistant provides their employer with one to one support so that they have more choice, independence and control over their life. Increasingly PAs are working for disabled people, older people and individuals with long term health conditions. 

For more information about the role of a Personal Assistant and frequently asked questions, download our leaflet below.

Annual Report 2014-15


Download this file (IFA Annual Report 2014-15.pdf)IFA Annual Report 2014-15.pdf[ ]1114 Kb

Ideal for All Donate to Food-bank


Ideal for All Staff with the Staff of Food Bank West Bromwich standing behind the donation made by Ideal for All staff, Members, and Trustees

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