The news has been dominated by stories about coronavirus in recent weeks, and the potential impact it could have across all levels of society. So it’s not surprising that coronavirus was a main focus of today’s Budget. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the Government is creating an emergency response fund to ensure the NHS and other public services have the resources needed to tackle the impact of coronavirus. Initially set at £5 billion, it will also support local authorities to manage pressures on social care and support vulnerable people.Continue reading “Government must deal with the social care crisis once and for all”
As the dust settles on another election campaign and we return to comparative normality, I have been thinking about what I would do if I was Boris Johnson today. I can’t deny that Brexit will dominate much of the coming weeks but what about our domestic policy, what else would I want to achieve and what would success look like?
Discussions on improving the rights and services for disabled people was notable for its absence during the General Election campaign. This just serves to exacerbate the feeling of exclusion and not being valued by society. It goes without saying that the priority for me would have to be taking urgent action to redress the inequalities and injustice that disabled people face on a daily basis. It’s a glaring injustice that needs to be addressed. I’m calling on Boris to put disability at the heart of their government, enabling disabled people to live fulfilled and dignified lives.Continue reading “Step up or step back? How we will measure the success of the new prime minister.”
It’s that time again. In just over three weeks the nation will go to the polls. And as parties have frantically prepared their manifestos and refined key messages, the third sector has found itself in a familiar chaotic state. Complete confusion about the Lobbying Act. Letters to write to all prospective parliamentary candidates. Hustings to organise…Continue reading “The Manifesto for Charities”
As CEO of Sense, a crucial part of my role is talking to decision-makers about the issues that affect disabled people’s lives, with evidence that is rooted in the views and experiences of families and individuals that we support.
On 30th September I was honoured to give evidence to MPs at the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament, as part of their inquiry into Support for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). I was invited as CEO of Sense and in my role as Vice-Chair of the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP), a coalition we’re part of that campaigns for improved health and social care for disabled children and their families. This was a unique opportunity to share some of the challenges experienced by children with SEND when trying to access the right support as well as some of our suggestions for improving outcomes.Continue reading “Sense CEO speaks to MPs about SEND”
Sense has a proud record of campaigning to make sure that society addresses the needs of the people we support. This can mean many things but has included supporting disabled people and their families to meet with MPs to share their experiences campaigning on social care and influencing the development of legislation (e.g. the Children and Families Act or Care Act) to ensure that it meets the needs of people who we serve.
There are many things we could campaign on – and we always want to hear people’s ideas and feedback. The recent consultation with membership about Sense’s strategy for the next three years also gave us a strong steer.Continue reading “What do we campaign on and why?”
As it’s been Carers Week this week, we’ve been recognising the 8.8 million unpaid carers across the UK who provide amazing support to their loved ones day-in and day-out, often without a break. Caring, for many, is a full-time role which can be exhausting and emotional, particularly as carers get older.
As part of our When I’m Gone campaign we met with a number of carers who shared their fears and concerns about getting older and what that will mean for their loved ones. As of the last census in 2011, it was found that there were around 2 million carers in England and Wales aged 50-64 and 1.3 million aged 60 and over. As the national figure for the amount of carers has increased, we can safely assume that the number of older carers has increased too and the need to support them will continue to grow.Continue reading “Growing older as a carer: Carers Week”
Amongst the noise of Presidential visits, resigning Prime Ministers and the ongoing drama of Brexit, there is one issue that has quietly returned to the political agenda.
A double bill of BBC Panorama programmes has drawn public attention to the crisis in care. Through special access to the social care teams at Somerset Council, the BBC has shone a light on the older and disabled people, and their families, facing a confusing social care system and struggling to cope without the right support. Both programmes have shown the impact of the devastating funding cuts to local authority social care budgets. Across England local councils have faced over £7 billion worth of cuts to adult social care since 2010. As a result, social workers, commissioners and directors of adult social care are faced with dwindling resources for packages of care which means impossible decisions about who can get the support they need.Continue reading “The Crisis in Care”
How Sense staff at a supported living service in Sheffield helped Martin to live a more independent life.
Sense first met Martin after a referral from the local authority. Martin had been living in a nursing home and staff were concerned that he was becoming increasingly withdrawn and unwilling to interact with others. The home wasn’t able to provide activities that Martin could participate in and there was a general lack of routine which left him feeling anxious and unsettled.Continue reading “It feels like home”
Five-year-old Annie has been on a difficult journey that families of a child with complex disabilities will recognise. But in some ways, as her parents Ali and Michael acknowledge, she has been fortunate. They were able to get specialist help for her from Sense and this has made a huge difference to her life.
Sense wants all families with a child with complex disabilities to receive this level of support, and our new strategy – including the development of services and our campaigning work – aims to drive this forward.
Yesterday the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, announced that the Department are looking to combine the assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) that takes place under Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit into one.