This week Purple opened its office in Leicester to deliver support services to disabled people across the City and bring our offer to business to the East Midlands.
We are delighted to welcome four new members of staff who will be based in our city centre office: Nazia, Manoj, Dipti and Mohammed.
Our offer to disabled people has its legacy from our predecessor organisation, ecdp. In Leicester we will be providing direct payments support services to nearly 600 disabled people from day one.
Direct payments are a way in which disabled people can fund the care support they need to lead independent lives. Direct payments are provided by local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (health) to support disabled people to have greater choice and control over how, who, where and when they receive the personal care and support needed.
Disabled people use the agreed funding to employ carers themselves (PA’s), buy care from an agency organisation and/or have a blended package of support which combines both employing PA’s and the use of agency support.
Purple are contracted by commissioners, including Leicester City Council, to facilitate disabled people being in control of decisions around their direct payment. This includes providing information and guidance about direct payments and the options open to individuals. Traditionally, this has been delivered through face to face meetings but increasingly we are looking to offer alternative digital solutions. This includes Facetime and live chat. Once a direct payment has been chosen we can support with employment advice and guidance including recruitment and contracts. Our payment services team process all timesheets and invoices making payments on behalf of disabled people to PA’s, agencies and HMRC. For some individuals Purple will undertake the calculations with the individual making the payments themselves.
Alongside Leicester we currently provide direct payment services to five other local authorities and 10 clinical commissioning groups. Purple support over 4,500 disabled people who employ over 7,000 PA’s. At the last count Purple process over 25,000 invoices a year on behalf of disabled people with agencies. The most eye-watering statistic for me is the fact over £60 million of disabled people’s funding flows through our bank accounts each year.
Our service is also about progression. Purple does not assume what services will be required and expects people’s needs to change over time. Our staff in Leicester will work with disabled people to ensure our support remains dynamic and appropriate.
Purple is ambitious. We believe if we can make direct payments work in Leicester and through our other contracts then we can support disabled people across the whole of Great Britain. We want to support over 20,000 disabled people to receive a Purple support service in the next 10 years.
We are also unique in that we believe to create real change, we need to bring together the two sides of the disability conversation. Purple provide support to businesses to recruit and retain disabled employees and to ensure their services are accessible (including their online presence) so they can reach the widest consumer base possible. Becoming a Purple Member provides you with this support, as well as brand alignment with us, and the opportunity to be part of a new type of meaningful Social Value.
I more convinced than ever that Purple’s ability to grow is secure. And I am convinced we have an offer to the East Midlands, for both disabled people and local businesses, which can really change the opportunities for both.
I am very much looking forward to the M1 becoming a regular feature of my journey to work!