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  • Access: Referral needed
  • Location: Equal Lives, Ground Floor, St Vedast House, 5-7 St Vedast House, Norwich, NR1 1BT

Equal Lives is a user led organisation set up in 1996 by disabled people in Norfolk. We unite people of all ages who face disabling barriers to get our voices heard and change things for the better. We support people through our services and activities to live more independently and have choice and control in their lives:

Our Services:

Information, Advice, and Advocacy
These services are available to disabled people and people experiencing mental ill health. We have knowledge and expertise in a range of areas including:

* Advocacy and representation
* Mental health
* Welfare rights and disability benefits
* Assessment of health and social care needs
* Personal budgets and direct payments
* Rights and entitlements
* Other issues related to disability and employment

In partnership with Pohwer we deliver:
* DOLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards)
* NHS Complaints Service

Area covered: Norfolk

Appropriate Adults
Juveniles and vulnerable people must have an ‘appropriate adult’ with them when they are interviewed by the police. This is a requirement of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984. Equal Lives provide appropriate adult volunteers, whose role is:

* To provide independent support
* To ensure detainees know what is happening to them and why
* To ensure detainees know their rights and entitlements whilst in custody
* To advise and assist the detained person, particularly when being questioned
* To observe whether police are acting ‘properly, fairly and with respect for the rights of the detained person’

Area Covered: Norfolk
Additional Information: Custody Officers decide whether a detainee requires an appropriate adult to support them in custody.

Services for Independent Living
Our support services help people to live more independently, whether you receive funding from Norfolk County Council or are funding your own support. Our support services include:

* Help with planning care and support through our Support Planning Service
* Recruiting and managing employees or personal assistants through our HR and Recruitment Service and Personal Assistant Register
* Support in processing wages / invoices through our Payroll Services

Area Covered: Norfolk / Suffolk
Additional Information: Most of our referrals come from social workers / other ‘care managers’ although people can self refer as can their family/carers on their behalf whether they are funding themselves or receive funding from Norfolk County Council.

Interpretation and translation services can be arranged by staff, for users of this service, via INTRAN.

Home visits are provided by this service.

There are related costs, dependent on service and contact requirements.

Community Activities
Join us as a member so that together we can achieve equal lives! You can become a member for free which allows you to:

* Get involved in projects or campaigns
* Share your experiences
* Meet new people
* Be kept up to date on the latest news and useful information
* Volunteer
* Join in local groups

Area Covered: Norfolk

Interpretation and translation services can be arranged by staff, for users of this service, via INTRAN.

An information leaflet about the service is available, which includes a range of resources.

Produces an E-bulletin for members.