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Dumfries girl distraught over lost support

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By Ben Murray
Dumfries and West
Dumfries girl distraught over lost support
IN NEED OF AID . . . Rebecca Nicol suffers from chronic pain, eating disorders and mental health issues, but cannot recieve aid until April 2024

A DUMFRIES girl suffering with multiple health issues will have to wait until April to receive the aid she needs.

Rebecca Nicol, 11, lives with a range of ailments such as chronic pains and uncontrollable eating habits, which have left her almost wheelchair bound.

Her condition has worsened to the point where she has been unable to access proper washing facilities for over eight months, and has recently been forced to drop out of school.

Her mother, Lisa Smith, had planned to apply for a grant from Dumfries Care and Repair to help fund 80 per cent of a wet room for Rebecca’s use.

Unfortunately, their hopes were dashed when the organisation revealed they had run out of money for this year, and would be unable to give further grants to those in need until April 2024.

Rebecca was placed on the waiting list on June 14 and received a letter from Care and Repair on October 6. It said: “Due to an increase in the number of referrals received, I regret to inform you that the funding for this financial year has been exhausted.

“This means that we will be unable to authorise any grants for the works until the new financial year which begins in April 2024 and therefore no work can be carried out until after this date.

“I appreciate this is disappointing for you and can only apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Lisa is distraught at the news and says it is causing the family extreme mental and financial stresses.

She said: “Due to the physical and mental issues my daughter is having, she is unable to attend school without the proper support, and I have been forced to remove her from school due to a lack of it.

“My partner works in a recycled plastics factory, and I care for my daughter full-time, so the grant we were hoping to get from Care and Repair is essential.

“I have 11 agencies working with Rebecca, such as physio, occupational therapy, paediatrics, a dietician, an attendance officer and more.

“This situation has caused us a lot of mental and financial stress, and we just don’t know what we are going to do now.”

Commenting on the situation, a spokesperson from Care and Repair Dumfries and Galloway said: “We receive funding to provide grants for adaptations to allow people to continue to live safely in their own homes.

“In order to receive a grant you must be referred to Care and Repair through the Occupational Therapy Service.

“Care and Repair Dumfries and Galloway provide services under contract with Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership to make adaptations to homes, enabling people to live at home for as long as possible in a safe environment.

“Referrals are by occupational therapists, and this can be for a range of potential adaptations ranging from ramps through to stairlifts.

“Some adaptations are assessed as urgent to keep a client safe at home whereas others at the current time, including the provision of new wet floor or level access shower adapting cases, are not.

“Any outstanding arrangements for urgent adaptations are set to be completed up until April 2024 and additional remaining adaptations will again be considered after that point on a case-by-case basis.

“We recognise people’s desire to see adaptations made, and as quickly as possible, and appreciate their patience and understanding.”

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