Nottinghamshire independent living scheme approved

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Proposals for a network that allows disabled people to live in the community have been given the go-ahead.

Nottinghamshire County Council has approved plans for the county’s first ever KeyRing network, which typically consist of nine people with learning disabilities or mental health issues living within walking distance of one another. They are joined by a “community living volunteer”, who also lives nearby and can help out with things such as reading letters and bills. Their rent is often subsidised by KeyRing.

There are in excess of 100 KeyRing networks nationwide across more than 50 local authority areas.

A council report states if the authority were to establish a network, it could save £70,000 over three years.

It adds the network would give “greater independence for individuals and higher self-esteem, associated with peer support”.

Some of the risks outlined in the report include the availability of “appropriately located, reasonable quality and affordable housing” and finding volunteers.

A council spokesman said the authority is “looking at all the options” with regards to subsidising rent for volunteers, who the council say may or may not be paid.

The spokesman added: “The benefit of the scheme is that it gives more independent living opportunities to people with low level needs so effectively places people in the right setting for their needs while providing the council with a saving as this option will be cheaper than more intensive supported living schemes.”