Posts Tagged ‘learning disability’

Carers need statement from Coalition Government re Carers Allowance

22 June 2011

In support of Carers Week 2011, CarerWatch set up an information stand in a local Gala hall covering the period Wednesday 15th June through to Sunday 19th June 2011.  

The theme was the True Face of Caring and facts and figures can be found here

It has always been important to reach carers, to provide advice and information, and this year it has become even more vital.

Changes proposed within the Welfare Reform Bill, coupled with cuts to Social Services are going to have a massive effect on many familys.

Families providing care are a necessity and as the number of elderly increases and medicine breakthroughs continue, many people with illnesses will live longer…and the country will rely even more on the foundation that family carers provide.  Carers 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.

Carers seem to have been completely forgotten, as benefits are changed around them. Both ‘Refresh Carers Strategy’ and ’21st Century Welfare’ – failed to address the issue of Carers Allowance and now the WR Bill is repeating that mistake. The only detail we know is that CA will remain outside of the Universal Credit.

 However, it still remains the lowest of all benefits, claimed by a group of people that contribute immensely to our society. We cannot and must not allow this opportunity to fully reform CA pass us by.

Carers are used to words of praise, more of which can be heard here from David Cameron last week  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

Carers and Families are in it Together – Carers Week 2011

12 June 2011

This article comes from Carers in Hampshire a few years ago.

A carer is ……………

not paid
not chosen
not elected
not useless
not amateur
not ignorant
not incapable
not appointed
not uneducated
not unprofessional
not unable to think
not unable to speak
not lacking in skills
not in need of charity
not in need of a hair-do
not there to be patronised
not able to live a ‘normal life’
not always recognised by themselves
not free to do what they want when they want
not always treated well by statutory organisations
not always consulted by statutory and voluntary organisations
not always appreciated by the person they care for or by others
not always recognised by social, healthcare or voluntary workers
not accepted as capable by some social, health or voluntary workers
not respected / considered by some social, health and voluntary workers

Just because carers find themselves in a caring role, it does not mean (more…)

MP Disability Dialogue – RADAR

5 May 2011

Radar believes that it is vital that MPs hear directly from disabled people about the issues that affect them. That is why from 12 May until the end of June Radar will be encouraging disabled people to meet with their MP and find out how their MP can help them. This will follow from the Hardest Hit Day on the 11 May when disabled people will gather in London to protest against the cuts that are hitting disabled people hardest (


The Dialogue provides an extra opportunity for disabled people to meet with their MP. The aim of this scheme is to:

         encourage disabled constituents and local disability organisations to engage in the democratic process and feel more confident about meeting their MPs;

         give MPs of all parties increased confidence to communicate with, and effectively represent, their constituents living with a disability or health condition.


Please find attached a flyer in two formats (incl Easy Read). This information is also available on our website:

MP Disability Dialogue – flyer                 

MP Disability Dialogue – flyerEasyRead 

If you have any questions, please email

Marije Davidson

Public Affairs Manager

Care cuts row deepens as cases head for court

14 April 2011

Families of disabled children facing cuts to respite care are launching a High Court challenge against Lancashire County Council’s budget-slashing plans.

Parents of several children likely to be affected by LCC’s social care spending cuts are claiming the moves breach the Disability Discrimination Act.

At least one of eight respite centres in the county looks set to be closed within a year as part of County Hall’s plans to save £179m over the next three years.

One of the families behind the legal challenge has a 10-year-old boy who has autism and cerebral palsy.

The youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, needs one-to-one care round the clock from his parents, older sister and grandmother.


DBC launches report into Welfare Reform Bill

23 March 2011

Carer Watch members support this protest and some are making plans to attend

A report published today by the Disability Benefits Consortium a coalition of 41 charities and organisations shows how welfare reform changes may harm disabled people.

The report Benefiting disabled people? highlights concerns over the impact of reforms to vital benefits like Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) on thousands of disabled people and their families.

The report, presents the findings of recent surveys. The Disability Benefits Consortium surveyed 6,000 disabled people and found that:

We need an election on the cuts

24 February 2011

Letter in the Guardian   24th Feb 2011 supported by  Carer Watch

The government’s implementation of welfare reform is destroying the covenant of care between disabled people and the welfare state (Report, 23 February). The most vulnerable people in our country are being subjected to cruelty. The work capability assessment is not fit for purpose. It is denying employment support allowance to those whom the 2007 Welfare Reform Act deemed it not reasonable to require to work.  

The assessment lacks public and medical accountability. Criteria about what constitutes an “illness” and a “disability” have been increasingly narrowed over the years into a set of descriptors that fail to recognise the complex problems and needs of those who are mentally ill, or who have intermittent illnesses or communicative conditions. 

We want a system that is flexible and supportive of disabled people and which helps people into good, appropriate jobs with decent wages. One that values and supports those who are unable to work, and that insures us all against the misfortunes of illness and disability.

Jon Cruddas MP Labour, Dagenham & Rainham,

Neil Coyle Director of policy, Disability Alliance,

Anna Healy Labour, House of Lords,

Gavin Hayes General secretary, Compass,

Professor Jonathan Rutherford Middlesex University,

Professor Peter Beresford Brunel University,

Steve Griffiths Researcher and Consultant,

Rhydian Fôn James The Broken of Britain,

Frances Kelly, Rosemary O’Neill Carerwatch,

Alison Wiles, Anna Kennedy, Carole Rutherford co-founders, Act Now – Autism Campaigners Together

Urgent action needed now – ‘Support families: Don’t cut care’‏

8 February 2011
Thank you very much for signing up to our “Support families: Don’t cut care” campaign toolkit.
We need you to lobby your council’s budget setting meeting, write to local politicians, join up with other groups and campaign to support funding and services for families that need support with caring.
This February and early March, councils across the UK will be meeting to decide their budgets for the coming year. With funding from Government cut, many councils will look to cut care services to make savings.
The campaign toolkit includes useful tips:
  • How to make the case for care
  • Sample questions
  • Flyers, templates for letters to councillors, your MP, the media and petitions
  • A ‘Who’s, Who guide to the council
  • How to use social media
Carers UK will continue to campaign and lobby but we need you to be our eyes and ears of what is happening for carers in your area. We need you to tell us about the positive things happening locally as well as your stories about the effects that the cuts or changes to local services are having on your community. Please let us know the impact of your campaigning by using the feedback form, by e-mailing us directly at or , or by calling us on 0207 3784999.
Thank you
Nargis Khan
Carers UK   .
 Support Families Don’t Cut Care campaign toolkit

Join the fight against cuts – Mencap events

6 February 2011

About the events
  • All Big Cuts meetings will take place from 9.30 until 16.00.
  • People are advised to attend for the whole day but are invited to drop in when they can.
  • All events are free.
  • A limited number of people will also be able to book a free one-to-one session with Professor Luke Clements, if they need legal advice on a particular issue relating to cuts.

See here for full details and to download a booking form

Family carers protest in Gloucestershire

6 February 2011

photo from Philip Booths' blog

 Gloucestershire County Council has proposed shutting Dursley Training Unit that supports 21 adults with severe learning difficulties and physical disabilities – all in order to save £73,000. Those using the centre and their relatives are challenging this decision.

read blog in full here    which includes links to media articles and comments from families

see Philips’ video here

If anyone would like to support these families, please contact     

Carer Watch  contacted Chris and he has supplied details for the online version of their petition. It can be found here

It  can only be signed by people who live, work or study in Gloucestershire, OR

live in neighbouring counties e.g. South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire


We will stand up and be counted

5 February 2011

received from Liz Stevenson – Ilkeston, Derbyshire                     ( Carer Watch member )

photos sent by Wendy, taken by Martin Argles

We will stand up and be counted and shout from the roof tops about this injustice. We carers save the county £87 billion. Shall we start to charge for what we do out of love?

What will they do if we decide to call THAT debt in!

These attacks on carers, the old and the disabled are horrifying. The people that the Government and local councils said they would protect have now become the primary targets just like in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

By their deeds shall we know them.

Where injustice becomes the law, resistance becomes necessary.

Do we have to be poorer, to struggle, to die so they can set their crazy budgets?

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing

We have a group where we live (in the Erewash Borough area of Derbyshire called Action for Carers in Erewash (ACE) and are also working with (more…)

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