Tom is flourishing thanks to being given the flexibility to manage his own care and support

Tom Maryan has discovered artistic talents and a love for golf thanks to the support and guidance of his carers and the ability to direct his own personal care budget to best meet his own individual needs,

 Tom, who has a learning disability and severe anxiety, wasn’t seeing his needs met through traditional social care avenues such as day services and respite care.

As a result, the adult social care team at Oxfordshire County Council applied themselves to finding new ways to help Tom, and his family find the right package of care, he is now flourishing with the support of his carers.

Tom’s social worker linked him up with direct payments, which offer those who need  the flexibility to arrange their own care and support the help and guidance of a professional. This could include community-based help or care and support in the home.

Tom with carer looking at work being done to the family annexe to help maximise his independenceSince having the support of his carers, 30-year-old Tom, from Rowstock near Didcot, has come out of his shell, living a busy, happy life. He now loves playing golf, cycling, developing his artistic skills (he particularly enjoys painting landscapes), and going to the cafe with his friends. He has even completed a project about local churches.

He said: “My new carers, Jen and Carly, are very helpful and kind, and I have done lots of things with them already.

“I am very happy because I have now got Lizzie, Jen and Carly to look after me.”

Tom’s mum Mandy is absolutely delighted to see her son flourish with the support of his new carers. She said: “I always think it is lovely to see how his personal budget is allowing him to blossom and develop. He's a very lucky man to have such a wonderful team of personal assistants supporting him. None of this would've been possible without the invaluable support of the adult social care team."

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “It’s great news to hear that Tom is now prospering with the support of his brilliant team of carers.

“This is a great example of how Direct Payments can transform a person's life - giving them the flexibility to decide and arrange their own care and helping them to live the life they want to lead.

“All people have different needs and circumstances and as such we can’t deploy a one size fits all approach to those in the county council’s care. We use our intelligence and imagination to come up with solutions that suit individuals and Tom is a prime example of how that works in practice.”

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