Impact Report 2021

Working together to change lives

Welcome to the Independent Lives 2021 Impact Report.

I'm so pleased to be able to welcome you to our new impact report. This is our chance to highlight all of the amazing work that we have done as an organisation and show you why organisations like ours are still so important.

Every day our staff support disabled people and those with health and social care needs to live their lives independently. Whether providing care and support in someone's home or information and advice over the phone, the work of Independent Lives continues to have a tremendous impact on people's lives.

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Rebecca Smicle
Chief Executive

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Our vision

Our vision is for a fair society where we can all participate and fulfil our potential.

Our mission

Our values

Our values guide the way we behave and how we want people to experience Independent Lives.


At Independent Lives, we believe in integrity, accountability, and transparency. Our passion drives us to go above and beyond, delivering high quality, people led services which change lives.


We celebrate our differences and believe that embracing diversity makes us stronger. We want to create a world based on respect and understanding where every voice is heard.


We believe in the power of great ideas. We are unafraid to be bold or to ask why. Through forward thinking, creativity, and the freedom to express ourselves we can shape a better world.

Person centred

We believe in treating people with dignity, compassion, kindness, and respect. By valuing people's lived experiences and recognising their unique circumstances, we can be an organisation that really makes a difference.

A round up of the year

Watch our video of Rebecca Smicle, Chief Executive for Independent Lives, giving a round up of the year. Find out her thoughts on our biggest achievements and our biggest challenges and where we hope to go next.


Video transcript:

A year in numbers

Every year, Independent Lives supports thousands of people to live more independently. Whether that is through our care and support services or through information and advice we treat every single person as an individual and personalise our support to meet their needs.

We helped 3,283 people through our information and advice helpline.

We supported 330 people to begin employing their own personal assistants.

We provided essential training to 381 carers, personal assistants and staff.

During 2021 we provided 4,071 hours of respite to carers while offering engaging community based activities for their loves ones. Providing carers respite support is vital to the health and wellbeing of carers who play an essential role within health and social care.

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Our care service spent more than 75,000 hours supporting people in the community.

They supported 617 people to improve and maintain their independence.

Our care staff made 118,000 separate visits to peoples homes in 2021.

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Di's story

Di Critchley has been using the Independent Lives care service since 2018. We spoke to her about why she chose Independent Lives for her support, and what she likes most about her support.

Our services

Independent Lives provides a range of services to support disabled people and those with health and care needs to live independently. 

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Care Service

We provide flexible, person centred support to meet people’s individual needs and assist them to live independently in their own home.  

Tel - 01903 219482 (option 2)

Email - careservice

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Carers Respite Service

We provide activities for older people, people with support needs, and those living with dementia. The support we provide allows carers some time and space for themselves.  

Tel - 01903 219482 (option 6)

Email - carersrespite

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Home First Service

We provide domiciliary care and support enabling, people to leave hospital and return to their own homes. 

Tel - 01903 219482 (option 2)

Email - careservice

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Payroll Service

We provide a payroll service to people employing their own personal assistants. We offer guidance on employment legislation and help employers to deal with issues like pensions, tax, and national insurance.  

Tel - 01903 219482 (option 1)

Email - payroll

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Direct Payment Information and Advice Service

We provide support to people who receive a direct payment, supporting them to better manage their care, including employing personal assistants. We offer information and advice via telephone, our website, and in person.  

Tel - 01903 219482 (option 3)

Email - advice

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Personal Assistant Training Service

We offer support and training to personal assistants and to people who are employing their own personal assistants.

Tel - 01903 219482 (option 4)

Email - training

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Personal Assistant Recruitment Service

We support people to recruit their own personal assistants, advertising vacancies and maintaining a list of personal assistants available for work.

Tel - 01903 219482 (option 4)

Email - recruitment

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Banking Administration Service

We support direct payment recipients to more easily manage their direct payments, setting up and managing a dedicated bank account or pre-paid card for them. 

Tel - 01903 219482 (option 5)

Email - banking

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In April 2021 we were inspected by the Care Quality Commission and were delighted to receive a 'Good' rating. We got great feedback in every category which is all thanks to our amazing staff.

I’ve always found that this service takes any stress away regarding my financial obligations towards any employees and HMRC. The service has always been efficient and approachable.

Payroll customer


96% of customers would recommend our Payroll Service to someone else.

Our people

Independent Lives employs staff across a variety of roles. Whether working in frontline positions or providing administrative support, all of our staff form an essential component of the support that we offer. We highly value our staff which is why we provider competitive salaries, first rate training and excellent employee benefits.

In 2021, we were especially proud to become a Living Wage employer. By joining the living wage campaign we made a commitment to pay our staff more that the legal minimum wage, recognising the importance of ensuring our staff earn enough to live on.

‘We are delighted that Independent Lives has joined the movement of UK employers who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.’

Laura Gardiner - Director, Living Wage Foundation

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Joshua's Story

In 2021, we filmed Joshua's Story. The short film gives people a view into the life of health and social care worker.

Cycling champions

In July of 2021, a team of cyclists set off on a bike ride around Sussex. They raised around £1,500 for Independent Lives which will go toward helping us achieve our vision.

Julia, Michael and Adil are an inspiration to us all and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their amazing contribution.


Run run Santa

Despite the cold weather, December saw a team of Santas running along Brighton sea front in aid of Independent Lives.

The team joined hundreds of other Santas, all raising money for great causes. A huge thank you for all their efforts we look forward to seeing them don their Santa suits next December.


Toni's story

Toni has been using the Independent Lives information and advice, payroll, and banking services for the past year. We spoke to her about her support, and the difference it’s made to her family.

Looking forward

Independent Lives ends 2021 in a strong position with clear ambitions for growth over the coming years. We are looking to support more people using ever more efficient and innovative methods while maintaining and expanding our reputation for providing quality and reliable support to those who need it the most.

Take a quick sneak peak below at some of the new initiatives and programmes we will be launching in the coming months.

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Friends of Independent Lives

At the start of 2022 we launched Friends of Independent Lives, our free membership programme for people affected by disability or health and social care needs. The programme aims to give a voice to its members and we are excited to see what our members achieve in the coming year.

Tyler's Story

We are very excited to be launching a brand new disability awareness film called Tyler's Story. The short film, which will be available to watch online soon, focuses on our very own Tyler as he highlights the difficulties faced by disabled people and challenges the view that many people have of what disabled people can achieve.

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PA Pages

Independent Lives is launching a brand new website focussed entirely on providing information, advice and services to recipients of Direct Payments, employers of personal assistants and personal assistants themselves.

Telephone - 01903 219482
Email - [email protected]

Charity number: 1153815 | Registered address: Independent Lives | Southfield House | Liverpool Gardens | Worthing | BN11 1RY