Jack Carroll and Britain’s Got Talent

Jack Carroll has made it through to the final of Britain’s Got Talent 2013. He mentioned Scope in his routine. Congratulations Jack and thanks for the mention!

Here’s some of the feedback from Twitter:

http://twitter.com/holtyliam/status/339468169041301504

http://twitter.com/TheCureheads/status/339471736322027520

 

Scope supporters and shoppers show Britain cares

As the numbers of views of the Britain Cares campaign film fly past the 100,000 mark, the photo actions grow each day and the I Care actions get ever more creative, you may wonder if the Britain Cares team could sit back and take a breather. Not for a minute! And now more than 26,000 people have taken part in the campaign.

At this crucial time to influence the Government to ensure that disabled people get the social care they need – the reality is far from relaxing. Over the past few weeks the flurry of energy for Britain Cares has been magnified all around the country, as Scope customers have been signing campaign cards in their thousands across our 235 shops. It’s fantastic to see so much support for this crucial campaign.

For the past two weeks, Scope shoppers have been invited to choose a postcard and send it to their MP. There are six card designs, each representing a different area of life that social care makes possible for some disabled people, ranging from the essentials like getting washed and dressed to being able to leave the house to meet family or go to work. Things that many of us may take for granted, until we consider life without them.

Leslee Welman, manager of Exmouth’s Scope shop, has been busy speaking to customers about the Britain Cares campaign and collecting hundreds of signed postcards. She told us how brilliant it has been to see such a lot of support for the campaign from her customers:

“It’s been really positive so far. It’s wonderful to see our customers so passionate about this issue and able to take action by signing a campaign card. They’re really keen to do anything they can to support the campaign, and of course Scope. I’ve spoken to many of my customers who are personally affected by changes to social care and therefore this is really important to them.”

All the signed cards are now on their way to Westminster, to call on MPs to take action and ensure that social care is funded in the upcoming Spending Review and that disabled people get the right support to live their lives.

If you are one of the thousands of people who have already signed a Britain Cares card in a Scope shop – thank you for your support. Please stay involved, and visit www.britaincares.co.uk for the many ways you can continue to show you care.

Tell us your Scope shopping habits

With nearly 250 charity shops across the nation and new shops scheduled to open throughout the year, Scope’s retail chain is thriving.

Scope’s shops raise vital money for our work with disabled people and their families, as well as providing a visible presence on high streets across the nation. Our shops are a hub for local communities and offer bargains to shoppers, as well as giving volunteers an opportunity to gain new skills and experience.

Charity shopping habits

When it comes to our shops, it’s the stories from our customers, volunteers and staff that really spark people’s interest and that journalists want to hear about.

Over the coming weeks we’re particularly keen to hear more about your shopping habits as well as your views on charity shops in general and find out if you’re interested in getting involved with our media work in this area?

One habit we’re looking to explore is whether you have ever been guilty of buying brand-new clothes from the high street, but then never wearing these clothes outside of your home. Are they clogging up space in your wardrobe with the tags left on? We would love to know why you bought these clothes in the first place and we would also like to know why you never wore them. Were you following a fashion trend at the time, or did you buy the garments to slim into, but never reached your ideal weight?

Changing attitudes to charity shops

Another issue that always sparks our interest is people’s attitudes towards charity shops and whether public attitudes have changed over the years.

If you are a recent convert to charity shops we would love to hear from you and find out why you now shop in them. Maybe it’s the bargains, or maybe you’ve developed a new and unique style thanks to the wide range of clothes available in charity shops these days.

If you would like to share your views and experiences here and potentially help with future media work please contact Media officer, Katie Adams at katie.adams@scope.org.uk or call 020 7619 7730.

Share your Scope shop treasure on Pinterest.

My son tried to cook dinner and drive my car in middle of night!

They really take it out of you. But imagine if you were woken most nights because your child just can’t sleep. It’s a problem that many parents of disabled children talk to Scope about. Here, Helen from Peterborough describes her son’s nocturnal adventures – and how our Sleep Solutions programme is putting an end to their sleepless nights.

Sleepless nights.

My son is 10, almost 11, but he thinks he’s about 35!

Luke has Down’s syndrome. He’s full of beans and has no fear of danger.

Luke used to sleep well, but when he changed schools last September he missed his old friends and I think the change in his routine must have unsettled him. He has no problem getting to sleep, the problem is that he wakes up fully alert in the middle of the night and gets out of bed. This could happen four or five times a night. Once he’s awake, he gets bored.

That’s when the trouble starts

Once, he got up at 4am and tried to drive my car. I didn’t hear him open and shut the front door or get into the car. Luckily a neighbour noticed – he just happened to look out of his window and saw my car with all the lights on.

Another time, he almost set the house on fire. I woke up to hear a strange clicking noise, opened my bedroom door and saw Luke sitting on the landing. He had the fire lighter and he was transfixed, looking at the flame as he burnt the tassels at the end of a wool rug. As I carried it downstairs, the rug caught fire. I was in total shock.

That was the wake-up call for me. I realised I had to do something to help Luke sleep before he hurt himself or someone else.

Support from Scope

Sleep Solutions was such a great help. The beauty of the sleep team is that they really do care – you can just tell they do. They take time to get to know you and your child which helps them establish the specific sleep problem and how to treat it. You don’t get that level of support from a book; it’s the human contact that makes all the difference. They gave us a routine for bedtime, which is surprisingly difficult to achieve. Sometimes, it’s basic stuff that you already know but having support from Scope’s sleep practitioners makes it easier to put into place.

Our sleep practitioner came to our house and got to know us. She looked at Luke’s bedroom and how it’s laid out. We realised that Luke often gets cold in the night because his single duvet slips off, which wakes him up, so I brought him a queen size duvet and also got him some black out curtains.

Scope told me about foods which contain melatonin from a brain chemical called serotonin which can trigger sleep. I took this information and started doing some web research, there’s loads of information online. I now try to include more bananas, turkey, chicken, nuts, milk, honey, salmon and tuna in Luke’s diet. I also look out for foods which contain Tryptophan, such as cereals like porridge or anything that contains oats, which aids sleep. I don’t give Luke any coca products four hours before sleep, so if he does get a chocolate treat it’s as he gets home from school or mostly weekends.

The difference it’s made

Today, I spend a lot more time on Luke’s night routine. I didn’t always bath him at night but now I make sure I do, because it helps him relax and is a signal that it’s time to go to bed. Sometimes, Luke still wakes in the night but he usually goes back to sleep on his own. He knows if he gets out of bed and starts messing around, he won’t get his reward at the end of the week.

His school has noticed the difference too and his teachers are really pleased with his performance now. He’s been held back for the last couple of years but they say he can move into the next class soon.

Support services like Sleep Solutions are so important to parents like me. The Government is cutting so many services at the moment, it feels like parents of disabled children are being abandoned. That’s why it’s so important that Sleep Solutions carries on doing such great work.

Please make a donation to support more families like Luke and Helen get the support they need.

Summer Fete at Orchard Manor

Flowers

The blossom’s on the trees, blue skies above and that means only one thing at Meldreth – summer fete time is approaching fast!

New this year, in the absence of the traditional AGM, will be a Meet and Greet session from 1 – 2 p.m in the Grand Marquee. Come along and meet Scope Executive Director of Services Carol Tozer and other Senior Scope Managers including Central Area Manager, Carrie Irvine.

Orchard Manor parents will be given a label with their child’s name and photo, residential flat number and funding authority. This is your opportunity to talk to each other, meet your child’s friends’ parents, discuss transition and move on possibilities and learn more about Scope’s strategy, over tea and cakes…

Resident and staff teams across the Meldreth site have been working hard in preparation for this year’s Annual Meldreth and Orchard Manor Fete to be held on Saturday 22 June. Fete opening is at 2pm.

The organising committee ensure there are games and activities for everyone to enjoy. This year we see a return a of the Driver Taster sessions in the main car park for ages 14 and up, then for the first time we have a Pet Dog Show with all kinds of classifications and prizes up for grabs. There will be the main raffle, bar and café and cakes galore!

All I wanted was to go back to being ‘normal’

This blog entry is from one of our new mentors from Scope’s Our Generation project in Wakefield.

I am a 52-year-old woman originally from Glasgow. I moved to Wakefield six years ago with a new partner, following the breakdown of a relationship of 20 years. For the first three months we lived with relatives of my partner which I found extremely difficult. I had been suffering from depression, anxiety and OCD for a long time and I found living in someone else’s home a nightmare to deal with.

The situation took its toll – I was so desperate to have a place of my own that we declared ourselves homeless. Due to my medical difficulties I was classed as a priority and we were given a bungalow. All my belongings had been left behind in Glasgow so we moved in three days before Christmas with no furniture. I had also left my adult daughter behind in Glasgow which broke my heart and I found it hard to cope with the guilt of leaving her.

I hit rock bottom – my depression and anxiety got worse, I gained weight and hated myself. I felt I had nothing left to live for. It was at this point that I was put in touch with Scope and the mentoring service. At first I didn’t think it was for me as I had never needed support or help from anyone but I couldn’t cope on my own any longer, so I finally made arrangements for a Scope worker to visit me. I found her really compassionate and caring. She introduced me to a mentor who started to come to the house and eventually I found the courage to start going out. It was only small things like going out for a coffee or for a walk round the supermarket but it was a start.

All I wanted was to go back to being ‘normal’ – simple things like getting on a bus alone or going into a shop without having panic attacks. With the support of the service that is what I have managed to achieve. I still have times when I feel depressed and down but I now have friends who I know won’t and don’t judge me. Thanks to Scope I have some sort of life back and life doesn’t seem as bad as I once thought.

I have just finished the mentoring course with Scope and now hope to become a mentor to others. I just want to give someone the strength and courage to live their life as fully as they can. I am a different person thanks to the people at Scope and I hope I will make a huge difference to someone else’s life.

Our Generation is a free mentoring and befriending service that offers one-to-one support for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions over the age of 50.

Queen announces Care Bill – will reforms help disabled people?

Guest post from Caroline Hawkings who is a Senior Public Policy Advisor for Social Care at disability charity Scope.

When the draft Care and Support Bill was published last July, there was much to be pleased about. For example, for the first time social care law is modernised into one statute. Importantly, there is an overarching principle to promote ‘well-being’, rights of carers are strengthened and there are new duties on local authorities to provide information and advice.

Since July, Scope, along with other charities in the Care and Support Alliance, has been working hard with policy makers at the Department of Health to make changes to the draft Bill, such as pushing for specific provisions for advocacy. The crucial question is will this Bill be a new improved version, or will it merely be tinkering at the edges? We will have to wait and see, but on the key question of eligibility for social care, we won’t have any immediate answers.

Disabled people have repeatedly told us that whether or not they qualify for local authority funded care and support is their overriding concern. The Bill will establish a national eligibility threshold – a national minimum level at which local authorities must provide care and support. This should help to end the current variations between one local authority and another. However, there’s a danger that this threshold, which will be set through regulations, will be set too high. In future, care and support is likely to be available only for people whose needs are ‘substantial’ or ‘critical’, potentially denying social care to thousands of others whose independence will be severely curtailed.

Social care in crisis

We know that local councils have had to cut back on funding for social care, partly by reducing the numbers of disabled people who receive it. The Other Care Crisis (PDF), a joint report from Scope and four other disability charities using research from the London School of Economics estimates that 70,000 disabled people are already struggling to get by without social care and a further 30,000 more will be at risk of losing their support if the Government’s proposals go ahead as planned.

In a Scope survey, featured in the report, four in ten disabled people said that their basic needs, like washing once a day, getting dressed and getting out of the house, were not being met. We heard from people like Joshua who now has to ask strangers for help to put his shoes back on when they fall off and Michelle who often goes without having a shower because she just doesn’t have the energy to manage.

Britain Cares about social care

This is why Scope has launched the Britain Cares campaign to end this scandal. We – along with other charities, groups and thousands of people are calling on the Government to put in place enough funding so that disabled people can get the essential support they need. Crucially, the budget for social care will be decided in the forthcoming Spending Review in June and this is when the regulations setting out national threshold are due to be published.

So, it’s not only May that will be significant in the life of the new Care and Support Bill, but also 26 June when the Spending Review is announced. Although we hope that the new Bill will contain considerable improvements to the first draft, it will be far from ‘job done’. Over the next few weeks, through our campaigning and discussions with parliamentarians and civil servants, we’l l be redoubling our efforts to ensure that disabled people have the vital support they need to live their lives.

Show that you care that disabled people should get essential support to lead their lives.