A FINANCIAL scheme to help adults in need across Oxfordshire has enabled a 30-year-old man to discover his artistic talents.

Tom Maryan, 30, of Rowstock near Didcot, has discovered his talent for landscape painting after the adult social care team at Oxfordshire County Council linked him up with “direct payments”.

Direct payments are a “personal budget” given to adults as part of the council’s social support plan for recipients to use however they wish, including setting up their own care.

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Mr Maryan, who has a learning disability and severe anxiety, said he “wasn’t seeing his needs met through traditional social care avenues” such as day services and respite care.

Herald Series: Tom Maryan's paintingTom Maryan's painting

So when set up with direct payments, he was able arrange his own care and support including community-based help and care and support in the home.

Since having the support of his new carers, Mr Maryan has “come out of his shell, living a busy, happy life”.

He now loves playing golf, cycling, developing his artistic skills, particularly painting landscapes, and going to the cafe with his friends. He has even completed a project about local churches.

He said: “My new carers, Jen and Carly, are very helpful and kind, and I have done lots of things with them already.

“I am very happy because I have now got Lizzie, Jen and Carly to look after me.”

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Tom’s mum, Mandy, is “absolutely delighted” to see her son flourish with the support of his new carers.

She said: “I always think it is lovely to see how his personal budget is allowing him to blossom and develop.

“He's a very lucky man to have such a wonderful team of personal assistants supporting him.

“None of this would've been possible without the invaluable support of the adult social care team."

Herald Series: Tom Maryan with carerTom Maryan with carer

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “It’s great news to hear that Tom is now prospering with the support of his brilliant team of carers.

“This is a great example of how ‘direct payments’ can transform a person's life - giving them the flexibility to decide and arrange their own care and helping them to live the life they want to lead.

“All people have different needs and circumstances and as such we can’t deploy a one size fits all approach to those in the county council’s care.

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“We use our intelligence and imagination to come up with solutions that suit individuals and Tom is a prime example of how that works in practice.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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