The battle for independent living and political hypocrisy. from the blog of DPAC.

An extract ‘

While Labour profess to support fully the right to live independently for disabled people we are now in a situation following plans to close the Independent Living Fund where England is left as the only UK country which will not have it’s own form of a fund to continue to support the additional funding requirements of those who have high support needs.

For any political party to say they want disabled people to have the same rights, choices and chances as any other citizen rings hollow without a commitment to keep in place even if on a temporary basis the funding necessary for this to happen.

The Labour Party’s official response to many people who have contacted them with regard to supporting keeping the ILF open has outlined a number of points which we would like to address.   …………..@

Council cuts threaten viability of adult and children’s social care, MPs warn. From Community Care

An extract ‘MPs have criticised the Department for Communities and Local Government for failing to review council spending cuts, warning the government will not appreciate cuts that threaten the “viability” of statutory services.

report following the Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry into the financial sustainability of local authorities found the 37% reduction in funding since 2010 has not hit authorities equally.

Some have faced reductions of just 5%, while others have had to deal with massive 40% reductions. In the most deprived areas, where funding has been hardest hit, services may even struggle to provide care, MPs warned.

Financially sustainable?

Committee chair Margaret Hodge said: “Further cuts could not just undermine the entire viability of most optional services, but might threaten statutory services in these areas.”  …………….’

Will the Government listen to the MP’s, cuts to local Social Services budgets have to stop to safeguard the persons requiring these services. In many cases without these services the persons will not be able to maintain their life, their dignity and their independence.

The Coalition’s cruellest cut?

Mary Laver’s Fight for Independence: Cameron’s Cruellest Cut?


Green Party Would Save the Independent Living Fund #SaveILF from DPAC

An extract ‘

At a lobby held on 6th January Independent Living Fund recipients called on MPs from all political parties to save the ILF. Caroline Lucas MP who sponsored the lobby told the meeting that her party the Greens are fully behind the call to keep and re open the ILF.

Tracey Lazard, CEO of Inclusion London said: “The Independent Living Fund (ILF) was set up to enable disabled people with the highest support needs to live in independently in the community.  …………….’

The Independent Living Fund will now close on 30 June 2015 for all of the UK, however it would appear that for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland they will arrange for their own equivalent funds to start from 1 July 2015, while in England the responsibility will rest with the respective Local Authorities, but it is unlikely that the English authorities will ‘earmark ‘ any funds for the existing ILF recipients.

Without any similar funding the current ILF recipients may not be able to lead their lives with the independence the ILF funding as allowed them and for some or all, may not be able to live independently at all.

How would you feel if you were advised that the life you are leading will change and the independence you have will, most likely, be no longer available. Is this equality?

Charities told to keep quiet or lose government contracts from DPAC

An extract ‘

New research reveals that charities and other voluntary groups are often absent from campaigns to tackle the root causes of poverty. A report released today shows that voluntary groups, especially those under contract to government, face threats to remain silent about their experiences and many are fearful to speak out in case they lose their funding or face other sanctions.

The findings show a climate of fear and threats to free speech.   ……………………..’


A helping hand when in need, restores your faith in humanity.

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

man in a wheelchairIn 2005, I was travelling in Italy with my parents. My Dad was in his early 80s, suffering from advanced Parkinson’s… but he wanted to see Italy before it was too late.

One morning in Venice, he slipped and fell, and had to be taken to the hospital by water ambulance (an adventure in itself!). A couple of hours later, my Mom called me from the hospital–they were releasing him, but couldn’t give them a ride back (it was a holiday of some sort), so I needed to take his wheelchair to him.

It was raining when I left the hotel with the folding wheelchair. It only weighed about 20 lbs, but it was large and awkward to carry, and there were 17 bridges (all with stairs) between me and the hospital. I dragged/carried the chair up each flight of stairs and bounced it down. By the third or fourth…

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‘I graduated from a social work master’s with distinction- now I’m a cleaner’. from Community Care.

An extract ‘

When I qualified from my master’s degree in social work with distinction last November, I would never have predicted that, after two years’ hard study, I would be cleaning in a residential children’s home.

I have always been a hands-on type of person, but I feel my skills and qualifications are not being put to good use. I feel frustrated as I know that I am more than capable of being a good social worker –doing a job I really love, and supporting children and families in crisis –particularly when I hear they’re in such short supply.   …………………’

So much is being said or not said in this article. Yes it indicates that newly qualified social workers are having difficulties finding social work positions, even though social workers were leaving positions and therefore there was a demand for others to replace them. But the authorities were requesting social workers with at least 1 years operational experience to apply.

What was not said was why social workers were leaving, but this could be due to retirement and so not being available on the job market. Was it stress related and therefore they may wish to progress down a different job track. It could also be down to austerity cuts, but then this would limit the amount of vacancies available and could mean the authorities wishing to recruit could assume there was a large pool of experienced qualified social workers looking for new positions, thus this would be making it difficult for newly qualified social workers to apply.

But sooner or later the pool of experienced social workers will diminish, so the newly qualifield have to be given the opportunity to gain this experience. Then will the newly qualified still be there, for if it is seen that there are no prospects for newly qualified, this could mean many will not even consider this area to gain qualifications.

So then what would be done, would this be another area where will try to recruit from abroad, not only would they not have the expeience and if they had it would not be UK experience.

This, all in the long term, is only going to cause extreme problems, as can be seen from other occupations that have already been through these similar situations.

Now is the time to consider all options, not in the future.


2015 Resolutions to consider.

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

cute-love-quotesAs we look to the new year, we often focus on ways to be “better” — resolving to do more of what’s good for us and less of what’s not. To (at least most of the time) come from our best.

For a good many of us, finding ways to have a more satisfying marriage is high on our list.

But in our rush for improvement, we overlook this key fact: Much of what makes marriage challenging is the stuff that’s not easily changed. The stuff that’s more about who we are and what we value. The stuff that can, unfortunately, drive us totally nuts.

Such as a spouse’s need for order or solitude, or another’s call to adventure. A tendency to dawdle or multi-task, a penchant for losing one’s keys.

This year, rather than list out your goals for change, why not commit to change nothing at all?

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A photo which expressess more than words.

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

This beautiful random act of kindness was photographed.

Source: Suspended Coffees

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This is an example, not only to the young of today, but to us all. We hear so much of people taking and not of people giving, this is indeed an act to be cheerished.

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

Nubia Wilson, 16, of Antioch, holds a 17th century Ethiopian Orthodox manuscript at her home in Antioch, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News GroupAn Antioch teenager’s Sweet 16 birthday won’t be a celebration of excess or even focus on her. Instead, it will be used to help orphans half way across the planet.

Nubia Wilson decided a birthday party wasn’t the right thing to do, especially after she volunteered in Ethiopia earlier this year, witnessing first hand extreme poverty and seeing children in the streets walking barefoot to school. The school only goes up to fourth grade, so Wilson is trying to add a fifth grade class. The starting point was telling family and friends in December she didn’t want a big birthday party.

In lieu of birthday gifts, the 16-year-old sophomore at the all-girl Carondelet High School in Concord asked family and friends for donations and raised $2,000 for The Fregenet Foundation, an Ethiopian-based charity that runs a school for orphaned or impoverished schoolchildren there.

“I realized that I could give up…

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There’s more to the Learning Disability agenda than Winterbourne View by Rob Greig from blog of National Development Team for Inclusion

An extract ‘

Over the last few months, I’ve been increasingly coming to the view that the distressing events around Winterbourne View are having a negative impact way beyond that faced by the people and families who lived in that institution and others like it.

The Winterbourne scandal was widely perceived as having an ‘up-side’ – an opportunity to focus attention on some things that needed changing in the sector. The policy priority around citizenship and life described in Valuing People had lost momentum. Learning disability was increasingly not being seen as a priority by policy makers and services. Winterbourne View gave it that priority and (so many of us hoped) provided the opportunity to finally deal with inappropriate institutional approaches and ensure that people who challenged had the same life chances as others.   ……………….’


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