Rose Cook is a lively young woman who loves to visit her friends when she heads into town. She is also passionate about her favourite TV shows, even writing a bit of fanfiction.
Her collection of cut-outs, pictures and merchandise from her favourite programmes speaks to her passion. Rose loves science fiction and fantasy. She has a particular interest in the Vampire Diaries, which has been her absolute favourite show for over a decade. Her favourite character is Damon Salvatore, played by Ian Somerhalder. She always wanted to meet him in real life, and Individualised Funding made her dream come true.
Last year, in August, Rose travelled to the US with her mother, Mary and cousin, who is also an avid fan of the Vampire Diaries. The trip included visiting San Francisco and Los Angeles with the first stop being San Francisco and Vampire Diaries Day. Rose got to take photos with all the characters that she had been following for years. “I had an amazing time at the convention.” The next part of the trip included Hollywood – the iconic Universal Studios and Warner Brothers Studios. She went on rides and visited the sets of Lucifer, that made her cry with joy. “It was surreal to be there,” she adds.
When Rose was around 15 months, a virus left her with rheumatoid arthritis and a degenerative neurological condition which has never been diagnosed. Individualised Funding means that Rose has been able to do the things that she wants, visit the places she wants to visit and choose a life that she wants to live. It has made her life more meaningful.
With IF Rose has better control over her carers. She decides who comes in, and when. The best part is that support workers aren’t restricted about the things they can and can’t do, unlike the carers from an agency. “As a mother, seeing her so happy and enjoying herself is just the best thing,” says Mary. “For me, Individualised Funding is definitely the way to go for people like Rose, who have a long-term disability.”
“IF is like freedom” Rose adds, talking about the benefits of the funding system. “You can have the freedom and feel like you’re in control of your life again.”