Show your support for disabled people now – dont leave it till too late

Here at Pat’s Petition, we obviously keep a close eye on the number of signatures for the petition.  Some weeks are better than others, but every week it moves steadily on to higher numbers. In the last month, we have had over 3,000 people signing up to show their support for disabled people and carers. The petition is by far the most successful one relating to benefits. No 1. on DWP page. It’s fantastic to think so many people support us and we’d love to thank each and every one of you personally. But let’s put this into perspective. A petition needs 100,000 signatures – that’s around 2000 signatures every week for a one year petition. For any small group of volunteers, that’s a huge effort – so how does anyone achieve it?   The NHS petition – to ‘drop the bill’ – was started by a GP but didn’t really take off until it had the full backing of the Royal College of GPs. Then with promotion from 38 degrees and the Labour Party including Andy Burnham, it eventually went through the 100,000 mark and more. But it did take several months.   We look at Virgin Trains – who reached over 100,000 within one week when the West Coast Line was under scrutiny. With a huge number of customers as well as employees and a sense of urgency created by a new contract – and perhaps a little promotional support from the Virgin team – they smashed the target within days.   And now there are the badgers. Again, an imminent deadline gives that a sense of urgency....

Pat goes to Manchester – Labour Conference

I was so pleased last night to hear that MPs Anne McGuire and Liam Byrne have acknowledged that the WCA is not working. Reports in the Guardian  suggest that they have clear enough evidence of the impact of the changes. I hope they are looking at the cumulative impact – the impact of welfare reform at the same time as NHS reform and cuts to local authority budgets, but I am heartened that they are now acknowledging “We believe that this government is forcing disabled people to pay for its economic mistakes.” On Sunday Karen and I are off to the Labour Party Conference in Manchester where we look forward to hearing more about this. We’re aiming to publicise the petition so that the Labour Party knows that nearly 50,000 people have signed asking for a pause – to stop and review the changes. But what should we do while we’re there? If you have any thoughts or recommendations, please do leave them in the comments below. And we’ll try to keep tweeting from @patspetition if you’re a twitterer. While we’re away, please keep signing and sharing the petition link. Now more than ever we have to show all Parties the size of the disability voices. Pat x.   http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968 www.facebook.com/patsepetition http://twitter.com/patspetition email  –   patspetition@gmail.com...

A message from Pat to the Liberal Democrat Party

On behalf of Pat’s Petition, we hope you will give ALL disabled people, their carers and families the true support they need and deserve. At your conference last year a motion was passed which stated that you believed “It is the duty of a compassionate society and government to provide the necessary support for those who are unable to support themselves.” However when it came to votes in the Commons during the passing of the Welfare Reform Bill, it felt like you ran away and deserted us. Please don’t let this happen again. There is absolutely no justification whatsoever for pretending we don’t exist, and it will do no good to beat us with sticks: No amount of ‘saving money’ will stop us being disabled. For those that need support, it just adds more pressures for our unpaid supporters and carers, many of whom are already at breaking point. We need your support to make the changes that will enable us to live a life with dignity and respect. And don’t forget – anyone can become disabled. This may well be you or your family at some point in the near future. Don’t wait until then before you take action to support us. Pat x Pat’s Petition signed by over 48,000 people http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968 Please sign and then share, asking others to do the same....

Scottish Parliament Welfare reform committee want your views

Received from Inclusion Scotland The Scottish Parliament’s welfare reform committee would like to hear your views on, or personal experiences of, the new welfare system, if you have not already been in touch. The Committee MSP’s will consider submissions in a meeting on 18th September. With less than a week left before they do this, this is a great opportunity to fill up the committee’s in-tray and make sure they have lots to consider in that meeting! Email them at  welfarereform-yoursay@scottish.parliament.uk or if you prefer, write to the Committee at the following address: James Drummond Welfare Reform Committee Room TG.01 Scottish Parliament Edinburgh EH99 1SP More details here You could include experiences of the work capability assessment and ESA claims;  how you use your DLA and how you think the change to PIP will affect your claim; what do you think of the system of online applications for universal credit that the DWP will bring in next year? How do you think you will be affected by the ‘extra bedroom tax’ and the introduction of universal monthly direct payments for UC? For more information on numbers of disabled people in Scotland we have estimated will be affected by the changes, please see the attached Inclusion Scotland briefing on welfare reform. Inclusion Scotland Welfare Reform Briefing April 2012BS The Committee clerk may contact you following your submission inviting you to a meeting with MSP’s so you can air views directly. If individuals decide to meet them, please let me know and also if you would like any support to do this.   All the best, Pauline   Dr Pauline Nolan...

Are you prepared for journalists or film makers to tell your story?

+ Are you disabled or a carer? + Have you been affected by the perfect storm of cuts to benefits and services? + Are you prepared for journalists or film makers to tell your story? Then CarerWatch and Pat’s Petition invite you to register for Pat’s List. If this is something you would like to do – then please tell your story here   – use any name you like. You can ask for your real identity to be kept private. We won’t give your contact details to any one. But we may contact you with details of journalists and film makers who would like to talk to you. Then you can contact them if you want to tell your story. Also sign Pats Petition here , then share the link with as many people as possible asking them to do the same.  ...