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Why you can be confident in a new service from Shine

    • Natalia_and_Maryam

Further to feedback from members, Shine has launched a new service to help people with complex health conditions find the financial support they need.

The new Disability Benefits Advisory Service will offer guidance, information and support to help more members access key disability benefits. Open to all members living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, the service will act as a ‘one stop shop’, giving specialist advice and one-to-one support.

The service will also lead on relevant consultations on behalf of members, including representing Shine at the Disability Benefits Consortium. It will review and develop Shine information and events, tailored around the issues identified by members, and explore new ways to develop the benefits advisory support on offer.

Shine, a disability confident employer, has been supporting people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus for more than 50 years, so understands how the conditions can affect every aspect of life. Focusing particularly on more complex benefit issues, the service will range from supporting new parents looking after children with multiple needs, at home and at school, to young adults finding college, work or setting up a home, to people coping with later in life issues.

Completing benefit applications can be a lengthy process. Mum Natalia, whose one-year old daughter Maryam has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, feels she would have been lost without Shine’s support. Little Maryam needs full time care, risks infections and often has trips to hospital. Despite knowing her way around the system, having worked with a local authority, Natalia initially felt overwhelmed.

Natalia explains: “DLA is a huge form, you need to know how to complete it. We didn’t get it the first time, we had to appeal. Shine helped us to navigate the system, guided us on what to write, things to include, and we were successful the second time.

“Maryam needs a lot of care, catheterisation, medication - but I know we can access Shine for support. That gives confidence," she adds.

The new service will be a key deliverable in the charity’s new corporate plan to be launched later this year. To access the service, contact Shine on 01733 555988 or


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