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Retirement of the Semington Independent Living Centre Benefits Advisor

Sheila Bluer has retired as the ILC Benefits Advisor after 12 years, and enjoyed a socially distanced celebration with colleagues. The ILC established the benefits advice service in 2009, to help those with long term disabilities to access the support they need and are entitled to. During this time, the service may have helped as many as 5,000 people access Personal Independence Payments and other benefits. These can be essential to help people live independently, for example, by providing help with items such as meals, taxis, mobility aids and domiciliary support visits. The ILC is a charity and has had to fundraise to support this specialist service, which has often taken referrals from Citizens Advice Bureau, MP’s, GP surgeries and social workers. We have been particularly grateful to the Herman Miller Care Foundation, Wiltshire Community Foundation, and the Local Area Boards, who have contributed funding. Nigel Harris Chair of the Trustees said ‘Applications for Personal Independence Payments can be a complex and difficult process, and it will be difficult to replace Sheila’s experience and expertise. However, we realise that this can be a real lifeline for people with complex disabilities and we will do all we can to resume the service.’ The ILC would love to hear from you if you have any stories you'd like to share about how Sheila has helped you, or if you would like to know more about how you can support the future of the centre. Please email Chantelle at or phone 01380 871007.

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