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Development of an Independent Living Hub at Bspoked

Easy read version

  • The Independent Living Hub will help people to learn skills so they can do as much as possible on their own or with less support from their carers or parents
  • The plan is to create 2 new training flats where people can learn skills with help from the staff at Bspoked
  • We will ask people who go to Bspoked to tell us what they think about the plan to create the Hub and what they think will help them to learn skills.
  • We will also ask staff who work at Bspoked what they think about the plan.
  • We would like to know what you think of the plan.
  • There are different ways for you to tell us what you think:


Bspoked Enterprises is a training and employment centre the purpose of which is to provide people who have low to moderate learning disabilities the opportunity to develop employment and training skills which they can use to move on to other training and employment opportunities.

However, Bspoked has evolved over the years for some people to become a long term day service despite the aim of Bspoked being to support people to transition to other opportunities.

The current building, which is located at Neath Abbey, will be adapted to include areas where people can be supported by staff to develop new and build on existing skills as well as skills which will enable them to progress to other training opportunities or employment.

The newly created areas will include two training flats each with a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom (although these areas will not provide accommodation for people to live in but will be a training facility). Use of assistive technology will be facilitated by including up to date equipment within the training flats to enable people to try this equipment and devices and develop the skills to use this technology within their own environment.

What is Independent Living?

Independent Living empowers you to have greater choice and control in directing your own life, having the same range of choices as a non-disabled person to make informed decisions about any practical support you require to go about your everyday life. For some people, that can be:

  • using the bus
  • attending an activity in their community centre
  • making lunch
  • having someone to help you pay your bills
  • doing the weekly shop
  • connecting online with friends, using online bank or finding information

Independent living is not about people living alone or being without support that they need, but making sure that the barriers that stop you being able to choose what you would like to do are reduced and/or where possible removed.

The disabled community tells us that the 12 basic rights of disabled people are:

  1. Appropriate and Accessible Information
  2. An adequate income
  3. Appropriate and accessible health and social care provisions
  4. A fully-accessible transport system
  5. Full access to the environment
  6. Adequate provision of technical aids and equipment
  7. Availability of accessible and adapted housing
  8. Adequate provision of personal assistance
  9. Availability of inclusive education and training
  10. Equal opportunities for employment
  11. Availability of independent advocacy and self- advocacy
  12. Availability of peer counselling

What is the aim of the Independent Living Hub?

We want to develop Bspoked into an Independent Living Hub that works with you to hear what is important to you and your independence. We are proposing that we no longer focus only on work, training and employment and that we develop our service to include supporting you achieve your goals in all aspects of your life.
At the Independent Hub, we will aim to:

  • deliver task focussed activities that enable people to develop the skills they require to live as independently as possible such as looking after the home, shopping and meal preparation and managing money etc.
  • facilitate group and individual activities that support positive contributions to local communities e.g. volunteering, work and training
  • support individuals to find travel solutions via the use of various methods of independent travel, including the use of public transport, cycling or walking.
  • prepare people [who wish to move to their own accommodation] with necessary life skills to move on to more independent accommodation and to support them with this process.
  • support people to utilise every day and advancing assistive technology to aid them live more independently
  • (wherever possible) follow structured competency based training and educational opportunities that the service provides.
  • ensure that each individual within the service has a specific outcome/s identified that they wish to achieve, in consultation with their network of support and to monitor their progress
  • encourage naturally occurring relationships, support and resources, so that an individual’s network within their community is maximised
  • provide a ‘drop in’ service to the community to enable them to access support to manage activities of daily living.

What are the aims of this consultation?

The aims of the consultation are to:

  • Make sure that all interested parties are aware of the Council’s idea to develop Bspoked into an Independent Living Hub
  • Make sure that people have all the information they need to come to an informed opinion
  • Encourage people to give their views on the document (outlined in section 2)
  • Make sure people know how to submit their views
  • Collect feedback and consider this before a final decision is made

When will the consultation take place?

The Council will be collecting feedback for 90 days from 15th December 2021 and finish on 15th March 2022 (see below for how to give your views).

After the consultation ends, all of the feedback will be analysed and a report will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet. That report will set out the proposals and recommendations taking into account the feedback from the consultation.

Questions and Answers

There are a number of ways that you can submit questions and comments about the Independent Living Hub during the consultation period. However, here are answers to some questions you may have:

We want to enhance what we already offer. We know that many people want to develop their independence, and we feel the introduction of two training flats will support people develop these skills. We would like to develop the existing workshops to be more focused on building your independent living skills; we know that supporting people to build their confidence and independent living skills can be achieved in many ways, and developing the existing workshops is another way to do that.

We want to know if you think the development of Bspoked into an independent living hub is a good idea, and if there’s anything you think we’ve missed.

How will the Council collect views and opinions?

There are a number of ways that the Council will be collecting views and opinions on the draft strategy:

  1. Consultation Portal
    The “Have Your Say” section on Neath Port Talbot Council’s website will allow you to view all supporting documents, make comments and provide feedback via the Internet.
  2. Meetings with partner agencies, groups and forums
    We will be discussing the proposal at meetings with key partner agencies, service user groups, carer forums and other stakeholder forums.
    • 25th January 2022 at 11.00am for families and carers
    • 25th January 2022 at 14.00pm for service users
  3. In writing
    You can write to us or complete the Feedback Form. Letters and forms can be put into the suggestion box or can be posted to:
    Independent Living Hub Consultation
    Neath Port Talbot Council
    Social Services Commissioning Unit
    Civic Centre
    SA11 3QZ
    Or email

Explanation of terms used in the context of this document

  • Advocacy is a service that represents others or helps them to represent themselves. The advocate will put a person's views forward, make sure that they are kept fully informed and that they have all the information they need to make an informed decision or choice.
  • Independent Living enables disabled people to achieve their own goals and live their lives in the way they choose.
  • Partner agencies - these are organisations who work together to provide services, e.g. the Council, Local Health Board, Carers Service, etc.
  • A Stakeholder is a person, group or organisation with a direct interest, involvement, or investment in something, e.g. staff, owners and customers/ service users of a business or service.

Alternative Formats

This information is available in a range of formats including Welsh. All documents can also be accessed via the Council’s website.

To make a request for another format, please ask one of the Respite or Day Centre Staff who will pass your request on to the Commissioning Unit, or email us directly at: