ERGC calls for more public funds

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East Renfrewshire Good Causes and East Renfrewshire Council have helped the family of a severely disabled child by installing a hoist in their home.

The £15,000 refurbishment — £10,000 from ERC and £5,000 from the charity — will allow the child easier access around the family home.

However, ERGC founder Russell Macmillan says that it could be the last additional living space to be part-funded in East Ren amid government budget cuts.

Russell told The Extra: “Is this the last semi-publicly funded additional living space? According to Scottish Government rules, the council has to provide a downstairs wet room, but they’re no longer required to provide what’s termed as additional living space.

“The government funded the £20,000 downstairs bathroom — but the mum and dad still had to carry their severely disabled child upstairs.

“Frontline workers are having to go to carers and say put a bed in the living room. In some cases, that works — but many modern homes don’t have space.

“I’m asking on behalf of the vulnerable: is this the kind of society we want, where carers are left in an impossible situation?

“I believe the government either needs to raise more income tax, or allow councils to raise more money for disabled aids.”

Russell, who founded ERGC as a way of giving back to the community after a life-saving double transplant, thanked the council for “scraping together” discretionary funding, but added: “This is where you see cuts hitting at grassroots level.

“It was a real team effort between ERC, Good Causes and local businesses to provide the hoist. But there’s no more money for others. in similar circumstances.”