Written by PraxisAdmin

New research project in Northern Ireland led by disabled people

Praxis Care, Mencap and Queen’s University Belfast are the latest to receive funding as part of a previously funded £5 million research programme into independent living for disabled people.

The Supported Decision Making Project, which is receiving £90,000, will explore solutions that empower disabled people to directly influence decisions about daily life to major life decisions. It has been awarded funding from the DRILL (Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning) programme, a five year scheme launched in 2015, led by disabled people and funded by Big Lottery Fund.

The project will be led by disabled people, who will be working alongside academics and policy makers.

Alan Sheeran, Chair of the National Advisory Group, which advises on DRILL projects in Northern Ireland said:

“This project is very timely as Northern Ireland is implementing the Mental Capacity Act and the research will be key in informing the policy and practice of supported decision making, not just here but internationally.”

Paul Webb, Research Manager, Praxis Care said:

“Praxis Care are so pleased to be carrying out this very important area of work, the fact that this will be led by disabled people, who are directly impacted by this legislation is the most important factor of the project.”

DRILL has also announced that it is calling for new applications for research or project funds. More information is available from www.drilluk.org.uk.

Launched in 2015, the DRILL programme is fully funded by Big Lottery Fund and delivered by Disability Rights UK, Disability Action Northern Ireland, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales. DRILL is expecting to fund a total of up to 40 research pilots and projects over a 5-year period, all led by disabled people. Around £1,000,000 has been allocated in this  round of applications.

For further media enquiries: Karen Hall

Email: karenhall@disabilityaction.org

Telephone: 07843 416548


Project Summary

Supported decision making is a project researching the experiences of disabled people with mental health and learning difficulties, of decision making processes.

The project partners are Praxis Care, Queen’s University Belfast and Mencap and an international advisory group.  The coproduced research is of immediate and direct relevance to the Code of Practice and implementation of the Mental Capacity Act (NI) 2016.  The Act is world leading, and when implemented, will have relevance across the UK and internationally.

Supported decision making will:

  • look for solutions that empower disabled people to directly influence decisions about daily life to major life decisions
  • use the coproduced solutions to directly inform the Codes of Practice that define how the support principle of the Mental Capacity Act (NI) 2016 will be implemented in practice

Supported decision making is a 1 year project and receiving £90,708.00 of DRILL funding.


The DRILL programme is being delivered by Disability Rights UK, Disability Action Northern Ireland, Disability Wales and Inclusion Scotland.

Each country has a National Advisory Group, including disabled people, academics and policy makers, who provide advice, scrutinise research proposals, make recommendations and help promote and disseminate the findings. A Central Research Committee, made up of disabled people, academics and policy influencers from across the UK makes the final decision on which research proposals receive funding.

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.

It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year it invests over £538 million and awards around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.

About Praxis Care

Praxis Care is the largest Northern Ireland charity providing care for nearly 1,500 vulnerable children and adults affected by mental ill-health, learning disability, acquired brain injury and dementia. The charity works across Northern Ireland, Ireland, England and the Isle of Man.

The services provided include accommodation care and support services, floating support and home response services, day activities, advocacy and befriending services.

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