We held a meeting at Vine Street, Widnes with Derek Twigg MP for Halton, HALDS members and guests to give our views on People with Learning Disabilities being re-assessed for stopping their incapacity benefit/income support and being put on Job seekers allowance
A number of HALDS members are finding their cared fors are now being affected with these changes, this is causing a lot of upset for your cared for and unnecessary stress for the carer.
In order for Derek to take the case to parliament he needs case studies, one of our members in particular has found her daughter having to go along to the job centre for an interview, which was horrendous.
If you or someone you know has a story to tell about these changes, can you please e-mail me asap with the story, I will then send these over to Derek for him to take to Parliament. He needs to know name, address, whether they already carry out voluntary work, any work experience, type of disability and how severe and experiences of any interviews.
Derek is also going to speak to the minister re job centre plus and what support is in place for people with learning disabilities who go on courses and what training staff have for interviewing etc.
Please send any stories to my e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org asap or post to 62 Betchworth Crescent, Beechwood, Runcorn, WA7 2YA asap to enable me to pass onto Derek.
Please note the above is not only for HALDS members if you know anyone with a learning disability or mental health problem who is affected, we want to know.
Update on Damian – Damian is no longer at the Disability Welfare Rights in Runcorn, he was offered a paid job in Huyton (Runcorn was only voluntary) At the Runcorn office there is still Bill and Terry who are able to help you if you need assistance in completing any forms.
Webb Ivory Catalogue – I have requested some Christmas gift catalogues where we will receive 25% on all sales, I will bring along to the next meeting.
Monthly raffle – In place of the football car we are now holding a raffle at each monthly meeting to help raise funds for the group, for Junes meeting we raised a total of £23, many thanks for your support.
Autism Spectrum Condition – Attention Card – To help someone with Autism Spectrum Condition explain themselves you can now apply for an Attention Card for Police and Emergency Services, if you would like more details or apply for a card please contact ChAPS on 01928 722384.
Please keep an eye on the Dates for your Diary page (link above) for updated information on HALDS events and activities.
Yvonne Smallman from Halton Speak Out now comes along to meetings each month to advise updates on Halton Speak Out and also to advise on any issues you may have and if required one to one meetings with yourself.
At June’s meeting Yvonne gave an update on the Safe in Town Scheme, the 6 month pilot is now finished, though Safeguarding Adults Board and Safeguarding children in Halton Executive Group both fully support the continuation and extension of the scheme, with this in mind at the moment Halton Speak Out are in the process of getting funding to extend the Safe in Town Scheme, Yvonne will give us updates at the meeting on the progress of the funding.
Yvonne also advised about the Drop in Clinics at Halton – CCG group are planning to extend the health services in Widnes Walk-In centre and to provide a Walk-in Centre and Clinical Decision Unit at Halton Hospital. This is designed to relieve the pressure on A & E units at Whiston and Warringon Hospitals, They are looking to having x-ray facilities, doctors & consultants on hand. Questionaire forms where given out at the meeting about the walk-in clinics for your views. Yvonne is also sending me this form on line, which I will send out to members on line. Please complete either manually or on-line and return direct to Halton Clinical Commissiong Group.
Yvonne also informed us about a scheme she is in ‘Bright Sparks’ and it involves taking out younger people with disabilities to shops etc. to see accessibility, politeness of staff, whether there is a lift, they give marks out of 10 if the shop is eligible they are given a ‘kite mark’ to display in the window, therefore other people with disabilities know the shop is accessible for them.
At June’s meeting we should have had 2 guest speakers but due to unforeseen circumstances they were both unable to attend our meeting, this has happened the last 2 meetings, hopefully it will not happen again, but unfortunately these cancellations are out of my control.
There is to be a meeting on Friday 5th July at 1pm at Vine Street, Widnes for all HALDS members and guests, Derek Twigg is coming along to speak to us about people with learning disabilities being called for re-assessment when on incapacity benefit or income support. This will be happening to all your cared fors sometime in the future, so please try and come along to this meeting to voice your concern. We are also going to be asking Derek to act on our behalf at the job centres as if people with learning disabilities lose their benefits and have to attend back to work courses, we need to know what support there is in place.
Irene Bramwell from Healthwatch is coming along to our next meeting to give us an update on the changes taking place within the NHS and CCG.