Jun 032013

As more and more people are finding that they go from hours to minutes of support from their local authorities, as ILF users are threatened with being passed into a local authority system that cannot serve the aims of independent living, and as independent living is becoming more of a mirage every day, despite article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (UNCRPD) – we look at Angela’s story. Angela contacted DPAC several months ago when it was clear that her local authority were carrying out practices that appeared to be against protocol -legal representation was found. However, this could not stop the real threats to the reduction of Angela’s support or to her right to independent living:

Angela’s Story
I’m 28 years old – but if they take away my social care it’ll be the end of my life.

I’m disabled but I want to enjoy life the way any other young woman can.  I have two volunteer jobs.

 Now they’re threatening to take this support away – leaving me isolated at home, forcing me to go to bed at 9.30 every night, not even able to go to the toilet.

I did a degree in psychology and criminal behaviour. It was interesting but nothing like CSI! During one of the seminars, I met a representative from Headway, the spinal brain injury charity and I’ve been volunteering there for the last two and a half years. I won Luton’s Volunteer of the Year Award last year.

I’m constantly looking for paid work. I don’t sit around watching TV, I never have, I don’t believe in that. I would love to get a paid job. I have tried. I’ve been for interviews for customer services and as a support worker. Even though we are supposed to have equal opportunities, people still look at my wheelchair.

I was hit by a car when I was two. I have a spinal brain injury which has affected my left side. I can’t walk because I have no balance, so I use an electric chair.

When I turned 18, Social Services helped me find a place to live and be independent. Social care gave me total freedom to get up, go to bed, go to the toilet and settle into my new home and life. With decent social care I’ve been able to do whatever I want. I can go out and enjoy life the way any other young woman can. I have two volunteer jobs, and I can go shopping and see my friends.

Suddenly, out of the blue recently they’ve tried to cut my care from 20 hours a day down to three. I was shocked, upset and angry. I tried to negotiate with the woman at the Council and was told “life’s not perfect for anyone”.  I don’t expect it to be perfect – I want to have a life like any young woman.

I’d have no freedom. I’d have to be in bed at 9.30pm and get up at 7.30am, with no way to go to the toilet in the night either. My carer wouldn’t have time to cook me fresh food (microwaved horsemeat lasagne here I come!).

Imagine living this life for the next 50 years. If I was stuck with that forever, I would give up and lose my passion for living. I would find a way to end my life.

What I’m asking for isn’t unreasonable. I just want flexibility and freedom and a little support. I’m not asking for the world. But I do want dignity and I do want freedom. If I wasn’t in this wheelchair I would have those things, so why shouldn’t I.

What’s worse is it isn’t just me. It isn’t just about reducing how much support people get. They’re taking away all support for some disabled people. Every disabled person who needs support should get it – this is about the basic dignity and freedom to live our lives.

The government has what they call a spending review coming up – it’s when George Osborne decides: How will he spend our money? What do we care about as a country?

Will you sign the petition I’ve started and send George Osborne a message loud and clear that we want adequate support for disabled people to live independently?    They spent more than a billion pounds just on the Olympics village where the athletes stayed last year, surely they can put at least that much into social support for us? We only have a few weeks!
Angela Murray

Petition: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/george-osborne-save-social-care-let-me-and-all-disabled-people-live-with-freedom-and-dignity

Please sign the petition and write to us at mail@dpac.uk.net with your stories. We are also looking for stories from people who were stopped from applying for Independent Living Fund support in 2010 when the Coalition closed it to new applicants.

This is not just about ‘care’ it is about independent living, the right to independent living and support for all. It is about the UK breaking its own signed commitment to the UNCRPD. It is about the impact on real lives like Angela’s. It is fundamentally wrong!

DPAC is continually gathering evidence of the impacts of the cuts, their effects on independent living and quality of life for disabled people and those with long term health issues. Unlike some other organisations we are keen to bring this Government to task through every route we can, including the legal system.




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  3 Responses to “Angela 28 Says: If they take away my Support it’ll be the End of my Life!”

    ED Balls blew thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash on posh dinners and wine while running education .The former Schools Secretary and his team spent £1,663 on an Italian meal out, eight days after splurging £1,000 at a swish Indian next to their department. And £2,776 went on four bulk orders from Majestic Wine listed as “ministerial hospitality” from June 2009 to March 2010 .
    Nick Clegg has been plunged into the ‘cash for honours’ row as two of the Liberal Democrats’ biggest donors are lined up for peerages. Rumi Verjee, the multimillionaire who brought the Domino’s pizza chain to Britain, has donated £770,000 since May 2010. Sudhir Choudhrie, whose family has donated £650,000 to the party since 2004, is also on the party’s honours list. And we thought Cameron’s cohorts were the main culprits for having their noses in the trough .The Whole System is Corrupt and needs a thorough Disinfecting . http:brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com

  2. Well done Angela on getting that Psychology degree in criminal behaviour. Very interesting subject, and I suppose you can see parallels there if you know what I mean. I too have done Psychology, very fascinating subject. I am so sorry to read your story. This is wonderful about your volunteer work, and it is totally outrageous government are making it impossible for you to carry on with your work and being involved in your community. Having your care cut like this, it makes me so angry!!! Do you have any family or friends helping you? I hope you do. You must hang in there yes, we all are doing the same and are behind you. You are not alone. You sound like an amazing young intelligent strong women. Your life is always worth the fight. Never give up. It will get better.

    I need an operation on my ankle, a joint replacement. I am not that old either. I too have had an accident and ended up injured with permanent disability. In a lot of pain, but am riding the storm and have put my operation off until more stable financially if you know what I mean. I am a single parent, this is terrifying times. I have no family help, but have made sure to keep myself surrounded by kind people who care about me.

    Please keep strong and look after yourself every day, you deserve to be happy and yes you are a young women who has her rights to good quality of life. Take care xxx

  3. Hang in ther Angela – it is really hard – they just refused me my Discresh housing payment… dont know how the swine sleep at night.. but you stay in there pet we’re all behind you
    Lol Kev <3

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