Much has been written over these past days about Atos versus the supportive/campaigning CarerWatch forum. Just as much has been speculated.
Why didn’t Atos approach the administrators of the forum with their threatening letter?
Why didn’t Atos initially state what the offending comments were?
Why didn’t CarerWatch receive an apology?
Questions people want answers too but won’t get from CarerWatch.
Why I hear you ask?
CarerWatch has done nothing wrong. What an opportunity to make something out of the mighty billionaire company Atos’s bullying tactics. Threats to what is a private members forum.
I will tell you why.
The admins of the CarerWatch forum are 2 ordinary hard working ladies. No they aren’t. Hard working ladies they may be but there is absolutely nothing ordinary about either of them.
The site was set up 4 years ago, it had 7 founder members, to help other unpaid carers campaign, signpost to support if needed. Full stop.
It is not political, although comments do arise through people’s fears of what the future will bring to us all. Both of these ladies are unpaid carers themselves and know only too well the battles a family carer faces on a daily basis. These range in magnitude from empty promises made by successive Governments to ‘support’ the wonderful unpaid job we do, to ignoring requests for a decent carer’s allowance. The fears we all face from this flawed and ignorant Welfare Reform are real.
Some carers have access to a local group where they can go one afternoon a month, Wow, to meet with other like-minded carers. Others aren’t so lucky. They don’t have a group anymore. They used to but the cuts saw to its closure.
Some may not be able to leave their loved one even if they did have a local group to attend or they may have been a former carer. It doesn’t matter their reasons for joining the forum. To them it is a lifeline to other like-minded people. An invaluable service where carers can chat about their worries, gain information and campaign.
I, as a long time carer, am new to the cyber world of ‘chatting’ on line. I am slowly getting used to learning the new language of abbreviations, initials, one letter for u or r, blogs and forums. Twitter is an unknown to me but Stephen Fry has 2 million followers I believe. Fine but then he is a TV personality so you would expect lots of ‘Twits’ following his every word.
CarerWatch forum has about 460 members, which is fantastic. Each has a different story to bring to the table and they are able to take so much away with them.
Our 2 ladies offer the unconditional support, advice, comfort and often a shoulder to cry on which goes with the territory of being an unpaid carer. I know. I have had that shoulder to support me recently. This takes up what time and energy they have left after their own commitments. This is the important path they have chosen…to help others.
This is why they don’t have the time to pursue Atos. They are concentrating on those they care about… US.
To Frances and Rosemary…thank you for being you.
Pat Onions 29th August
Questions and Answers – CarerWatch and Atos
We thank Pat for her very kind comments but we have to say that we are not the only two people working at CarerWatch. Each participating member contributes.
CarerWatch are a democratic group and all decisions are taken by the members. Unfortunately this time we were left high and dry, out of contact with members through the closure, so we had to cope with this situation on our own, as best we could.
This has been a total distraction for us. We aren’t civil rights campaigners and can’t sort out the libel laws.
Happily now we are back in contact with every one and our top priority is with campaigns like our ONE SIMPLE CHANGE campaign and campaigning regarding carers issues. see below
These campaigns around government policy have always been our focus and we must prepare for the return of the government after recess.