The Gourlay's Story
The video footage above will tell you the Gourlay's story. It is also explained in the text below.
Mr Gourlay is 81 years old and had been assessed by social work because he couldn’t leave the house without support and he was walking with the aid of sticks. Originally, they had tried to get him an electric wheelchair, but this wouldn’t fit through the front door. So, he was given a manual wheelchair and Mr and Mrs Gourlay needed to find people to help them to lift it in and out of the house. Along with Mr Gourlay’s difficulties using the shower, this began to mean that the Gourlays had to accept the need to apply to be rehoused.
Then a physiotherapist came and suggested the Gourlays could get a scooter instead. This wouldn’t need to fit through the door, as it could be stored in the back garden.
‘That was when they put us on to the Broker,’ says Mrs Gourlay. ‘At the beginning, when they said “Broker”, you think, how’s this going to work, what is that going to cost? But they said it doesn’t cost anything, it was a new scheme that they’ve got. And they came and they took us to Silverburn to try out the scooters, because we don’t drive. Then they took us to Irvine to the shops there.’
This gave Mr Gourlay the chance to try out the different models of scooter, to see if he took to it. ‘It was a test drive - it was great! I couldn’t thank them enough for taking me.’ Afterwards, Mr Gourlay chose the scooter he’d tried in Silverburn. The Broker rang the centre to find out more about the model, and helped the Gourlays shop around to find the right model at the right price. First, though, they needed somewhere to store it:
‘From there, they got on to the builder to see what we needed for a hut. We got three quotes and we decided what one we would go with. They came and cleared the back, slabbed it, put the hut up, put they electricity in and then we went ahead and bought the scooter. They examined it all to make sure it’s all as it should be, and now we don’t have to move.’
It means the world to the couple that they can stay in their own home:
‘It’s great, absolutely great,’ says Mrs Gourlay. ‘If we would have had to move, we would have been away from the town centre. We couldn’t believe it when we didn’t have to move. He would have never have been able to use the scooter as much if we had went further out, he would probably have had to use the bus, which is not ideal. The biggest deal was not moving house, he knows the place and isn’t having to adjust to new circumstances.’
‘We certainly didn’t want to move if we could help it. We’re central for the town, I can go up there in the wee scooter,’ says Mr Gourlay. ‘It’s brightened my outlook – I’m less crabbit! I was in a dark place, places I didn’t want to be. Now I can go and visit my pals, and my pals come and visit me, which makes a big difference.’
It has also meant the Gourlays then didn’t need to have an individual budget. They paid for the work themselves, which was much cheaper than the ongoing charge social work would have applied should they have taken the individual budget. In the end a fairly complex situation with all sort of knock on affects was easily resolved.