11:02AM, Thursday 31 January 2013
Paralympic hero Sophie Christiansen has called for better care to help her and other disabled people get out into the community.
The Maidenhead resident has become frustrated by what she feels is a lack of support from the Royal Borough to assist her and help with travel.
The equestrian star, who has cerebral palsy, spoke out after airing her frustrations about social services on Twitter last week.
The 25-year-old admitted she was a unique case, but called for better support to help put her in touch with the right people and financial assistance for her needs.
Sophie, who won three gold medals at last year's Paralympics, receives an athlete's personal allowance from UK Sport for training costs but said she needs more help.
She said: "I have been struggling for years now with finding appropriate care for going places and training.
"Social services have been great at providing me with sheltered accommodation and assisted living in Maidenhead. It's great for my basic needs.
"I'm not one for staying in my flat all day. I appreciate what I do is my responsibility.
"I would have thought I would get a bit of a hand with letting me know what services are out there to help me out. I have done all the research and found everything out myself.
"It's the main point I am making with benefit cuts. If they want to try and encourage people to get out in society they need help with care and getting there."
Social services, you are actually rubbish. I am sick of doing your job for you!— Sophie Christiansen (@SChristiansen87) January 21, 2013
A spokeswoman for the Royal Borough said it encourages residents to participate in social activities and works with the Shaw Trust to support people with disabilities in employing personal assistants and to help them live independently.
She added Windsor & Maidenhead Voluntary Association and Care Bank offer assistance in finding volunteers, and the borough is looking into providing access to a website offering information on what is available.
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