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A ‘senseless and unfounded’ DWP policy is causing harm to claimants and costing the NHS millions, says a charity | The Canary


A new campaign by the charity MS Society is calling on the DWP to scrap a “senseless and unfounded” policy that’s harming claimants and costing the NHS millions.

The 20 metre rule

MS Society represents people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is a “condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord”. It causes a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, trouble walking, numbness, muscle stiffness / spasms, and problems with balance.

The charity’s campaign is focused on scrapping the ’20 metre rule’ which governs access to the mobility component of the PIP disability benefit. A press release for the campaign seen by The Canary states:

People with MS have been increasingly losing vital support since Personal Independence Payment (PIP) began in 2013. The biggest change has been the introduction of the 20 metre rule, used in PIP assessments to determine eligibility for the higher rate of mobility support. Under the previous benefit – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the measure was 50 metres. Now, if you can walk just one step over 20 metres, roughly the length of two double-decker buses, you won’t qualify for higher level of mobility support. Under DLA 94% of people with MS were receiving this higher rate but this has fallen to just 66% under PIP.

The charity has also released a campaign video highlighting the callousness of the 20 metre policy:

 

Source: A ‘senseless and unfounded’ DWP policy is causing harm to claimants and costing the NHS millions, says a charity | The Canary

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Learning disability group pays visit to Number 10 for awareness campaign | DisabledGo News and Blog


Two people with learning disabilities have helped to deliver a custom-made pair of shoes to the Prime Minister in a bid to encourage government officials to better understand what life is like for them.

Becky and Henry receive support from Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities. They travelled to 10 Downing Street on Thursday 7th June to present the gift as part of their Walk in Our Shoes campaign.  

The initiative has been led by the charity’s speak-out group, Voices to be Heard, who feel that their hopes and concerns are not given the same attention by political leaders as those of people without disabilities.

The custom-made footwear has been designed using pictures of Voices to be Heard members and Hft’s signature purple and gold colours. 

The special delivery follows on from a Thunderclap Appeal, which saw the charity enlisting public support to help facilitate opportunities for people with learning disabilities to share their experiences with politicians. 

Social media posts were sent out simultaneously flash mob style from 140 accounts to Theresa May, calling for the Prime Minister to encourage politicians to spend time with people with a learning disability in their constituency by visiting an Hft service and hearing first-hand more about the issues that matter to them.

Billy Davis, Hft’s Public Affairs and Policy Manager said; “We wanted to capture the attention of the Prime Minister with an unusual gift that plays on her love of shoes.

“Despite the learning disability sector accounting for a third of adult social care spend, the people we support feel excluded from the conversation in the political arena. 

“With the impending Green Paper and parallel body of work around social care it’s timelier than ever, that the voices of people with learning disabilities are heard.

“That’s why the people we support are calling on politicians to walk in the shoes of people with learning disabilities. To spend time finding out more about the issues that matter to them with the aim of influencing long lasting, positive policy change.”

 

Source: Learning disability group pays visit to Number 10 for awareness campaign | DisabledGo News and Blog

Sport England fund increase in sporting opportunities for people with complex disabilities | DisabledGo News and Blog


Sense, the national disability charity, have received a grant of £212,431, from Sport England, who have extended funding to May 2019, for its ‘Sporting Sense’ project, to increase opportunities for people with complex disabilities, to take part in sport and physical activity.

Since the project was launched in June 2016, it has successfully helped over a thousand people to be actively involved in sports, and trained care workers, sport providers, carers and families, to support participation in activities.

Sense will use the investment to build on the programmes established in London, East and West Midlands, and expand these to the North of England.

Sport England Director, Mike Diaper, said:

“Sport England work to help everyone, regardless of their age, background or level of ability, feel able to engage in sport and activity. Our research shows that disabled people are half as likely to be active, which is not right, especially as many disabled people have told us they want to be. ‘Sporting Sense’ has already helped over a thousand people with complex disabilities to get active by breaking down barriers which can prevent people from taking part, such as a lack of opportunity, support or confidence. Sport England are delighted to be able to award ‘Sporting Sense’ further funding to build on that work.”

Sense’s National Sport Manager, Alissa Ayling, said:

“We believe everyone, no matter how complex their communication needs, deserves the right to enjoy a physically active life. The ‘Sporting Sense’ project has created and developed opportunities for disabled people to participate in, and enjoy, a broad range of sporting and physical activities. This grant from Sport England will provide accessible and inclusive opportunities to individuals, in local areas where this has not yet been possible.”

 

Source: Sport England fund increase in sporting opportunities for people with complex disabilities | DisabledGo News and Blog

Motability faces calls to increase grants or cut prices after MPs’ fierce criticism | DisabledGo News and Blog


Disabled activists have told Motability it would be “obscene” not to expand a fund that provides grants to customers with high support needs, after an inquiry heavily criticised the decision to pay the executive running the car scheme £1.7 million.

A report by the work and pensions and Treasury select committees says the £1.7 million paid in 2017 to Mike Betts, the chief executive of Motability Operations, was “totally unacceptable” when the company received “substantial and unique support” from the government.

No other vehicle leasing company can compete with Motability because of the public funding it receives through the mobility allowances of its customers – paid directly from the Department for Work and Pensions – and the £700 million a year it receives in tax exemptions, says the report.

The report also says that the level of reserves held by Motability Operations – at £2.4 billion – is “out of proportion to the risks it faces” and it calls on the company to cut its prices or make “very substantially higher charitable donations”.

It concludes that it is “difficult to square the high levels of executive pay and significant financial reserves at Motability Operations, the company that runs the scheme, with its charitable objectives and the wider context of pressures on welfare expenditure.

“Motability badly needs a new roadmap for how it manages the scheme’s finances.”

The National Audit Office (NAO) is now set to carry out an inquiry into the way the scheme is run.

The company makes donations every year to Motability*, the charity that oversees its work, and to the Motability Tenth Anniversary Trust, a charity which provides grants to existing and prospective members of the scheme.

Since 2011, the report says, Motability Operations has donated £345 million to Motability and the trust, about a quarter of the £1.4 billion it generated in profits, while its reserves have grown from £1.1 billion to £2.4 billion.

Source: Motability faces calls to increase grants or cut prices after MPs’ fierce criticism | DisabledGo News and Blog

Motability faces calls to increase grants or cut prices after MPs’ fierce criticism


Govt Newspeak

Disabled activists have told Motability it would be “obscene” not to expand a fund that provides grants to customers with high support needs, after an inquiry heavily criticised the decision to pay the executive running the car scheme £1.7 million.

A report by the work and pensions and Treasury select committees says the £1.7 million paid in 2017 to Mike Betts, the chief executive of Motability Operations, was “totally unacceptable” when the company received “substantial and unique support” from the government.

No other vehicle leasing company can compete with Motability because of the public funding it receives through the mobility allowances of its customers – paid directly from the Department for Work and Pensions – and the £700 million a year it receives in tax exemptions, says the report.

The report also says that the level of reserves held by Motability Operations – at £2.4 billion – is “out of…

View original post 712 more words

User-led network could close as latest victim of competition from big charities | DisabledGo News and Blog


A national network of mental health service-users, survivors and activists is facing closure next month if it cannot secure new funding, after becoming the latest victim of competition from large, non-user-led charities and private sector organisations.

The threat to the future of the National Survivor User Network (NSUN), which was established in 2009, comes only a year after it warned that more than a quarter of its member organisations had been forced to close in just two years.

NSUN research reported last March that 221 of its 822 members – most of them user-led groups and all of them smaller, voluntary sector mental health groups in England – had closed since January 2015.

It warned that many of the groups had lost out to large mental health charities and private sector organisations that had been “sweeping up” their contracts to promote user-involvement or provide advocacy or peer support.

Now NSUN is facing the threat of closure itself at the end of June, after funding problems had already led to it closing its office and becoming a “virtual” organisation in December.

 

Source: User-led network could close as latest victim of competition from big charities | DisabledGo News and Blog

DWP’s ‘disrepute’ contract clause ‘is proof charities cannot be trusted’  


Who are these charities there for their members or the Government. Where the Government is acting against their members interest then these charities should be speaking out, otherwise are they could be working outwith their constitution.

Govt Newspeak

The decision of some disability charities to sign contracts that prevent them criticising the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is proof that they cannot be trusted to speak up on behalf of disabled people, according to grassroots activists.

Last week, Disability News Service (DNS) reported that – in exchange for lucrative government contracts under the Work and Health Programme – some organisations have promised to “pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation” of work and pensions secretary Esther McVey (pictured).

They have also promised in the contracts that they will never to do anything that harms the public’s confidence in McVey or her department. So far, Shaw Trust, Leonard Cheshire Disability and RNIB have confirmed that they have signed contracts – either with DWP or with one of the five main Work and Health Programme contractors – that include clauses that prevent them bringing DWP and…

View original post 852 more words

Vulnerable children forced into homelessness as local authorities routinely ignore child protection laws


Govt Newspeak

Exclusive: Families forced to spend nights in A&E waiting rooms, night buses and police stations after being denied emergency housing by local councils

Vulnerable children are being forced into homelessness because local authorities are routinely flouting child protection laws, lawyers and charities have warned.

Families with young children have been denied emergency accommodation by their local council and subsequently forced out onto the streets, spending nights in A&E waiting rooms, night buses and police stations.

Under the laws set out in the Children’s Act, local authorities are legally obliged to provide accommodation for minors, to prevent vulnerable children ending up on the streets.

But London charity Project 17, which works to end destitution among migrant children, said councils were effectively ignoring the law and often complying only after legal action was taken. It claimed that, of the scores of families it had supported that had initially been denied housing in the past year across the capital, around 90 per…

View original post 999 more words

Charity Fashion Show and Sale – Sheffield Mencap & Gateway


Sheffield Mencap & Gateway have great pleasure in advising you about a forthcoming event on Thursday 8 March 2018.

 

 

Please come and support Sheffield Mencap & Gateway for only £6 per person and you may find the fashion item you have always wished to have for an unbeatable price.

Just telephone  0114 2767757 and book your tickets.

Alternatively email mencapoffice@sheffieldmencap.org.uk

You know you can not miss the bargain waiting for you.

Review of autism home abuse condemns out-of-area commissioning failings : Community Care


A review into the abuse of adults with autism at a home in Somerset run by the National Autistic Society (NAS) has called for an overhaul of the monitoring of out-of-area care placements.

Mendip House, which closed in October 2016 following a highly critical inspection, was part of an NAS ‘campus’ home to adults with severe autism placed by 30 local authorities and clinical commissioning groups from across the UK.

The review by the Somerset Safeguarding Adults Board (SSAB) said Somerset County Council (SCC) “had to invest in an expensive and labour-intensive enquiry because of the lack of rigor and failures of judgement of commissioning professionals”.

“Had the National Autistic Society addressed long standing concerns and the commissioners undertaken essential reviewing and monitoring, the workload of SCC and the Enquiry Team would not have been as extensive,” it added.

The review criticised the failure of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to identify problems at the home earlier through its inspections.

It drew comparisons between Mendip House and Winterbourne View, the private hospital near Bristol where BBC Panorama exposed abuse of people with autism and learning disabilities.

It said: “There were over 30 different placement authorities across Somerset Court and although concerns were raised with SCC’s safeguarding team about other Somerset Court dwellings on at least four occasions between 2014-2016, not one identified concerns about Mendip House. Five years after the scandal of Winterbourne View Hospital this is remarkable.”

 

Source : Review of autism home abuse condemns out-of-area commissioning failings : Community Care

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