Posts Tagged ‘carersuk’

Pat goes to Carers Parliament – Scotland this time

Monday, September 9th, 2013

The first Carers Parliament took place at Holyrood in October last year.

Carers Parliament 1

Places were limited for those wishing to be included so a ballot was held. Carers from each of the constituencies were invited to put their names forward and then were drawn by the steering group. I was unfortunate in that ballot, but, undeterred, I tried again this year.

A phone call from Rhonda Fitzpatrick, Carers Scotland, told me I had been successful. I was delighted!

This years theme is to be ‘Carers Rights’. After presentations and Q&A in the Scottish parliament during the morning, there will be workshops. Delegates will come from all over Scotland with their views, stories and ideas.

In these times of financial hardship and cutting back to the bare bones for any social care, the role of carers is becoming ever harder.

At Pat’s Petition, our message has always been for a cumulative impact assessment of the changes on all disabled people, their carers and families. This is something I look forward to raising at this years Carers’ Parliament.


Report from Maz’s blog after she attended last years event


Nightmare on Care Street

Monday, June 10th, 2013

The theme for this week’s Carers Week – Prepared to Care? –  has made us think about the preparations that people take to care. Most people don’t think about it – we don’t think it will happen to us. Even armed with information and advice, sometimes we’re not as prepared to care as we think we are.

We all know life is uncertain – but are we really ready for what life throws at us?

Imagine you and your partner have been together a long time. You have made a home together, maybe brought up a couple of children. Now you are thinking towards retirement and putting some money aside for your old age.

And then – wham bang – out of a clear blue sky – one of you gets a serious illness or injury. You aren’t high earners, but you have both worked all your lives and paid all those National Insurance Contributions. You have lost one income overnight. You are now learning you are a carer. This is your time to get support from the state. Right?

No. Wrong.

Your partner may be ill or disabled, but the government have tightened up the system. Your partner is put on Employment Support Allowance in the Work Related Activity Group and you think it will be OK.

You are pleased to hear that he’ll be given support to find work that will fit with his disability. But then you both realise that if he doesn’t find work within a year, there will be no more money. ESA has changed from universal to means tested.

Do you earn more than £7000 a year?

Have you saved more than £16,000 for retirement?

Sorry – you won’t qualify for ESA any more.

And the Disability Living Allowance you might have received to help you meet the costs of disability, including a taxi to work or equipment to help you access the internet, has changed to Personal Independence Payment. But PIP has been tightened up and he might not qualify for that any more. Without that you won’t get Carers Allowance.

So you start to worry about what life will be like after a year in the WRAG group. He has no disability benefits. You don’t receive carers allowance. You both start to feel depressed and anxious about what lies ahead. Can you carry on working when you can’t concentrate with the worry? What if his support needs start to increase and he needs more care?

Is this really the sort of welfare system you paid in to? Is this what you expected to happen when you needed it?

safety netLife is uncertain. But we used to be able to trust the government to help us at these times of crisis. Not any more. So remember if the time ever comes when you step up and say you are prepared to be a carer – you may be on your own. Iain Duncan Smith has taken away your parachute and your life jacket.

The safety net you thought would be there has been stripped away.


Supporting statement from Carers UK

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013



Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive

of Carers UK:


“Carers fear finding themselves In the centre of a perfect storm, as, on top of cuts to already overstretched social care services, they may face a combination of cuts to disability benefits, changes to Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit and the introduction of the household benefit cap.

We are shocked and disappointed at the lack of adequate analysis of the impact all these changes will have on carers. There is the real risk that the combined impact will have devastating personal consequences for carers and their families but will also bring greater costs to society and the economy in the longer term. Government should urgently publish full analysis of the impact of their changes to benefits on carers and disabled people, taking account of simultaneous cuts to vital social care support.”


Carers UK is gathering evidence about the financial costs of caring. They need carers’ stories on the extra living costs they face and the impact on their ability to earn

Full details –


The onslaught continues – sign Pat’s Petition

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Sign Pat’s petition here.  

Conservative conference is underway and by the hour we are hearing statements and interviews from government ministers regarding welfare reform and cuts. See links below

 It is even more vital now that we have all these issues debated in parliament.

Will Pat’s Petition achieve 100,000 by Nov 1st? We believe it will if we all push it forward as wide as possible.

The petition has reached over 50,000 signatures – quite incredible for this small group of unfunded friends with no large organisations behind them. But we need to reach 100,000 by the deadline at the end of the month.

As Pat says –  “That can sound quite daunting, but other petitions have done it. Anne Williams last year got 40,000 signatures on the very last day for her petition about her son Kevin who died at Hillsborough. Richard Branson had his support within a week. And the cuddly badgers achieved their target in weeks. If only people would support disabled people in the same way.”


link to Youtube video, click here –       Pat’s Petition


The group are asking people to be quick about taking actions:

Sign the petition at

Check junk boxes for activation emails.

Share the petition link by e-newsletters, facebook, twitter – get to places where people are already online

Add to blogs, write letters to media and your MP

If you are attending A Future that Works Oct 20th march ensure the petition details are shared with fellow marchers

Grassroots groups have been extremely supportive and we ask you to give this a final push.

Campaign teams from charities to come on board and raise awareness to your memberships. Time is running out so you need do this quickly.





1. David Cameron on Andrew Marr show

Q: Nick Clegg said there would be more austerity after 2015. Was he right?

Yes, says Cameron. The cuts will have to be decided before the election. The government will have to look at things like welfare

2. Iain Duncan Smith Guardian 19.26 pm

“This quote is from 19:26 Sunday –

“A delegate asks Duncan Smith if he could cut more from the welfare budget, saying that would be very popular with the public.

IDS says he’s cut more than any other secretary of state – £18bn – but these are “difficult” times.

Once he has reformed welfare, everyone will be able to recognise that those who are on benefits are genuine claimants, he says, and not scroungers.”

3. George Osborne plans to cut another £10bn from welfare budget





Pat’s Petition – Urgent Call for Action

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012


We have now reached the last two months for the epetition ( sign here ) and now, more than ever, we need your support.

Charities like Disability Rights UK, Carers Trust and Carers UK have added our flyer to their newsletters, and grassroots organisations including Disabled People Against Cuts, Spartacus, Act Now for Autism and many more  have promoted it.

You may already have done this in previous months. But can I ask you to repeat it?

Send it to your contacts, media organisations, charities, trade unions and local community organisations, anyone who can send it on further. Don’t worry about duplicating the message – they need to know we all want this to succeed.

With the Paralympics and the week of ATOS protests, as well as the recent TV programmes about the Work Capability Assessment, we can see that people are becoming more aware of the perfect storm that lies ahead. But we do not have much time to get this petition to 100,000.  Virgin Trains achieved their target within one week. The changes impacting on disabled people will affect far more people.

Now is the time to act.

I have copied the text of our flyer below – please use it and edit it to suit your situation. We recommend making sure you include the epetition link to make it easy for people to sign.

If you need more information, or want a formatted version of the flyer, please do just get in touch.

Thank you, Pat x


Pat’s Petition



Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services, which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families

The petition is just one of many actions being taken by disabled people and their supporters. The idea is to get a debate in parliament. To force those dismantling our public services, rights and entitlements, to account for themselves. There is no illusion that the petition will stop anything by itself. But every small action joins with other actions, so that together they can make a difference.

A small group of volunteers has got this to over 44,000 signatures. Now we need to get it to 100,000 by November 1st.

Together WE can do this.

So please sign, and as important, send on to friends and colleagues. Add to e-newsletters, blogs, and social media platforms – spread the word.

Further information here – Pat’s Petition 

 Contact Pat –


       Download a copy here   –    Call to Action sept 2nd




Disabled people Against the Cuts – week of protests

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Disabled campaigners have planned a week of protests against Atos to coincide with the start of the Paralympic Games

Debbie Jolly in Guardian

Minute Menu of protest Activites


Atos ­sponsoring the Paralympics when its benefit tests are a sick joke is an insult to disabled people

by Kevin Maguire Daily Mirror

Paralympian stripped of gold in protest against sponsors Atos


Owen Jones: David Cameron praises Paralympians, but his policies will crush them



Add your voice to Pat’s Petition here

Share the link 

and ask as many others to do the same


The Best Birthday Present you can give me – YOUR SUPPORT

Friday, August 17th, 2012
There are a couple of very important dates rushing towards me. Oh yes I will be having a birthday – a big one. It has the numbers 0 and 6 in it and I leave you to put them in the right order. Of course, like so many others of my vintage, I have to wait a few more years util I actually ‘retire’ . That will be my new job description – ‘retired’. Forms where I used to leave blank because there wasn’t a category ‘disabled’ or ‘carer’ will now be completed in the usual way. ‘Retired’.’ On the same day will be my little granddaughter’s 1st birthday.

Hardest Hit event London

As if these 2 occasions weren’t enough yet another birthday awaits me. It will soon be one year since I, and 6 other ladies, joined together to discuss welfare reform and the idea of a petition was raised. Some of us had attended Hardest Hit events but we knew so many others had been unable to attend. This petition was for them and everyone else.
12 months ago my first blog telling you all how (more…)

Are you one of the 3 or one of the 37 – Experiment 18

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

.Thanks to Ian for this

Why are politicians from all three main parties, and the public, going along with Welfare Reforms when they can the see how unfair the reforms are and how much pain they are causing disabled people.

This experiment  showed that 37 out of 40 people would carry out the instructions of someone in authority even if they knew it would hurt someone. Please don’t be one of the 37 who go along with authority.
Be one of the 3 who have the courage to say NO.
Pat’s petition  is now number 11 out of 11,000 e-petitions. Please help Pat get to the top.
Can you add the link to Pat’s Petition to all your Face Book posts and ask people to share and use the share button on the petition
.Link to be shared –

Our Social Care system is broken

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

The Care Lobby is here. Full details on their website 

CareLobby 2012 are also staging the world’s first twobby – an online lobby so that even more people can tell MPs that a change in social care is urgently needed. This will run at the same time as the lobby at
parliament. Our social care system is broken. Support the twobby TODAY

Pat’s Petition covers the “perfect storm” of all the changes that impact on disabled people and carers including Welfare Reform, NHS reform, loss of Legal Aid, cuts to local authority budgets and changes for staff. It is believed that no-one in government has considered the cumulative effect of all these changes, and welcome the report and recommendations of the JCHR.
Will YOU join with over 32,000 people and press the government to carry out a full impact assessment.

Sign Pats Petition  ………..

and then become an organiser. Go out and gather more support. Add it to blogs, websites, as a signature at the end of your emails. If each person gathers 5 names and so on, we can do this.

Will today come to represent a day in British history on Welfare Reform

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

For centuries history books have recorded many battles, and yet for us none can be as important as the one we face today.

The Welfare reform Bill  is nearing its final stages in the Lords and it has been extraordinary these last few months seeing everyone come together to highlight opposition to the bill.

Last night we learned that Baroness Grey Thompson will table a new amendment asking for a pilot scheme to be put in place ahead of any changes made to Disability Living Allowance. Clause 80 can be read here  

For those wanting to watch the proceedings you can do so here  ( approx 3pm )

Voices are being raised daily,  saying Coalition must think again regarding these proposed changes to disability benefits.

To date 21,489 people have signed the petition I submitted on the governments website.

If you have not already done so I ask that you join us by signing here

Share with  family, friends, contacts, groups and tell them to do the same.

This could be Welfares last stand,  and it is one for which we need a united front.

This morning the Candle of Hope still shines brightly and with members in the House of Lords battling on our behalf,  long may it stay lit.

Last but not least, keep a watchful eye on our backdoors.

With all the coverage re Disability Benefits, we need ensure nothing untoward is being rushed through by stealth. There are so many proposals, many that will affect our lives, and it is vital we do not take our eye off the ball so to speak.

Any possible reprieve today will be a great victory for everyone but the war itself will not be won. Our campaigning will need continue.

Pat x