History and background

Dewis Centre for Independent Living (C.I.L.) is a voluntary organisation working in the Local Authorities of – Rhondda Cynon Taf, Vale of Glamorgan, Merthyr Tydfil, Cardiff, Gwent (Newport, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouth), Wrexham, Conwy, Denbighshire and Pembrokeshire . It works in partnership with the Social Services Departments of each of these authorities.

The original organisation was created in 1996 as a non profit-making Company Limited by Guarantee. It was designed to act as a 3rd party organisation run by disabled people who used its services. Its specific aims were to allow a small number of disabled people to have choice in who they wished have as their carers (personal assistants) whilst the Company employed the personal assistants.

As Direct Payments became an option in Rhondda Cynon Taf from 2001, the organisation undertook the role of ‘Support Service’. In 2001 it became a C.I.L. (Centre for Independent Living).

As a Centre for Independent Living, it has a management committee composed of disabled people who use its services and non-disabled people who are supporters of its ethos and values. The Management Committee oversees the work of the staff and helps to develop future policies.

The Organisation adopted the name Dewis Centre for Independent Living in 2006. It began its work and services around its Direct Payments Support Scheme in Rhondda Cynon Taf. From this original model, it has developed similar support schemes in Merthyr Tydfil, then Powys, and in the Vale of Glamorgan. It expanded over the past five years into Advocacy, Training and other services which promote independent living.

It remains a non profit-making organisation and is registered with the Charity Commission. It receives its main revenue funding from the Local Authorities who derive services from it.