UPDATE – Petition re respite places for disabled adults with life shortening conditions

Received from Robert WatsonSIGN HIS PETITION HERE  and then share with your own contacts asking them to do the same.

Original details here

I would like to update on what has been happening with the adult respite campaign which I set up. My 38 Degrees petition still needs your support. Some significant progress has been made in terms of taking the petition to the Scottish Parliament, which will be the biggest milestone of the campaign so far. 

RobertWOne significant factor in helping get the petition to Parliament has been the involvement of the well known Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie. Ms Baillie is already involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign as she helps organise the Cross Party Group meetings on MD that are held at the Scottish Parliament every so often, and she already told me when I met her at an Action Duchenne lobby of parliament back in June that she was very willing to help support myself and all the other young adults with this campaign.  It was great that she showed her commitment to helping us by coming to one of the CHAS Young Adult Council meetings to chat with myself and other affected young adults about how we can take the campaign forward.


Perhaps at this point I should explain a bit about what the Young Adult Council (YAC) actually is. I am the Chairperson of the YAC which was originally set up so that us young people could have input into what is done at CHAS and how they work with young people and looking at ways that CHAS could improve the services it offers to young adults. But now since CHAS announced it’s Upper Age Limit it would be pointless for the YAC to maintain these objectives, so now our goals have changed and we are now having more regular monthly meetings with the goal of working on the adult respite campaign to try and take it forward, find out if there are any suitable adult respite services out there that we may have missed (there arent!) and we have been inviting different people to come to our meetings who we feel might be able to help us.


But back to the campaign. Jackie Baillie genuinely seems to want to help us, she gave us lots of useful information on how we can take the campaign to the next level. Jackie Baillie and Jim Eadie, an SNP MSP, have agreed to work together to support us, so its great to see that they are willing to put their political party affiliations to one side in order to help us on this issue.


Jackie says that next step has to be to get me to Parliament to speak about this issue in front of the MSPs so that they can all hear how vital this issue is, and also it would get the media involved because they would then have a story to report on. We would want to get as many of us young adults and our families and supporters as possible to go along to the Scottish Parliament so that we could stand outside and show them how much this means to us, and with the media involved this would really make us a much more powerful voice. In order for me to be able to present to parliament on this issue, I first had to fill out a form detailing what the petition is about, why it is so important, etc. and email it to the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee who then decide whether to choose the petition to be debated at Parliament. But this is where the support of Jackie Baillie is so vital as she has the power to make sure that my petition gets chosen to be debated at parliament so that I can present it.


I sent the petition application form off at the end of September, and it is now just a case of waiting for the Committee to invite me to Parliament to present my petition, which I have been told will happen before Christmas. Indeed as recently as Wednesday (23rd October) I received an email from the Committee Assistant informing me that my petition has now been lodged with Parliament, so it shouldn’t be too long now! I will soon be able to inform everyone of the date of the big day, where we will need as much support as we possibly can get.


As well as the political side of things I have also been busy trying to spread more awareness of the campaign. Last month I attended the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Scottish Council meeting to raise the issue, and at the beginning of this month I did a 15 minute presentation to a large audience about the adult respite campaign at the MDC annual Scottish Conference, where many professionals, young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families were present, so it was a good group of people to present to.


So as a date for presenting the petition to Parliament edges ever closer, we cant afford to let the momentum of the campaign grind to a halt. The more signatures I have on the petition when I show it to the politicians, the greater the impact it will have because they will see just how much this issue means to so many people, not just one small group of adults who make up the YAC.

So could I ask to sign my petition?

Then share it with everyone you know and ask them to sign it?

I really appreciate your support, it means a lot to me and so many others.


Thanks again,


Robert Watson


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