The Advantages of being a member of First Focus
Becoming a member of First Focus has been shown many times to be very beneficial to individuals in lots of different ways and our current members will readily testify to the many advantages of membership
Attending our sessions enables our members to meet a wide variety of different people, many of whom share similar interests and lifestyles. Members quickly make new friends and learn to value regular social interaction that may not be available to them elsewhere.
They have many opportunities to take part in a wide variety of events and activities, join clubs or specific support groups, at the same time as potentially developing new skills and abilities. By contributing to any aspects of the organisation that interest them, many of our members find themselves improving their confidence and self-esteem and being given new opportunities to develop particular skills, talents and interests.
When joining in with any aspects of First Focus life that appeal often members also boost their sense of well being, contributing to the organisation as a whole at the same time as promoting their own personal development.
(To find out if you are eligible for a Personal Budget you will need to complete a questionnaire and be assessed by the County Council to see if you meet its eligibility criteria. For more information on this you should ring 0344 800 8014 or go to https://online.norfolk.gov.uk/enquiry/soccareenq.aspx ).
First Focus is an ideal organisation for providing many services that will meet the needs of someone who is on a Personal Budget. This is one aspect of what Adult Social Services are currently doing as part of ’Personalisation’; their attempt to make their services more effective and efficient by starting with the person they serve rather than the service itself and making the assumption that individuals are best placed to know their own needs and how they can best be met.
If you do not already receive a Personal Budget and you have specific needs for social care services you can apply to your local council social services team directly to go through an assessment process. This starts with just filling in a form or talking on the phone, then meeting someone from social services in person. If they agree that you do have ‘eligible needs’ you will be awarded an overall budget to devise a ‘support plan’ that you can use to pay for a range of services that can be purchased from social services, the private sector, voluntary or community groups or friends and family.
Some ways people have used their personal budgets include things like getting help with cooking, shopping or cleaning, having driving lessons, buying specialist equipment or paying for membership of clubs or helping organisations like First Focus and we already have several members who have been helped a great deal by including us in their Personal Budget support plans.