Feb 092013
 
   
  Today I was having a blood transfusion after losing six pints of blood owing to Kidney failure. I am already a kidney transplant patient and an agency worker hence while my body is missing six pints of blood and I am on the brink of kidney failure I am unable walk let alone work. I claimed ESA and ATOS based on what my GP and Renal Consultants said passed me on my medical. However the DWP have harassed me constantly and today during treatment Shireen from North Kensington Job Centre phoned and demanded I go on a back to work assessment. I told her as I told her manager yesterday I was in hospital having treatment and I had a job when I get well again but I was too ill. She continued to harass me demanding I find the Consultant and ask him what time I would be finished having the six pints of blood put inside me. Eventually I became upset and drew the attention from the nurse and eventually the consultant. I offered to put the Consultant on to speak to Shireen at the job centre but she refused but told me to talk to him and find out what time I finished. I told her I wasn’t fit to work and if I was I HAVE A JOB but she ignored me and continued to get me upset. Is there any advice you can give me because I was in the middle of treatment when she did this and I am entitled to treatment.I have kidney failure but to ill for dialysis or a transplant and they need to work with me, I had to have six pints of blood and she refused to listen to me she even laughed.Should you find this disgusting like we do you may want to write to the manager at this job centre and complain. 

North Kensington Jobcentre Plus
Office
Unit 308-312
Quayside House

Kensal Road

London

W10 5BE

We’d also like anyone who has experienced anything similar to let us know please at mail@dpac.uk.net

 

 Posted by at 21:40
Feb 092013
 

0117 944 6882

info@roaring-girl.com

roaring-girl.com

@RGPLizCrow

 

A new film from ROARING GIRL PRODUCTIONS

Bedding In Bedding Out: Reflections from the Bed

Drawing on audio recordings and timelapse photography from artist-activist Liz Crow’s recent Bedding In performance at SPILL Festival of Performance, Roaring Girl Productions is pleased to announce the release of a new film, Bedding In Bedding Out: Reflections from the Bed.

In her performance, Liz took to her bed in a gallery for three days to highlight the contradictions in the new system of benefits currently being introduced by the UK government.

Says Liz, “I wear a public self that is energetic, dynamic and happening. I am also ill and spend much of life in bed. The private self is neither beautiful nor grownup, and I conceal it carefully. But the benefits system demands a reversal, my private self paraded to justify support.”

Bedding Out was a performance in which I took my private self and made it public.” Performing what she describes as the other side of her fractured self, her bed-life, Liz says, “Since the public me is so carefully constructed, this was a kind of un-performing of my self.”

“I want to make a twilight existence visible. But more, I want to show that what many people see as contradiction, what they call fraud, is only the complexity of real life.”

During the performance, members of the public were invited to Bedside Conversations, gathering round the bed to talk about the work, its backdrop, its politics. This new film combines audio recordings from the Bedside Conversations with timelapse photography from the performance. Also released are a dozen additional audio clips from the Conversations.

[ends]

Notes to Editors

To view the film: www.roaring-girl.com/productions/bedding-in/watch

To listen to the audio clips: www.roaring-girl.com/productions/bedding-in/listen

 Background on the performance at: www.roaring-girl.com/productions/bedding-in

To arrange an interview or request further information and images:

please contact Liz on 07702 757407 or email info@roaring-girl.com. 

Artist Biography

Liz Crow is an artist-activist working with performance, film, audio and text. She is drawn to drama, life stories and experimental work, and the potential of storytelling to trigger change. A former NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) fellow and founder of Roaring Girl Productions, Liz’s work has shown at London’s Tate Modern and the British Film Institute, as well as on television and at festivals internationally.

Prior works include an appearance on the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square as part of sculptor Antony Gormley’s One and Other project. Liz’s provocative and controversial performance was part of a larger film-based installation, Resistance: which way the future?, that tours the UK and internationally. 

Roaring Girl Productions is a creative media projects company based in Bristol, founded by writer-director and activist Liz Crow. It undertakes media productions, training and associated projects, combining high quality creativity with practical activism. www.roaring-girl.com.

Future performances: Liz will be performing a new version of the work, BeddingOut, which will be live streamed and will incorporate virtual participation via twitter, as part of the People Like You exhibition at Salisbury Arts Centre, 8 March – 12 April 2013.

 

 Posted by at 14:51
Feb 092013
 

 IMPORTANT: John McDonnell has secured  a vote in the House of Commons planned for next Wednesday on PIP regulations..

Please urge everyone to contact MPs & supportive press to help to secure the
vote against the abolition of DLA and this change to PIP.

 

As well as changes to entitlement to the mobility component please also remember that one in five disabled people are likely to lose their entitlement to any care component. 

Please email your MP and ask your MP to vote against these changes now.

 

 

 Posted by at 14:28
Feb 062013
 

VIGIL TO SAVE INDEPENDENT LIVING FUND

AND OUR RIGHT TO INDEPENDENT LIVING

 

March 13th 12.30 pm outside front entrance Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

 

 

SAVE ILF BECAUSE WE’RE WORTH IT. Please join us if you can.

 

Funding for care and support for disabled people and especially for those with the most complex needs to live independently can come from 3 separate funding streams, social services, health and from the Independent Living Fund

 

“The Independent Living Fund is a ring fenced resource, for a priority group of just over 19,000 disabled people with high support needs that can provide a better lifestyle and outcomes for service users whose full needs would not be met by local authority funding. “

 

Unlike local authority and health care funding which tends to focus simply on keeping disabled people alive and clean the funding available from ILF helps disabled people to take part in society on an equal basis to non-disabled people.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and in particular

Article 19: “Living independently and being included in the community”, states that “disabled people have a right to live in the community; with the support they need and can make choices like other people do”.

The closure of the ILF  has obvious implications for the UK’s chances of meeting all such obligations. Most importantly for those disabled people who will lose this financial support they will lose any independence and choice in their lives. You can listen to how this vicious attack will affect disabled people at these links.

 

http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/02/a-nasty-cut-people-affected-by-the-closure-of-the-independent-l5142/

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMElPk0pq6I

 

 

 Posted by at 19:25
Feb 022013
 

WINVISIBLE [mailto:win@winvisible.org]
Sent: 02 February 2013 10:57
Subject: Tues 5 Feb: demo to support legal challenge to Haringey cutting
Council Tax Benefit

Dear Friends,

Demonstrate with us to support a  legal challenge to Haringey Council cutting
Council Tax Benefit
Royal Courts of Justice (High Court), Strand London WC2A 2LL
Tuesday 5 February 9.45am – 11am
10.30am: some people will go into court

Please come and support this important legal challenge to stop the Council
charging Council Tax to people on benefit – see email below from Rev Paul
Nicolson, Taxpayers Against Poverty.

Alex Rook, specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, who is
representing local residents in Haringey, said: “Our client is a single
mother and she is simply not going to be able to make these payments.”

Residents in other boroughs are also hoping to join the legal challenges.

Did you know:
– Nationally,  those who will be most disadvantaged by this change
are in waged work, including single parents (92% mothers)
who work part-time and those of us on minimum wage who depend on childcare.
We will face a hike of up to £577 a year in Council Tax.
– Some Councils, such as Tory-led Kensington and Chelsea, have
decided to keep the 100% Council Tax Benefit, and instead charge 2nd-home
owners to make up the gap in government funding, see
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21276091
– Families with young children, sick and disabled people, young
unemployed people, other vulnerable groups should rightly be protected —
but some Councils, such as Camden, have decided to charge Council Tax
contributions from everyone of working age regardless of their circumstances.
– More national info
http://www.channel4.com/news/council-tax-benefit-cuts-the-key-questions
– More about the Haringey challenge
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/21/council-tax-blow-people-benefits

Winning this challenge will set a precedent against all Councils planning to
cut Council Tax Benefit

See you there!

WINVISIBLE

PS: We have been working with the mother of Daniel Roque Hall – a severely
disabled man who was nearly killed by Wormwood Scrubs prison’s neglect. The
High Court is hearing his appeal on Tuesday so there will be a second
demonstration outside the court. A number of us will be involved in both.
See separate email.

_____

 Posted by at 19:52
Feb 012013
 

Many thanks to Kate Belgrave for letting us repost her blog and these great videos! Read also DPAC’s  draft position about the closure of the ILF.

 

This is the first of a collection of videos featuring people who will be directly affected by the government’s atrocious decision to close the Independent Living Fund (the ILF).

The ILF was set up in 1988 as a standalone fund which people with severe disabilities could apply to for extra money to pay for added care and support. That additional funding made it possible for people to live independently in their homes, rather than in residential care. For some people, the ILF paid for entire care packages. For others, ILF money was used to top up council funding for care. Most of the people who appear in these videos require round-the-clock care which – unsurprisingly – comes with a price tag.

In 2010, the Independent Living Fund was closed to new applicants.

Then in 2012, the coalition government announced that it would “consult” on the future of the fund for the ILF’s 19,000 existing users. The upshot of this was, towards the end of last year, an extremely unpopular decision to close the fund and devolve it to local authorities.

“In terms of independent living, this is the single most regressive action that the Condems could have taken,” DPAC’s Linda Burnip emailed to say. Indeed.

The money will not be ringfenced. It will be left to already cash-strapped councils to fund care for people with the most complex – and expensive – needs. That makes the whole prospect a complete shambles. Councils can’t meet demand as it is. Many are tightening eligibility criteria for care and have been taken to court for trying to restrict services, or for capping the amounts that they spend on claimants. Last year, as an example, Worcesterchire county council came up with a so-called maximum expenditure policy – meaning that if paying for someone to live at home with carers cost more than residential care, the individual would have to make up the difference themselves, or go into residential care – the sort of idea which would, as Sophie Partridge says in the video below, take everyone back to a time when people were hidden away in homes and made to sit around in incontinence pads.

So much for the advance of civilisation.

Penny Pepper

In this video, Penny Pepper – an Islington journalist and writer who has been receiving ILF payments for about 15 years – gives her views on the planned devolution.

The video starts with a few comments from Pepper about a letter (she’s holding it in the video) on the ILF closure which she received from her local MP Emily Thornberry – a letter that she says “doesn’t have any balls.”

Pepper requires round-the-clock care support. Islington council funds just over half of that. The ILF pays for the rest.

She believes that an independent funding structure like the ILF – run by people with disabilities themselves – is crucial to ensuring funding for people with complex needs.

She also says that she has found the political response to the government’s devolution proposal discouraging, to say the least. You’ll see in the video that she’s particularly disappointed with the response from Emily Thornberry, her local MP (I’ve asked Thornberry for her views on her own representation of people on this issue and had nothing back. Will keep you posted on developments if there are any).

Sophie Partridge

 

In this video, freelance creative practitioner Sophie Partridge, who is also a long-term ILF recipient and who also lives in Islington, voices similar concerns about a lack of political representation. She thinks that people with disabilities tend to serve as pawns in funding wars.

Any loss of care funding and hours could see her forced into residential care – an option that she says she will not contemplate. She says that councils should have fought harder to keep the ILF intact.

The lack of information that councils appear to have – or, at least, are prepared to release – about upcoming ILF responsibilities is purely amazing. Islington council (which part-funds care packages for Sophie Partridge and Penny Pepper) told me that it couldn’t predict whether or not it could match ILF funding, because the council “did not yet know the total amount to be devolved to local authorities.” Neither did the council know if it would need to fund extra staff, saying: “we do not yet know whether additional resources will be provided as part of the transition.” The council merely said, fluffily, that it would “always seek to meet people’s eligible needs in an appropriate way within available council resources.”

“Within available council resources.” Not a phrase to inspire confidence in this era.

Neither is this sentence [from the DWP]. “All disabled people, including those transferring from the ILF, will continue to be protected by a local authority safety net that guarantees disabled people get the support they need,” runs the fantasy that the DWP has posing as a ILF press release. A couple of weeks ago, I had an utterly painful phone conversation with a DWP press officer who insisted (and insisted) that the department’s ILF devolution plans must not be reported as a “cut.” I can see from your website that you write about cuts and this is not a cut! the press officer said several times. Loudly. It’s not a cut!

My two cents as I wrote in this short piece in the Guardian: if you believe that, you’ll believe anything. ILF recipients certainly don’t: a group of claimants has started court proceedings to challenge last year’s “consultation” on the closure. It’s the wider context that is the issue here. Council budgets and services are being obliterated. As things stand, an increasing number of councils now only fund people whose needs are assessed as substantial or critical in fair access to care bands. Being placed in the substantial or critical bands is no guarantee that your needs will be met, either. I’ve interviewed people who already struggle to pay for the care they need: this Lancashire woman, for example, who had been placed in the substantial band, told me that she had to stay in bed on weekends, because her care hours didn’t stretch to Saturdays and Sundays. This Cheshire woman, who was also in the substantial needs band, had run out of care hours on the day that I visited. I found her alone in her home lying next to a sick bucket. Who honestly thinks that the future holds local authority safety nets?

The early day motion which calls for MPs to fight the ILF closure is here.