Discretionary Fund update

This is an update about Future Pathways’ fund, used to help support the people we work with.

We call this our Discretionary Fund or DF for short. However, below, we will simply refer to it as ‘the fund’.   

The fund is one of the different types of support that people can access from Future Pathways. It is used to support people work towards their goals. 

It is important that we use the fund fairly, that the fund is available to everyone, and that we can make the fund stretch as far as possible. With that in mind, we are making two changes to the fund for the purchase of items 

  1. There will now be a limit on how much an individual can access the fund in a 12-month period. An individual will only be able to access up to £5,000 in 12 months for purchasing items. 
  2. There will now be a limit on the amount that an individual can request in a single application. For items and goods, we will accept single applications of no more than £3,000 

For requests of over £1,000, a Support Coordinator writes an application to the fund on a person’s behalf. Before these new changes take place, four weeks will be given for pending applications to be completed. ‘Pending’ means applications that have already been agreed with Support Coordinators. These must be completed before 1st December.  

For applications that have not already been agreed with Support Coordinators, the new limits will apply to all new requests from 1st November.  

Only in very special cases, where there is an immediate and clear need, requests outside the limits may be approved by members of the Alliance Leadership Team. The Alliance Leadership Team oversees Future Pathways.  

We would rather not have to add limits to how much you can access from the fund. We know that it is an important part of support from Future Pathways. But making these changes now, helps us to make sure that:  

  • the fund can be accessed by everyone supported by Future Pathways 
  • the changes affect as few people as possible 
  • we can continue to make the fund available  

The reason for needing to make these changes is due to a number of factors that have been impacting the fund: 

  • Many people we support are affected by the cost-of-living crisis. This has led to more requests being made to the fund.  
  • The cost of items and services has gone up which means the fund is stretched even further.  
  • We are trying to support a larger group of people as more people come forward for support from Future Pathways.  

Following the changes, we will review how much of the fund is spent each month. We hope that no further changes will be needed. But we might need to look again if costs continue to be higher than planned. 

We know that change can be difficult. We have taken the time to really consider these changes. Our hope is that we can maintain our service in the best possible way, and with as little disruption as possible to the people we support.   

The role of Future Pathways remains the same. We are here to support people with their goals and to help people work towards them. 

We issued further information on the Discretionary Fund in an information sheet. 
If you have any questions, you can:  

We have sent communication to all people in active support. The information about these changes were sent via letter and / or email (depending on their communication preference). Letters were dispatched on Monday 23 October and emails were sent the same day.

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