Guest post from Graeme Hay, National Campaigns Officer at Scope.
Social care takes so many different forms and can help people with loads of different tasks and activities in their everyday lives. Whether it’s helping people get up and ready in the morning, preparing and eating food, or getting out and about – this crucial support helps many disabled people live independent lives.
The Care Bill, Government legislation which will decide the future of social care, is being debated by MPs for the first time today. But at the moment it risks shutting more than 100,000 disabled people out of social care completely.
So we wanted MPs to hear from their constituents about why social care is so important to them, asking them to send in a message that we promised to deliver to their MP. We got a huge response from people all over the country – people who use social care, relatives and people who just believe everyone should be able to live their lives the way they want to.
All the messages were printed out on to big speech bubbles and delivered to almost 400 MPs in Parliament last week. There were some incredibly powerful stories, here are just a few examples to share with you:
“I want everyone who needs care to get it because… everyone deserves an equal chance to live to their full potential with the support they require in order to achieve this.”
“I want everyone who needs care to get it because… I am a 67 year old man who has been disabled from birth. I need help with everything, getting dressed, taking medication, and as I am also registered as severely sight impaired. I would be jailed in my own house and unable to get out or talk and meet new friends without help.”
“I want everyone who needs care to get it because… my wheelchair using friend has so much to offer the world but is housebound because of lack of care – lack of care makes people more dependent, not less.”
“I want everyone who needs care to get it because that is the way it should be.”
As well as all the usual briefings filling up MPs post bags, we hope they’ll pay special attention to these unique stories from their constituents, speaking out for care, and use the Care Bill debate to make sure that everyone who needs social care gets it.
Growing number of voices
And the voices speaking out for care are growing even bigger.
Alana and her brother James from Oxfordshire, who relies on social care to live independently, started a change.org petition calling on party leaders to commit to making sure everyone who needs care can get it.
At the time of writing nearly 40,000 people have already signed the petition showing just how big an issue social care is for so many people around Britain.
Will MPs respond and speak out at the debate today, to make sure everyone who needs care gets it? Follow the debate on Twitter and check back here tomorrow for our rundown and what happened in Parliament.