In 1992 DAI was set up by local people concerned about the supports available for people with learning disabilities, in particular those staying in Lynebank Hospital.
Today the Core Project continues to create and support Citizen Advocacy Partnerships for people with learning disabilities who are residents or former residents of Lynebank Hospital, with one part-time Development Worker. This is especially important for residents who have no family or other independent support and who will be moving out into the community, where they may have no support network. A Citizen Advocate can give invaluable support during this transitional period, and help their partner to make links with local people once they have moved.
Stuart and Tomís Story
Stuart was admitted to Lynebank Hospital as a small boy when it first opened back in 1968. Over the years he grew to know hospital routines and staff as we would know our home and family, indeed the hospital was his world. With little family contact and staff and resident turnover, any long lasting friendships were difficult for him to maintain.
In 2003 Stuart was introduced to Tom who was to be his Citizen Advocate, and with Tom visiting weekly, they became firm friends. Now Stuart had a friend who was there just for him.
As the hospital discharge programme gathered force, plans were made for Stuart to move out of the hospital into the West Fife community. To his horror Tom was not included in discussions prior to the move, and before anything could be done Stuart was moved to a distant and isolated community, which he did not know.
Stuart spent the next 2 years living alone in a single tenancy with staff support and little to occupy him locally. The hoped for contact with a family member living nearby did not materialise. Tom struggled to visit Stuart regularly at such a distance and they missed their once frequent and happy meetings. Stuart became restless and unhappy.
Tom continued to attend Stuartís care meetings and persistently campaigned for Stuart to move to a more suitable home. Finally his persistence paid off and a place was offered to Stuart in a group home in the town near Tom. They visited the home together Ė it was ideal.
Stuart recently moved into his new home and is happy and settled. He enjoys the company of other residents and staff, can go into town whenever he wants, and Tom is able to once again visit regularly. Tom is quick to point out that he gets as much out of his Advocacy partnership as Stuart does & both thoroughly enjoy their get-togethers.