Apart from developing day care centres, following the example of our teachers from the Percy Hedley Foundation in Newcastle, we started relatively early to provide respite care addressed to families of people with disabilities exhausted with their responsibilities, through the Social Activation Centre in Zamość (since 2006) and the Jan and Zofia Kulakowski Centre for Social Activation of People with Disabilities (since 2012) and the Social Activation Centre in Biłgoraj (since 2014). Covering children and adolescents with several days of training in independent living under the supervision of therapists gave respite and a chance to regenerate their caregivers. 14 years ago the Anglo-Saxon term "respite home" was not yet used in Poland, so we were pioneers.
Since 2010, in order to meet the needs of children and youth who want to actively participate in social life, we have launched the service of individual support by an assistant for a person with disabilities, also as one of the first in Poland. Since then, we have completed several hundred thousand hours of support by assistants who, mainly in the afternoons and at weekends, enable our pupils to actively participate in cultural, social and community life. A few years later our solutions were supported by the City of Zamość and the Zamość Municipality, which are the only local authorities in the region to finance the support of an assistant for a person with disabilities. The main source of funding for these services remains PFRON and, more recently, the Solidarity Fund.
All our activities are undertaken out of concern for the quality of life of the family, bearing in mind the need to relieve it. In 2020, we were invited as social advisors to the Government Plenipotentiary for Persons with Disabilities, and co-created the government's Personal Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities and the Carers Support Program.