Putting People First

Devon Stories

Devon Stories logo

We have interviewed several people in Devon to bring together a collection of powerful stories. These are older people, disabled people and their carers, people with mental health issues or learning disabilities who have gained more dignity, responsibility and a feeling of being valued and being able to contribute to community life.

Their stories explain how we are improving people's experience of adult social care, giving more choice and control, and putting the people of Devon at the heart of the decision-making process


Jenny's Story

Jenny slowly lost her sight. She found that she could have a personal budget to arrange her own carers and she hasn’t regretted one moment since. “It’s not like having an employee around its more like a trusted friend.”

“I can still be in charge of my life.”

Read Jenny's Story...

SCR stock photo

William's Story

Following a long stay at Derriford Hospital William couldn’t wait to be discharged home. His wife, who is his main carer, has her own physical problems so it was a relief for William to be referred to the new social care reablement team. “They showed me the best way to do things for myself again like getting mobile and dressing myself.”

“We feel able to just get on with our lives again now.”

Read William's Story...

Linda at table

Linda's Story

Linda, from West Devon, is sharing her story because she wants other people to get the most out of their lives. Her vibrant, chirpy attitude to life is an inspiration. "I think people just don’t know the benefits of Direct Payments.”

"It’s the little things that make the difference."

Read Linda's story...

Paul's Story

Paul's Story

One way of increasing Paul’s choice and control is to work out with him the sum of money required to meet his needs and achieve the best agreed outcomes. This is called his ‘personal budget'. Paul uses his personal budget to live independently in his own flat supported by carers.

"My quality of life has improved since I started living on my own, and now I have a good social life."

Read Paul's story...

Community Equipment Prescription

Dianne's Story

Dianne, from North Devon, used a Community Equipment Prescription and her Direct Payments for a mixed bundle of aids to daily living to increase her mobility.“The equipment and having Direct Payments has given me back my independence.”

The equipment prevents ambulance callouts and is a very cost effective alternative to hospital admission or residential care.

Read Dianne's Story

Vanessa smiling in wheelchair

Vanessa's Story

Direct Payments have given Vanessa more freedom to travel. “I like to use my Direct Payments to get out of the house – my enabler can drive my car and take me to places I'd like to go.”

"I get to choose wherever I go and have more freedom. Without Direct Payments I could never have managed it.”

Read Vanessa's story...


Marjorie's Story

An improved quality of life and increase in social contacts has given Marjorie a positive sense of social identity and now she has a sense of belonging to her local community by feeling valued.

“I am getting more out of my life now.”

Read Marjorie's Story

Wendy and Edward her canine partner

Wendy's Story

Edward, a golden retriever, is Wendy's constant companionsleeping by her sideEdward alerts her husband to any change in Wendy's breathing pattern, so no night sitter is needed now.

"Having Edward to think about distracts me from my own problems – he is both a comfort and a support and the evidence is that I need less painkillers as a result."

Read Wendy's Story

Katie holding her certificate

Katie's Story

By using community facilities, Katie has improved her confidence and self esteem and now has a positive sense of social identity. At the beginning of the library course Katie didn't think she would be confident enough to ever use a computer, let alone buy one!

"I can now email and use the web-cam to see the kids. It’s so handy for me to keep in touch with my daughter in Southampton and people I don’t see very often."

Read Katie's story...



Older person hand on computer keyboard

Ruby's Story

Ruby, who is nearly 100, is still learning new skills through a course at The Mansion in Totnes. She wants to encourage other older people to stay part of modern day life.

"It is good to have an interest; it gets you out and mobile and you don't get so creaky! You meet other people and get to talk to them which is important if you spend a lot of time on your own.”

Read Ruby's story...

last updated May 2011