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December meetings

Remember we don’t hold a meeting in December – though we’ll be going to the Stand up for Stigma comedy event at St Helens Central Library. It’s the last one for this year so it would be good to see you there.

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Pat’s Petition

This e-petition was started by a group of volunteers who are all disabled or have caring responsibilities.

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

The government were embarking on wholesale reform of the benefit system when the economic crisis struck. These welfare reforms had not been piloted and the plan was to monitor and assess the impact of the new untried approach as it was introduced in a buoyant economy.

Unfortunately since then the economy has gone in to crisis and the government has simultaneously embarked on a massive programme of cuts. This has created a perfect storm and left disabled people/those with ill health, and their carers reeling, confused and afraid.

We ask the government to stop this massive programme of piecemeal change until they can review the impact of all these changes, taken together, on disabled people and their carers. We ask the government to stand by its duty of care to disabled people and their carers. At the moment the covenant seems to be broken and they do not feel safe. Illness or disability could affect any one of us at any time, while many more of us are potential carers.

Please read and sign the petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968

More information online at: http://carerwatch.com/reform/

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August meetings

A quick reminder that there are no meetings for the Forum or for the Carers reference group in August.

Oasis does still continue to meet every monday at the URC.

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Links and information about the white paper are on the ROLE group‘s site.

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For everyone who couldn’t afford to attend the 5th International carers conference in Leeds …  Carers World Radio have put podcasts of some of the presentations online.

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The transcript of the debate shows the future plans for carers and the carers strategy. This includes the cancellation of Caring with Confidence. They are looking at ‘the best way to reinvest the money to deliver good outcomes for carers’. (Courses will run locally for the next few months.)

Paul Burstow, Minister of State (Care Services) ended the debate saying:

I hold to the view that carers are an important thread that holds communities together. We need to do more to support them. Their value will grow as our society ages and people with disabilities live longer. We must ensure, both across parties and within the coalition, that the refreshed strategy delivers tangible results, rather than being just a statement of intent. It must be clear about delivering change for carers. That is this Government’s commitment, and I look forward to making the difference, along with colleagues, as we go forward.

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We often get asked to offer suggestions for people who have just realised they are a carer. This may be after many years of a caring role.

We’d suggest –

  1. Get in touch with the Carers Centre.
  2. Meet other carers – attend carers groups. Many of us don’t like joining groups or talking about our problems with strangers, but carers are often isolated. Joining a carers group is a great way to meet people who are facing similar issues and to reassure yourself that you are not alone in this. Other carers have specific knowledge about local services. And sometimes it is actually helpful to talk to strangers rather than family.
  3. Ask the care coordinator for a carers assessment. The Carers Centre and Carers groups can also tell you about assessments, but a care coordinator will need to do the assessment.

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