Archive for the ‘young carers’ Category

Major shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire is approved

5 October 2011


HUNDREDS of elderly and vulnerable people will have their home help removed as part of the biggest shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire for more than 60 years.

County councillors agreed yesterday to remove care allowances to people who need help with simple household tasks like cooking or cleaning.

Major shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire is approved | This is Lincolnshire

Welfare reform Bill – House of Lords –

14 September 2011

Tuesday 13th sept 2011 witnessed the 2nd reading of this Bill – House of Lords.

Transcript from Hansard can be found here

Also available on Theyworkforyou websiteannotations can be added on right hand side relating to each speech made.

23 references made to carersdetails here

Coalition government – a ‘machine’ made from steel

8 September 2011

For countless years, with successive governments, family carers have continuously raised their voices outlining the many problems they face, about resources, finances, respite and/or equipment.

Yet no matter how much they chipped away at the brick wall no real action has been taken, by past and present govts. Campaigns have followed one after the other from many individuals, groups, and charities.

We are currently witnessing the biggest shake up of welfare benefits in over 60 years and still the issues surrounding Carers Allowance are not being addressed.  It is the LOWEST of all benefits at £55.55  per week.

As campaigners we will not give up even though the brick wall is now made of re enforced steel. Behind that wall lies a Coalition machine made from cold steel too. It shows NO understanding, NO compassion. It operates so clinically, so precise and its actions prove that it has no heart.

It speaks of Responsibility, Big Society, yet continues on its mission to persecute many disabled people, their families, and carers, with this current Welfare Reform Bill.

Is this the future we want for ourselves, for our children?

A future where disabled people and their families are battered from all directions.

Borrowing the famous words from Winston Churchill and altering them slightly…

Never has so much been given so freely by so few, for the benefit of so many.

 Carers need action and they need it NOW

 Please contact any groups/charities you belong to. Tell them your concerns surrounding Welfare Reform.

Contact your MP . Add your postcode in the box on this link to find their details

Feel free to use this template from Sue Marsh of The Broken of Britain

Support the Hardest Hit campaign which following on from a successful march in May 2011 are now planning local protests.

One simple change re ESA

As individuals any action we take may seem so small, but collectively we can be stronger.

What does the future hold for family carers?

8 August 2011

Can we afford to ignore family carers?

Care provided by them is a necessity and will be even more so as the population ages.  Plus as medicine breakthroughs continue and many people with disabilities and illnesses will live longer, the country will rely even more on the foundation that family carers provide.  They are a group of people who provide a vital service, yet governments, past and present, have taken them for granted, have taken their love for granted.

In this present economic climate we are already witnessing many cutbacks within Local Authorities:

  • Care criteria being tightened
  • Day centres closing
  • Respite allocations reducing in many areas
  • Meals on wheels costs increasing dramatically
  • Care package costs increasing
  • Transport for disabled people either stopping or priced out of reach
  • Carers’ grants under threat

…………… and so the list could go on.

Yet through all this, the one thing that remains constant is the love and support given freely by families. They provide a foundation that would be a great folly for any government to ignore.

We recognise that many carers want to return to/remain in work, and realise that any support given to them is vital.

However we cannot, and must not, ignore full-time carers.  Failing to recognise their input is storing up even further trouble for the future by placing added pressure on already stretched Social Services departments and the NHS.

Carer Watch were pleased to learn in the publication of the Welfare Reform Bill that Carers Allowance will remain outside the proposed Universal Credit. Along with many others we campaigned long and hard for this. However Carers Allowance has always been completely inadequate and carers still seem to be overlooked and forgotten as other benefits are changed around them in the biggest shake up of our benefit system in over 60 years.

To date, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, and his department, have maintained silence as to their intentions re:CA. Leaving it outside the proposed UC is not enough. They need to address the problems that have surrounded this benefit for far too long.

There have been many campaigns over the years by various organisations (see notes below) all asking for the same – the reform of Carers Allowance – to remove the restrictions therein and also to increase the monetary pittance that CA is.
In the report Breakthrough Britain (2007) from the Social Justice Policy Group (policy recommendations to the Conservative Party) it was recommended –

 doubling the carers allowance to £90 a week because of the vast amounts carers save the taxpayer by looking after their sick and elderly relatives at home and not relying on the state to care for them.

Other measures would need to be put in place to ensure that families claiming other benefits/premiums were no worse off.

The report also states –  

Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do.

We cannot and must not allow this opportunity to fully reform CA to pass us by.

Carers are used to words of praise, more of which can be heard here from David Cameron but it is NOT enough. No matter how much understanding he says the Coalition has, no matter how many times he says Thank you, it is NOT enough.

Carers need action and they need it now


Carer Watch campaigns    

National Pensioners Convention      

Carers UK         

Daily Mirror

Age UK – Invisible but invaluable


6 July 2011

The Great British Care Awards are a series of regional events throughout England and are a celebration of excellence across the care sector .  The purpose of the awards are to pay tribute to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work.

There are 9 regional awards leading to 2 national finals for both the home care and care home sectors.

The Carers Award looks to celebrate the unpaid carer who dedicates themselves to the caring of others, therefore we are calling for your help to nominate those who really deserve to be recognised.

Each shortlisted finalist will be given 2 FREE tickets to the Gala Dinner as we
believe everyone is a winner and should enjoy a great night out to celebrate
themselves and the work they do.

To nominate online please follow this link

Thank you!

BBC Radio 4 Programmes – It’s My Story, Letting Go of James

1 July 2011


"I’ve driven home from work in tears many times recently, because I just don’t want to let go", says Jane, James mother at the start of Letting Go of James. But the truth is that the family isn’t coping with him living at home. He is 16, severely autistic, does not speak and can attack other members of the family.

He has been offered a place in full time residential care, and the family is now going through the process of transition. James three brothers take part in several visits to the school and Charles, James’ father, comments on the irony that the family is spending more times with James just as they are about to say goodbye.

Before the final goodbye they have a last family holiday, which despite some magical moments, underlies the fact that James needs to go.

BBC – BBC Radio 4 Programmes – It’s My Story, Letting Go of James

The Hardest Hit – We Did It

20 June 2011

Received from Hardest Hit organisers


We did it!

The day of action on 11 May was a great success – we estimate that around 8,000 disabled people, their families and friends took part in the march and 600 disabled people met their MPs to raise the issue of the cuts to DLA and support services.

There was extensive national, regional and local media coverage with at least 500 separate news items related to the event. If you haven’t yet seen our video coverage from the day, you can still watch it.

The rally saw Liam Byrne MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) powerfully express his support for the Hardest Hit campaign and the day made many MPs and peers aware of the strength of feeling against these cuts.

The Hardest Hit protest has successfully got the issues we care about on their radar. The challenge over the next few months is to capitalise on the pressure we’ve built up and deliver the change we all want to see.

So what happens next


Supporting carers is not just right, it’s rational

16 June 2011

by Peter Watt

This week is “carers week“, when the fantastic contribution and role played by the millions of carers in the UK is celebrated.  It is all very big, or even good, society.  The numbers of those with a caring role is on the increase.  But there is one particular group of carers whose numbers are increasing fast, and that is older carers who care for very old relatives. The reasons for the increase are clear. According to the ONS, the fastest population increase has been in the number of those aged 85 and over, the “oldest old”. In 1984, there were around 660,000 people in the UK aged 85 and over. Since then the numbers have more than doubled reaching 1.4 million in 2009. By 2034 the number of people aged 85 and over is projected to be 2.5 times larger than in 2009, reaching 3.5 million and accounting for 5 per cent of the total population. This is, of course, a fantastic success story with people living longer and living healthier for longer. But it also means that there are many older people who are themselves caring for very old and frail relatives.


Oldbury widower’s Downing Street visit to plead against axing of carers’ support

14 June 2011



A BEREAVED Oldbury husband, who spent 10 years caring for his wife, is due to plead with politicians in Downing Street tomorrow to stop cuts to services which give vital support to carers.

David Upson is representing Dementia UK at the Carers Week reception at Number 10 at which ministers will be told that nearly 90 per cent of unpaid carers in the West Midlands fear the consequences of the austerity measures and half do not know how they will cope as the axe falls

Oldbury widower’s Downing Street visit to plead against axing of carers’ support (From Halesowen News)

‘Just make us feel human’ – Carers Week 2011

14 June 2011

Pat Onions, CarerWatch member, submitted her piece to CommunityCare.

The situation David and I find ourselves in is not unique but is pretty rare. I am his full time carer, nothing unusual, but I am registered blind. He broke his back whilst serving in the Royal Navy and suffers chronic pain, reactive depression and severe restrictions with mobility. It’s the blind leading the lame.

Do you have a story to tell? If so, send it to  ( up to 450 words)

What small thing would change YOUR life as a carer?  Please add your thoughts here

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