“I’m scared about my future. I don’t know if the support I need will be there when I am older.”
These were the words of a disabled woman who attended the Bradford Cares launch. She echoes the concerns of many disabled people throughout the country who receive social care support and who have experienced reductions in levels of support or increased charges in recent years.
Bradford Cares was held on July 15 in the Bradford East constituency of David Ward MP, who organised the event:
The event was inspired by Scope’s Britain Cares Campaign which has attracted from the backing of people up and down the country eager to support the campaign by posting over 1000 “I care” photos onto our website and show how much they value the vital role good social care plays in the lives of millions of disabled people. By coming along to the event, the people of Bradford showed that they cared too.
The Bradford Cares Summit was attended by over 100 disabled and older people and representatives from DPOs. Participants had a chance to discuss their own experiences of social care and their concerns for the future. Guests were also able to browse the various stands for advice and information, and many took the opportunity to visit the Scope stand to find out more about Britain Cares and to have their photograph uploaded onto our website.
During the event there was a panel session offering the audience the opportunity to put forward their concerns on social care. I was there, representing Scope as the Community Campaigns Manager, along with David Ward, Paul Burstow the former Minister for Social Care and Keith Nathan, Chief Executive of Bradford and District Age UK.
There were many probing and difficult questions put to the panel on the future of social care. Some focused on funding, whilst others were concerned about tightening eligibility, fearing they would no longer qualify under the proposed National Eligibility framework.
As a wheelchair user I was fortunate to be able to speak of my first-hand experience of social care and as someone who has worked over a number of years on policy and campaigns to improve care provision.
People should be concerned about the future of social care but they should also welcome the fact that the topic is higher up the Government agenda than it has ever been before.
We need to engage more in effective dialogue with politicians and care providers. We need to use less of the jargon of ‘eligibility criteria’ and talk more about the difference the right support makes to someone’s life.
Why not hold your own Britain Cares event to show how much good social care means to your community? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org