DFG Champions at 1

DFG Champions is 1. It somehow seems longer than a year ago that we tentatively launched with the simple idea to create a social movement around DFG. To bring together a group of people from across the Country who want to see positive change in the way home adaptations are provided.

Over the last 12 months we’ve held 8 regional roadshows attracting over 600 delegates and seen the Facebook group grow to nearly 300 members. But behind the numbers, the exciting part is seeing many local authorities starting to take a fresh look at how they deliver their DFG programmes. I’m sure the increasing budget has provided an added impetus but I think DFG Champions has played a key role in developing the narrative.

For many, the thorny issue of means testing has been an area for improvement. The calculation as set out in the regulations is quite complicated to understand and difficult to tweak effectively. So a couple of pragmatic local authorities experimented by using their powers under the Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) to disregard any contributions under £5,000; allowing far more people to access funding for standard adaptations such as stairlifts and level access showers.

Over the last few months this relatively simple change has gone viral, with Councils from Devon to Cumbria, Norwich to Telford, all dropping contributions under £5k.

With a formal review of DFG on the horizon it’s time to start really thinking about other areas where change is needed. Means testing and the £30k max limit are obvious front runners but what other issues would you like to see addressed?

Join the debate on Facebook or why not come to our next round of Roadshows? They’re free to attend but London is already full and the others aren’t far behind so you’ll need to be quick! Officials from DCLG will be at each Roadshow to listen to your views, comments and suggestions.

If you can’t get a ticket and don’t like Facebook – you can always email me at pauls@foundations.uk.com.