ILF Scotland is a Scottish Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) constituted as a company limited by guarantee. It was created following the closure of the UK ILF in June 2015 and has been administering ILF funding for existing fund recipients in Scotland and Northern Ireland since 1st July 2015.
ILF Scotland distributes annual funding of around £55m to support recipients to lead independent lives. The organisation has a staff team of around 68, who provide funding support to over 8,000 current fund recipients split between the 2015 Fund and Transition Fund.
The organisation is fully funded by, and accountable to, Scottish and Northern Ireland Government Ministers via a Board of Directors. Directors are appointed by Scottish Ministers in line with the Scottish Public Appointments process.
As a values based organisation, ILF Scotland takes a values led approach to all the work they do where people and relationship building are a key focus.
Further information is available as follows:
Reopening of the 2015 Fund
In September 2023, the Scottish Government announced in its Programme for Government that ILF (2015 Fund) would re-open to new applicants in 2024, with an initial year one investment of up to £9 million to support up to 1000 new recipients in Scotland. It is anticipated that this funding will increase in subsequent years.
ILF Scotland was created following the closure of the UK ILF in June 2015 and has been administering Scottish ILF funding for existing fund recipients in Scotland and Northern Ireland since 1st July 2015. The purpose of this funding is to enable independent living for disabled people, giving recipients control, choice and dignity.
ILF Scotland currently distributes annual funding through the two funds of approximately £55m, alongside a revenue budget of approximately £4m. The organisation consists of a staff team of around 70 people, who provide independent living support for over 8,000 current fund recipients per annum split between the 2015 Fund (2,300) and Transition Fund (6,000).
Since Michaela first started receiving support from ILF when she was 17 years old, she has gone on to complete an undergraduate degree in PR and has a Masters in PR and Communication, specialising in Political Lobbying. Michaela also passed her driving test and has recently been awarded an MBE for her services to disabled people.
“Receiving support from ILF has allowed me to achieve goals that previously would not have been possible. I’ve been able to support more fundraising, and I have recently joined a political party to try to shape disability policy and legislation in Northern Ireland more directly. I have also been able to become more active in my community and am able to go on social outings more often.”
In late 2017, after an extensive process of co-production, the ILF Transition Fund was also launched to support young disabled people aged between 16 and 25 with the transition from school or children’s services. The Transition Fund is designed to encourage young disabled people to be more active and engaged in their communities, and to build and maintain relationships with other people.
Applicants can apply for grants of up to £4,000 each, which can be used to fund activities and experiences that will improve their transition into young adulthood, such as driving lessons, sporting equipment and joining a class or club.
23-year-old Hope always dreamt of making her own clothes and being able to show her personality through her unique style. Hope found embroidering extremely difficult in the past due to her visual impairment and has been unable to join embroidery classes because of this.
Hope applied to the ILF Scotland Transition Fund to help progress her embroidery skills and get closer to achieving her goals of making her own clothes.
Hope used money from the Transition Fund to buy an electric embroidery machine and accessories. The machine will allow her to import her designs from her computer making it much more accessible for her and will also allow her to join embroidery classes where she can meet new friends who are passionate about the same things.
“The process of applying to the ILF Scotland Transition Fund couldn’t have been easier. I applied during lockdown, and I was surprised at how quickly I received my grant approval. I thought that it would take longer given that a lot of things were closed during lockdown but actually, it was quick!”
Cait Kostka is a 19-year-old baker from Thornhill in Dumfries and Galloway who has autism. She applied to the Transition Fund to help start her baking and chocolate business. Since receiving support from the Transition Fund, Cait has become more independent and has improved her confidence.
The money Cait received was used to purchase all of the baking equipment she needed to start her business, including a food mixer, baking tins and chocolate moulds.
“Receiving the funding helped me to be more independent, mainly not relying on my parents for financial support all the time. It boosted my confidence, because if I needed to buy something I could just go and do it. I was making my own decisions and not relying on other people to help. Also, as I was busier, I was meeting more people face to face in my community and this helped my confidence a lot.”
Cait now supplies cakes and chocolates to a number of private customers and will soon be supplying local businesses. She plans to expand her business in the future and hopes to one day open her own café.
“Don’t be afraid to apply for support to try something new. The people at ILF Scotland are very helpful. It’s easy to apply to the Transition Fund – you just need to fill out a form and send it off. The sooner the better if you have an idea and need some financial help. Good luck!”