“I had to get my point across that the Government has ‘fallen foul’ of its responsibilities”

A screenshot of the parliamentlive.tv website with a group of people having a meeting.

During my time at Sense I have had the opportunity to attend lots of events and meetings to represent my community and speak on behalf of other Deafblind people. None quite so nerve wracking as a live streamed, virtual, parliamentary committee meeting though!

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Is it possible to articulate a better future from this COVID emergency?

A group of people standing in a circle smiling. A woman is signing.

Across the world, we are taking extraordinary measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. This crisis has a profound impact on every aspect of our lives. Those that watch the news have spent the last two months acquiring a deeper understanding of the inequalities facing different communities. People are much more emotionally engaged and want to see change. They care more about the welfare of others and what it takes to improve people’s lives – many want a better society to emerge from this crisis.

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Whilst society moves forward we can’t allow disabled people to be left behind

A man and lady hand on hand signing to make sure disabled people don't get left behind.

Over the past few weeks we have all had our lives turned upside down. Whether directly or indirectly affected by Covid-19, we have had to change how we work, see friends and family or go about previously simple tasks like doing our food shopping or exercising.  At Sense we know that this has been truer than ever for the people who we support and their families.  We have had to adapt how we deliver our services, and know that changes to routine have been difficult. 

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Government must deal with the social care crisis once and for all

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.

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Step up or step back? How we will measure the success of the new prime minister.

A woman supporting a man, Harry, who is visually impaired and holding his white cane.
A woman supporting a man, Harry, who is visually impaired and holding his white cane.

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.

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The Manifesto for Charities

Carer with young man wearing a cap smiling

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…

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Sense CEO speaks to MPs about SEND

CEO, Richard Kramer stood with Philippa Stobbs.

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.

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What do we campaign on and why?

Two people doing hand-on-hand sign language

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. 

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Growing older as a carer: Carers Week

Image of a woman who is helping to support another woman who is sat on a sofa.

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.

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