Posts Tagged ‘hardest hit’

Hardest Hit North East: Conference on the impact of cuts on disabled people

13 April 2012

Friday 1st June 2012  –    09:00 until 16:30

Banqueting Suite & Pandon Room, Newcastle Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8PP
.The Hardest Hit North East Coalition are holding a conference on 1 June 2012 that will consider ways to take action against government cuts and examine their impact on people in the region. Have you been hit by welfare and benefit cuts, or through changes to local servic…es? Are you concerned about cuts making tackling disability hate-crime more difficult, or wider reforms like changes to support towards housing cost and council tax meaning the disabled could miss out? Are you a carer, someone who works with or alongside those affected by these changes? If so, please come along to this event to help build our region’s response to an ongoing programme of cuts falling on disabled people. Listen to people tell their own stories about how the cuts have affected them and find out more about what we can do to try and stop the disabled being hit harder than society as whole. The event is free to disabled people, their carers and those from charities or Trade Unions. If you would like to attend as a visitor from a commercial or public sector organisation there is a small charge, please email Stephen Powers at to find out more about your organisation exhibiting or to be invoiced for a £25 Public/Commercial visitor place.
.Please visit: to register your place for this event
.Join discussions on facebook here

Are you worried about cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families.

Sign Pat’s Petition too and ask all your contacts to do the same. Tell them to share it also.

What’s your Christmas message to the Government? | The Hardest Hit

18 November 2011


The Hardest Hit are planning to send a giant Christmas card to the Government to let them know that we are not asking for gifts, but we do want our basic rights protected and the support to enable us to live independently and with dignity.

You can sign the card and leave your message by following the link below:

Sign the card!

What’s your Christmas message to the Government? | The Hardest Hit

Hardest Hit Rally – Edinburgh

24 October 2011

CarerWatch member Pat Onions attended the Hardest Hit rally in Edinburgh. Here is her thoughts.

The rally, in the beautiful Princes Street gardens of Edinburgh, was the largest ever staged in Scotland with over 1,000 of us. Many disabled people and their carers couldn’t make it to the capital but I know you were with us in spirit.

The organisers held it in the band stand which has a stage and tiered seating AND chairs! AND vital for me…. loos!

David and I found access somewhat difficult. It seemed a choice of 39 steps or parachuting from a cliff top. David, who had insisted he would walk with his trundler, chose the cliff. Slowly and painfully we made it. Yes of course there was disabled access but buggered if we could find it!

The march itself had to be cancelled. The authorities could not guarantee  access for everyone along the proposed route. This had a lot to do with the fact that the controversial trams are now on the build again.

No matter I don’t think we could have negotiated the North face of the Eiger again!

Pam Duncan, of Inclusion Scotland, was the chair and damned good she was too. I don’t know if a chair is supposed to say quite as much but she wasn’t for stopping! I loved her.

Lord (Colin) Low was our first speaker and he, like the other speakers, didn’t really need the microphone. Such was their knowledge & passion in their words.

The young lad Jay Wakefield, from student disabilities, had a little trouble with the high winds & his kilt. This was a bonus especially for the ladies!

All the speakers talked on a different aspect of the proposed welfare reforms but the same message from them all. We ARE the Hardest Hit and we will NOT take it. I almost felt sorry for the Labour MSP who was heckled. I am sure he didn’t start the welfare reform ball in motion personally but our heckler felt he did. Brave MSP to come along.  Strangely noticeable by there absence was the Tories & LibDems. Now that would have been brave or very stupid.

If the British Gov thought disabled people would be an easy target they couldn’t have been more wrong. We have all had to develop our own survival skills which has made us stronger. Camerout & his millionaire buddies seem to have overlooked this.

It was an excellent rally in the late autumn sunshine. Frighteningly there was nothing said I didn’t already know but we left with as much determination to carry on campaigning as we’d had on arrival.

Those of us there came from all walks of life with all sorts of disability. Carers, children & families. They all came. Came with their own struggles to share.

I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with my adopted compatriots. If Mr Salmond ever wants a vote on ‘Devolution from Westminster;….he will have mine.

A sort of PS.

David proudly wore his service medals. While walking back along Princes Street a young man, in his 30’s, came up to us. Is that a medal from the Royal Navy he asked. My Dad served with them and it looks the same. David told him what the medals were for. The young man wanted to know how long David had served. A brief history of how long & why he was medically discharged followed.

The young man, who called David Sir, asked if he could shake his hand? It was very moving and done out of pure respect for David and what he had stood for. This young man told us he was waiting for an operation for cataracts which he was unlikely to get due to the NHS cuts. He said it was nothing compared with what David had lived through and was still living through. A few more words as to why David was walking through the middle of the Capital with his medals. This young man made me even more determined to fight on. It was a extraordinary brief encounter from a total stranger.

A lesson there for all those who think they can dismiss any disabled person as unimportant.

David was very quiet on the way home.

Hardest Hit Protest – Newcastle October 22nd 2011

17 October 2011

Saturday 22 October, 2011
March: 10.30 Bigg Market
Rally: 11.30-12.30 Monument

Disabled people in the North East, along with their families and friends, are taking to the streets in Newcastle to protest against Government cuts to disability benefits and services. Join us and help to
make sure all our voices are heard.

The march will leave Bigg Market at 10.30, walking to The Monument where a rally will start at 11.30. We plan to have a range of speakers who will keep us informed and entertained. Confirmed so far is MP for Wansbeck Ian Lavery, Clare Williams from the Norther Public Services Alliance and Kevin Rowan the TUC Regional Secretary who will share their views on the proposed changes. We will also be joined by a number of local people who can speak from their own experiences about what the proposed cuts to benefits and services will mean to them as disabled
people trying to live independent and fulfilling lives. One of those people will be Claire Parker whose story will also be appearing in The Journal in the run up to the Rally.

A map of Newcastle City Centre showing Bigg Market and the Monument  can
be found here.

This also shows the nearest rail and bus stations, city centre parking and accessible toilets.

As new speakers and contributors are confirmed we will be adding them to
this page, so do keep an eye out for any changes. Please also help us spread the word about Hardest Hit. By bringing together disabled people from across the North East we will be able to make our stand against the cuts to DLA and unfair changes to Employment Support Allowance.

Listening to the stories of disabled people and hearing of the support of key local figures from politicians to civil society leaders will show that people across the city and wider region are on our side. Speakers will help us make our argument, whilst those coming along will have the chance to show how strongly they feel, either as disabled people themselves, their friends and family, or just as people who believe that the disabled are being hit the hardest by the government cuts.

Please come along, and bring as many friends and family as you can. Help us to send a clear message to the Government: stop these cuts

If you require any further info please contact

Henri Murison 

Events are taking place across the country and full details can be found here

Several CarerWatch members will be attending a protest local to them.

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