Library of Lived Experiences: Direct Payments

The Library of Lived Experiences was one of the outcomes of Voices4Choices, a project by Cambridgeshire Alliance for Independent Living (CAIL).

The project aimed to provide people who are new to Direct Payments with an understanding of how they work, and how they can change people’s lives, based on personal accounts. It also had a secondary purpose of being a resource for professionals, academics and researchers who want to learn from people’s lived experiences and gain an insight into what is working well, what isn’t, and what could be done better.

Unfortunately, CAIL shut down recently, but we have put up the library on our website here.

The stories have been edited to protect the anonymity of everyone who shared their story with us.  Individual’s names have been changed and other personal facts such as dates, addresses and contact information has either been changed or omitted.  There have been other small edits to fix basic grammar or sentence structure issues to improve readability.

Other than this, the words in the stories below are entirely those of the people sharing their personal experiences of using Direct Payments.


The stories here have been broken up into four Sections:

  1. Someone managing Direct Payments for a child.
  2. Someone managing Direct Payments for an adult.
  3. Someone managing Direct Payments for themselves.
  4. Professionals’ experiences with Direct Payments

Library of Lived Experience:

Disclaimer: The views expressed in these stories do not necessarily represent the views of CAIL, Disability Cambridgeshire, or their staff.

Click here to download the Library of Lived Experiences as a compressed zipped folder.

Section 1: – Someone managing Direct Payments for a child:

Section 2: Someone managing Direct Payments for an adult:

Section 3: Someone managing Direct Payments for themselves:

Section 4: Professionals’ experiences with Direct Payments: