I’m 28 years old – but if they take away my social care it’ll be the end of my life.
I’m disabled but I want to enjoy life the way any other young woman can. Thanks to social care I have two volunteer jobs, I can go shopping, see my friends.
George Osborne is about to decide how to spend our country’s money for the next two years. Will you join my petition and tell him to fund social care for all disabled people who need it? We only have a few weeks!
Let me tell you a little more about me………………………
I live in Luton and I’ve got lots of friends here. In my spare time I love going round to see my mates, going out shopping …or hanging out at home on Facebook!
I did a degree in psychology and criminal behaviour. It was interesting but nothing like CSI! During one of the seminars, I met a representative from Headway, the spinal brain injury charity and I’ve been volunteering there for the last two and a half years. I won Luton’s Volunteer of the Year Award last year.
I’m constantly looking for paid work. I don’t sit around watching TV, I never have, I don’t believe in that. I would love to get a paid job. I have tried. I’ve been for interviews for customer services and as a support worker. Even though we are supposed to have equal opportunities, people still look at my wheelchair.
I was hit by a car when I was two. I have a spinal brain injury which has affected my left side. I can’t walk because I have no balance, so I use an electric chair.
When I turned 18, Social Services helped me find a place to live and be independent. Social care gave me total freedom to get up, go to bed, go to the toilet and settle into my new home and life. With decent social care I’ve been able to do whatever I want. I can go out and enjoy life the way any other young woman can. I have two volunteer jobs, and I can go shopping and see my friends.
Suddenly, out of the blue recently they’ve tried to cut my care from 20 hours a day down to three. I was shocked, upset and angry. I tried to negotiate with the woman at the Council and was told “life’s not perfect for anyone”. I don’t expect it to be perfect – I want to have a life like any young woman.
I’d have no freedom. I’d have to be in bed at 9.30pm and get up at 7.30am, with no way to go to the toilet in the night either. My carer wouldn’t have time to cook me fresh food (microwaved horsemeat lasagne here I come!).
Imagine living this life for the next 50 years. If I was stuck with that forever, I would give up and lose my passion for living. I would find a way to end my life.
What I’m asking for isn’t unreasonable. I just want flexibility and freedom and a little help. I’m not asking for someone to be with me 24 hours a day. But I do want dignity and I do want freedom. If I wasn’t in this wheelchair I would have those things, so why shouldn’t I.
What’s worse is it isn’t just me. It isn’t just about reducing how much support people get. They’re taking away all support for some disabled people. Every disabled person who needs care should get it – this is about the basic dignity and freedom to live our lives.
The government has what they call a spending review coming up – it’s when George Osborne decides: How will he spend our money? What do we care about as a country?
Will you sign the petition I’ve started and send George Osborne a message loud and clear that we care about social care for disabled people? Let’s get him to put the money in the right place. They spent more than a billion pounds just on the Olympics village where the athletes stayed last year, surely they can put at least that much into social care for us?
Thanks a lot for listening. I really believe we can do this together.
P.S. You’re getting this message because you’re on Scope’s campaigns email list – they’ve kindly lent me this spot to email you about my petition helping the Britain Cares campaign. You can also find out more about my story in a video if you like.