Pioneering project for disability rights in Wales: Citizen Directed Co-operatives Cymru

About Citizen Directed Co-operative Cymru Project logo

Disability Wales and Wales Co-operative Centre are celebrating the official launch of their new project today at 12:00pm at the Pierhead, Cardiff Bay and will be joined by Professor Mark Drakeford AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, and Aled Roberts AM, sponsor of the event.

Citizens Directed Co-operatives Cymru (CDCC) has attracted international support and will welcome guest speaker Dr Adolf Ratzka, founder of Swedish personal assistance co-operative STIL, who will share his expertise on how co-operatives support Independent Living for disabled people.

CDCC is funded by Big Lottery’s BIG Innovation fund until March 2018 and will provide disabled people in Wales with a new way to manage their direct payments, empowering citizens to gain greater control over their support requirements.

Welcoming this innovative project, Professor Mark Drakeford AM, said;

“It is through such collaboration and delivering practical leadership and action that we will achieve our vision of a greater voice and control for citizens and their right to live independently in the community.

“It is therefore fitting that Wales will be the first of the UK to support disabled people with their direct payments via a citizen’s directed co-operative. I congratulate Disability Wales, who with the Wales Co-operative Centre have had the vision to develop this excellent example of partnership working.”

Aled Roberts AM, sponsor of the event, has offered his support for the CDCC project:

“Direct payments are an important tool for promoting Independent Living for disabled people. This innovative new project will increase opportunities for disabled people in Wales to gain greater choice over the support they receive and increased control over their lives. I’m delighted to sponsor the launch of this exciting new project.”

Disability Wales Chief Executive Rhian Davies said; “This is an exciting time for Disability Wales and we welcome the national and international support that this project has received.

We are thrilled that the Big Lottery has funded this project. Citizen Directed Co-operatives Cymru will reignite the debate surrounding direct payments and will support and enable greater choice, voice and control for disabled people across Wales.” 

The Wales Co-operative Centre is Wales’ primary source of expertise on the development of co-operatives and social businesses. Derek Walker, its Chief Executive, commented:

“Disability Wales and the Wales Co-operative Centre believe that co-operatives can empower people to own and manage their own services. This pioneering co-operative approach will enable disabled people in Wales to live more independent lives. This new approach will not just be citizen directed, but citizen owned and citizen controlled as well”.

The Citizens Directed Co-operative Cymru project will make a real difference to the lives of disabled people across Wales. “As a direct payment recipient, it is such positive news to hear that the CDCC project is being delivered in Wales” explained Trevor Palmer, Board Member of Disability Wales. “This project will create real opportunities for disabled people to live a more independent life”.


For more information about the Citizen Directed Co-operatives Cymru project, please visit: or call Rebecca Newsome on 02920 887325.

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