We know people feel they have to repeat their needs too often when people should know what the full range of disabled peoples' needs are for accessible information. However, Healthwatch UK and Healthwatch Wiltshire we hope will be a powerful organisation representing Health and Care users' views, so it is important to put them right from the start about how much effort needs to go in to providing the full range of accessible information. Please take time to fill in the surveys.
Further details, and links to the surveys, are available from the dedicated webpage on the NHS England website www.england.nhs.uk/accessibleinfo
. The service user survey is also available from this site in a range of different formats. Please take the time to complete the survey which is most relevant to you or your organisation.
Bring your community together to make this Christmas different
Community Christmas believes that no elderly person should be alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be. Visit our website to find out how you can make a difference www.communitychristmas.co.uk
You will have read about the important decision to reverse the earlier judgement about consulting on closing the ILF. Here are some articles related to that and what will happen next. We continue to be in touch with Wiltshire Council about how it will affect things, but there may be a delay in the reviews they are carrying out in preparation.
Click to link through to the VODG newsletter
which has an interesting article on Page 1. We would like to extend our appreciation to VODG for sharing this information with us.
Wheelchair Hire - Christmas Special Offer
The Independent Living Centre at Semington are hiring out wheelchairs for £20 between Friday 20th December - Friday 3rd January 2013. Please contact them direct on 01380 871007 if you are interested.
Delays in Government Welfare Reform affecting Personal Independence Plans and the change to Universal Credit
We are hearing a lot about delays in implementing the Government Welfare Reform which will affect us in relation to Personal Independence Plans and the change to Universal Credit. However, although delayed it is unlikely to go away and the government is producing documentation to help people prepare. Here is the document about the answers to 'Frequently Asked Questions'
on Universal Credit for your information.
On 9th October 2013 Wiltshire CIL held a consultation meeting for self funders
and their families to discuss the detail about assessment and the systems needed for the Government to put a cap on the amount people need to contribute for their care costs. Click this link to read the full details.
Our latest newsletter
is now published. A highlight of it is the appointment of Louise Hunt, tennis playing paralympian, as an Ambassador with young people for Wiltshire CIL. Follow Louise on Twitter also. Read more about it here.
Service User or Carer Member for Scoping Group on Co-ordinated transition between social care and health care services
The NCCSC (NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care) has been commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to produce social care guidance on Co-ordinated transition between social care and health care services. The NCCSC is seeking to recruit a Service User or Carer Member to advise the scoping group.
Links to the Latest Guidance about PIP
The Wiltshire Get Together
Macmillan are launching an innovative new service in Wiltshire, ofering opportunities for people affected by cancer (including family and friends) to come and try new activities, anything from learning to paint to going to a football match. They are looking for people who might be interested in one of these groups. Please click here to find out more.
Here is the new Government report on Disability which may help you get the facts you need to back up your campaign activity etc. do let us know what you think of it.
Fulfilling Potential – Making it Happen, a new report and action plan relating to disability. (See http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/fulfilling-potential/index.php)
This is based on a DWP report from February, which provides lots of statistics on aspects of disability in the UK today. Please find blurb and links below:
The aims of ‘Fulfilling Potential: Building Understanding’ are:
- to provide an analysis of the current evidence on disability in the UK to inform the development of the next stage of work on Fulfilling Potential – the development of actions, outcomes and indicators
- to inform public understanding and prompt debate about disability and the issues faced by disabled people
- to raise awareness, drive a change in attitudes and support an increase in commitment to improving the lives of disabled people in the UK today
The main document is structured in two parts:
- Part 1 provides analysis of the number of disabled people in the UK as well as looking at the way disability develops over the life course and at the fluctuating nature of disability.
- Part 2 focuses on the lives of disabled people by looking at trends in outcomes and barriers to taking part in different areas of life.
Building understanding summary
Subtitled BSL video: Building Understanding Summary on YouTube
Experiences and case studies needed - Personal Independence Payments (PIP) - Moving Around activity consultation
As you may know there was a judicial review on the moving around (mobility) criteria of Personal Independent Payments (the benefit replacing DLA). The review found the government had not consulted adequately when they changed the threshold needed to qualify for the enhanced (higher) rate of PIP for moving around from 50 metres to 20 metres. They are now consulting on this.
The consultation is available in Easy Read, Large Print and Audio version on the DWP website at:
If you want to response, on behalf of your organisation, or as an individual, to the consultation email your response to email@example.com
by Monday 5th August.
Wiltshire CIL AGM 26th June 2013
Over 70 people attended the Wiltshire CIL AGM on Wednesday June 26th in Devizes. It was an opportunity to learn how the organisation had expanded in the past year to develop its role in supporting direct payment users and also for members to network with voluntary and statutory workers over lunch. Read about our activities in more detail in the Annual Report.
Below are a couple of photos from the day.
ILF Users Meeting 24th April 2013
We held a meeting for ILF users in Wiltshire to meet with officers from Wiltshire Council about the arrangements to be made if the Government’s plans to transfer ILF funding to Local Authorities go ahead for April 2015. Meanwhile we heard the disappointing news today (25th April) that the disabled people challenging that decision on the grounds that the consultation process had been flawed was rejected in the courts. Read about the legal decision here.
You may already have heard the disappointing news about the judicial review announced at some time yesterday.
We will try to keep you up to date with any developments. Thank you to those users who came to the meeting and we will keep you all informed for the future.
Self Funders Rearch Report and Signposting Guide
Today, Wednesday May 1st 2013, we launch our second piece of user-led research. This time it is into the needs of people who fund their own care in Wiltshire – we draw on their experience and feedback in Self Funders Forum meetings and a paper survey with more in depth discussion in a Focus Group. Our Wiltshire Self Funders Forum has already been noted nationally in research for Skills for Care as a model to replicate in all areas of England to support those who are often neglected by the Care system. Our report gives more in depth understanding of Self Funders experience and how they use the Peer Support opportunity of a Self Funders Forum.
The Launch Event was held at Devizes Town Hall and in addition to hearing about the research itself, Wiltshire Council were invited to talk about their role in supporting Self Funders. The Event brought together Self Funders and voluntary and statutory professionals. An accompanying Signposting Guide for Self Funders which was one of the recommendations of the Research Report was also launched.
Click here to view the Report
What Help Can You Get from Wiltshire Council as a Self Funder?” “How Do I Know What My Needs Are?” “How Can I Find Out Information in my Village Community?” and “How Do I Go About Employing Staff?”. These and many more are the Frequently Asked questions answered in our Signposting Guide for Self Funders entitled “Where to Go for Help and Advice”. This Guide was launched on May 1st, 2013, and is available in a variety of formats – from downloading from our website here, in hard copy on request from our office Tel. 01380 725400 or firstname.lastname@example.org or any other format by request. Do give us your feedback on the Guide and how we can improve the next edition.
Click here to view the Guide
Information about Benefit Changes
Wiltshire Council has produced some posters about the changes in benefits beginning on April 1st 2013, including changes to Council Tax reduction etc. Click on the links below for more information.
Cap on Benefits
Council Tax Reduction
Local Welfare Provision
Wiltshire CIL’s workshop training programme a success!
Since January 45 new Direct Payment users have taken part in the workshops on offer from Wiltshire CIL on ‘Introducing Direct Payments’, ‘Being Assertive with Direct Payments’ and ‘Recruiting and Managing Personal Assistants’. 57 Certificates have been issued during this time showing that some users came back to other workshops in the series whilst others have delayed doing so until the subject is relevant to them, for example, changing to employ their own staff.
Workshops have been a mix of Powerpoint, lively discussion and small group discussion and in addition to the co-ordinating tutor participants have had the opportunity of meeting an Independent Living Resource Advisor, a Peer Support worker and a Volunteer Mentor working for Wiltshire CIL to learn of the other support available from the organisation.
Here is a mixture of comments from participants:
"A really helpful and informative session – thank you!”
"Got information on employment contracts which will be very useful and found contact who will help"
“Really helpful thank you”
“Thought the workshop was very good and extremely helpful”
Here are some photos of most recent sessions
More on the bedroom tax
which will affect so many disabled people when it is introduced in April. Here are some links
to articles and campaigning disabled people are doing about it nationally. Have you got any experience to share about it yet?"
Wiltshire and Swindon Users' Network
Here is the latest newsletter
from Wiltshire and Swindon Users' Network which may have items of interest for Wiltshire CIL members and contacts. In this edition there is an explanation of the new policy to support self funders financially when they have spent some of their own funding, news of an event about the benefit changes and the development of facilities at Stonehenge. If you want to receive a regular copy of the newsletter please folllow the contacts provided.
Changes to Benefits for Disabled People Conference 5th March 2013
"I learnt a lot, really useful for Deaf people"
"The BSL discussion worked well for me"
"An excellent meeting, thank you"
"Too much information at times and not structured"
These were some of the comments from participants to a Conference organised by Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living on March 5th 2013 in Devizes about the changes to benefits for disabled people. A particular emphasis was made at this meeting to have provision to enable participants from the Deaf Community to receive information and to partiicpate. Deaf people will be affected by the changes from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Plans and also for many the introdution of Universal Credit. More specific changes following from this, such as the Bedroom Tax for spare bedrooms in social housing etc. was also discussed.
This Conference was made possible by a Grant from the Office of Disability Issues in the Department of Work and Pensions.
Hazel Brown, Dept of Work and Pensions speaking
Text typist at work
Group discussion with BSL
Many of you will have realised the bedroom tax is cauing a media storm nationally for various reasons as well as much distress to individuals affected. Do follow this link
to learn about a campaign led by disabled people.
Disabled People - Help to Find and Keep a Job
Over 40 disabled people interested in support available in "Finding and Keeping a Job" attended a Conference rub by Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living a tthe Scout Centre, Potterne Wick, Nr. Devizes on Wednesday 27th February 2013 funded by The Community Programme. In addition to speakers from JobCentrePlus and Access to Work, pariticpants had the opportunity to learn from disabled people who had made the journey back to work with the support available. Comments from the participants were:
- "Very useful to find out information that I would find difficult to discover"
- "Content topical, high on everyone's agenda at present"
- "Parking difficulty and noise too much for small groups"
- "Parking a nightmare but giving expenses was good"
- "Very informative and good publicity"
Jane Mielnik from Access to Work
Jonathan Edmondson from JobCentrePlus
Group work with participants
Recruiting and Managing Personal Assistants
Several Direct Payment users took the opportunity of coming to the workshop with their partner or family carer. The workshop was a mixture of employment requirements and small group work to try out putting them into practice.
Here are some photos from the session
Participants in group work
Kathryn, Matt and Dean with participants
Being Assertive with Direct Payments Workshop held on Wednesday 6th February 2013
Here are a couple of photos from this course, which was very well attended. If you missed this one, we have another running on Tuesday 19th March 2013 at The Fire Station, Beechfield Road, Corsham SN13 9DN from 10am - 12.30pm. Contact the office if you would like to come.
Clare Evans (Chair of Wiltshire CIL) gives training at the Workshop, assisted by Kathryn Woodlands, one of our Independent Living Resource Advisors.
Dean Mackay-Morris, a trustee and Peer Mentor talking to some of the people on the course.
Fighting for the ILF
The European Network for Independent Living is advertising a vigil in London in support of the ILF. Follow the link to find out more and see how you can participate.
Wiltshire CIL work given national publicity
28th January 2013:
Last week there were two important publications which showed how disabled people are experiencing the worst cuts as a result of the Welfare Reform Act and the cuts to Local Government funding from Central Government. The first, from the Centre of Welfare Reform is entitled, "A Fair Society? How the cuts target disabled people"
and provides evidence of the effects of the cuts falling on disabled people disproportionately whilst the second, "The other Care Crisis making Social Care Funding work for disabled adults in England"
produced by large National charities supporting disabled people, draws on disabled peoples' experiences to show how they are already experiencing difficulty in getting the Social Care support they need to live Independent Lives in the community.
What do you think of these publications? How does it relate to your experience? Why not begin a conversation about it by making a comment on our Facebook page.
How the Benefit changes will affect Disabled People
Click here for a report on the Conference held for disabled people & their family carers in Wiltshire by Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living on 30th October 2012. (pdf version)
for a report on the Conference held for disabled people & their family carers in Wiltshire by Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living on 30th October 2012. (Word version)
Help and Advice to Keep Warm at Home this Winter
Here is the link to our January 2013 newsletter in pdf
- giving advanced notice of our AGM guest speaker in June 2013, photos of participants in the Changes to Benefits conference and various workshops we have run, news of how to sign up for our PA register and links to recent reports relevant to disabled people.
Workshops and Meetings from Wiltshire CIL January to March 2013
We have a new programme of workshops and meetings for the New Year. As well as some repeats of successful events we have extended our scope of workshops for direct payment users who have prioritised the subjects we have chosen - "Being Assertive with Direct Payments" and "Recruiting and Managing Personal Assistants". These will be run in 2 places in Wiltshire to help with keeping it local. There are also two events relevant to all disabled people, not just Direct Payment users. Why not complete the booking form early to be sure of a place.
Calling all people who employ their own staff
Individual employers (people who directly employ their care or support staff) are now able to apply for grant funding directly from Skills for Care to support the full costs of training and development for themselves and their personal assistants.
What will be funded? Skills for Care will fund any training, development or qualifications that demonstrate value for money and meet the needs of the individual employer and their personal assistants.
When can I apply for the funding? You can apply for funding now. Grant funding will be allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis between now and 31 March 2013. Make sure you apply early so you don't miss out.
How can I apply? More information and the application form is available on our website: www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Individualemployerskillsfunding
Questions If you have any questions about this funding, contact us on 0113 241 1275 or email: email@example.com
Benefits Changes Conference 30th October 2012
For those of you who could not make the meeting below are two links to the information given on the day.
How Universal Credit may affect disabled people - Citizens Advice Bureau
An introduction to Personal Independence Payment - Dept of Work & Pensions
National Research into Self Funders’ views
Tim Allan of Ekosgen travelled to Wiltshire to collect the views of some members of the Self Funders Forum and PA’s they employ at Wiltshire CIL for national research commissioned by Skills for Care about the Social Care workforce and PA role. Here Tim is pictured collecting views about what Self Funders need assistance with.
Mentor Course runs again
Wiltshire CIL’s 3 year funding, to train Peer Mentors and set up a Peer Mentoring Scheme to support Direct Payment users in Wiltshire draw up their Support Plans and plan their own care, is now in its last year and the final training course for Direct Payment users and carers to learn how to mentor others has just begun. The core tutors are Geraldine Bentley and Clare Evans from Wiltshire CIL with Sessional contributions from Jo Francis, Wiltshire Council. Here are two photos from the Course showing students in discussion and also a session being led by Geraldine.
We would like thank Colin Forsythe, Wiltshire Council for providing the following information on Universal Credit which you may find useful.
Click here to read about Universal Credit
Click here to read about Holes in the Safetynet - Universal benefit report
Carers Rights Day 2012
Carers Support Wiltshire are hosting a 'Question Time' event which will focus on the Welfare REform Act and what it means for you.
Friday 7th December 2012 Devizes Town Hall 10.30am - 1.00pm. The event is free but you must have a ticket. Call 0800 181 4118 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book. Refreshments provided.
There will be an opportunity to ask individual questions connected to personal circumstances to the local DWP during the course of the morning.
Post Office offer for disabled customers 2012
If you are getting employment and support allowance, incapacity benefit or pension credit you can purchase up to 36 stamps in book format at the Christmas 2011 prices. The stamps can be:
- 1st Class in books of 6 or 12
- 2nd Class in books of 12
You can buy the 36 stamps as all 1st Class, all 2nd Class, or a mixture of the two. These stamps can be purchased at all Post Offices
Hardest Hit Campaign - Get Involved !
We received the following from Disability Rights UK....
As the Government busily prepares to axe a further £10 billion from welfare expenditure, disabled people are campaigning to show how we are the Hardest Hit by Government measures.
Disabled people rely on public services and welfare spending to help level the playing field and ensure opportunities are open to all in the UK. But cuts from central Government mean councils are tightening access to social care with devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of disabled people and their families across the country. And benefit cuts will mean 400,000 disabled people losing out under Universal Credit plans and a further half a million losing eligibility for support under DLA changes from 2013.
We believe the Government:
- failed to analyse the impact of changes on disabled people’s lives and ability to contribute;
- has not implemented the majority of welfare cuts yet (with the Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment being introduced in 2013); and
- needs to consider other means of reducing the deficit and not targeting the hardest hit disabled people for further welfare cuts.
A third of disabled people already live in poverty in the UK – with welfare cuts likely to increase that figure and further impoverish our most disadvantaged citizens.
From 20th October onwards the Hardest Hit campaign (which Disability Rights UK helps lead) is running a series of events including:
- Supporting the TUC London march/rally on October 20th. This 'A Future That Works' event will be a powerful demonstration of the strength of opposition that exists to the government's welfare reforms and it is vital disabled people come along. The TUC is supporting disabled people to attend and ensure travel costs to get to London are not a barrier. Find information on how to get involved at: http://thehardesthit.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/join-the-hardest-hit-20-october-march/ - and please do come and take your place at the front of the march, using the Hardest Hit banner;
- Helping run further local events. Visit the Hardest Hit website: http://hardesthit.org.uk for information on other events and meetings that will be taking place around the UK in October;
- Involving individuals in the campaign. See the ‘Take Action’ page: http://thehardesthit.wordpress.com/take-action/ to get more involved in the campaign;
- Providing suggested Tweets to post to demonstrate your support for the campaign – and help promote the Hardest Hit key concerns and advertise events to other people;
- Supplying you with a ‘Lobby Pack’ with details about arranging a meeting with your MP to discuss your concerns – backed up by our national analysis and information; and
- Publishing a report based on a national benefits survey and detailed examination of over 50 disabled people’s circumstances and what the Government cuts mean to individual disabled people and their families.
Please do get involved if you can. Thank you!
Welfare Reform Changes
We are all worried about the effects of the Welfare reform changes on disabled people's lives. Here is a report from our national organisation combining with CAB about the Universal Credit. I hope we shall hear more about that at our Benefit Change Conference in Trowbridge on 30th October 2012. We hope to see you there.
New Universal Credit report in today’s news
Disability Rights UK is proud to have been a partner of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Citizens Advice and The Children’s Society on an important new report out today on the Universal Credit.
The report ‘Holes in the Safety Net’ focuses on the half a million disabled people who could lose out under Universal Credit proposals and is available online: http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/holesinthesafetynet.htm
Our work has received extensive coverage today and we hope will mean the Government improves its plans before they take effect next year.
In other (misleading news)
Unfortunately, a private company which rivals Disability Rights UK in the provision of benefits information has suggested we are seeking involvement in providing PIP assessments. This is incorrect.We are shocked that anyone could think Disability Rights UK would get involved in any way in delivering PIP assessments. We oppose the cut which will mean 500,000 disabled people are made ineligible for support.
Our only role is to ensure that disabled people have access to the best possible, independent information and advice on our rights, which we hope to provide for free. We are not sub-contracted by Capita. We advised Capita on how to ensure people got good advice on their rights. We are not capturing disabled people’s views or doing anything relating to Capita’s delivery – we recently turned down an invitation to be part of their reference group.
Autumn Training Opportunities
Calling all Self Funders in Wiltshire
Do come to a Focus Group in Wiltshire to give your views for national research. It is important people hear what assistance Self Funders need. Transport paid for plus a £20 Shopping Voucher!! Once you complete the return form and reply we will send you more information about the research from Ekosgen. Click here to view the flyer
. The meeting is on Wednesday November 7th 2012 at The Bowls Club Devizes 10.30am - 12.30pm.
A chance for Salisbury disabled peoiple and their carers to come together to discuss the changes in parking in Salisbury and how they might influence them. This free meeting with transport costs paid is a chance for you to say what barriers the parking changes will make to your Independent Living and plan coming together to try to remove them. If you are interested in this, please complete the reply slip (see link) and return it to us by email or book a place by phone: 01380 725400
The Department of Health is consulting about new powers to safeguard adults in social care. There is a full consultation document and it is important people on direct payment feed into this consultion so do follow it up. The documents can be accessed here.
The consultation will run until 12 October 2012. Comments received after 12 October 2012 will not be considered. Please submit your comments by email to email@example.com or by post to: Quality and Safety Team, Department of Health, 124 Wellington House, 133-155 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UG.
National survey for Disability Rights UK - ILF
If you are interested in taking part in this survey please click here.
Independent Living Fund
In July Wiltshire CIL held a consultation meeting on the Independent Living Fund to which all ILF users andf their families were invited. Click here for a copy of the report prepared from the meeting including the responses prepared to send to the ILF. On the same subject please find below a rally about lobbying Parliament about the ILF, which you may wish to respond to individually.
News on the Government implementing the DLA changes.
We found this on the Benefits and Work information site which focuses on Disability and Welfare Reform
My apologies if the Benefits and Work website runs rather slowly or even grinds to a stop occasionally after this newsletter goes out. Please visit again later if it does. In fact, we weren’t going to publish a newsletter in August, but we felt this was one item of news that many members would want to know about.
In a surprising, and for many Benefits and Work members deeply dismaying, decision the DWP have announced this afternoon that Atos have won the biggest share of the contracts for carrying out personal independence payment (PIP) medicals. A smaller share has gone to Capita.
PIP is due to begin replacing disability living allowance (DLA) for working age claimants from April next year, with all current working age DLA claimants having to be reassessed for the new benefit. The contracts for PIP medicals are worth up to a billion pounds in total and have attracted the attention of many multinational companies.
Atos have won Lot 1 and Lot 3 in the bidding for the contracts. Lot 1 covers Scotland, NE England, NW England & Isle of Man while Lot 3 covers London and South England. Capita have won Lot 2, which covers Wales and Central England.
Lot 4 which covers Northern Ireland has not yet been awarded and Lot 5 is also up for grabs, but the DWP have said they do not intend to use Lot 5 unless things go wrong with regional suppliers.
Atos are deeply unpopular with many claimants and disability organisations due to their methods of assessing claimants for employment and support allowance. On Monday of this week, the company was the subject of a Panorama documentary and a Dispatches documentary looking at alleged failings in the way they carry out the work capability assessment.
Capita, which runs the Criminal Records Bureau on behalf of the Home Office and is invariably referred to as ‘Crapita’ by Private Eye, has no history of carrying out medical assessments for state benefits. The company has been involved in a number of less than successful public service contracts in the past, however, including Individual Learning Accounts which were subject to fraudulent claims on an unprecedented scale and which were shut down after just one year.
Amongst the unsuccessful bidders for the contracts so far awarded are G4S who are still reeling from the Olympics security fiasco, Serco, Avanta, Ingeus Deloitte, APM UK, Reed In Partnership and Vertex.
You can read more about the award of contracts
on the DWP website."
Update on Portability
Some months ago we involved you in supporting Disability RIghts UK in collecting evidence on the importance of portability for social care packages between local authorities to maintain the same level of care. Now the Government has included it as one of their ideas for discussion in the new Health & Social Care Bill so here is an update about their proposals and what we should do to help them with evidence. Click here for the full document
Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) - Your views on agencies you use
Here is a link to a national website run by the Social Care Institute of Excellence (SWCIE) which will enable you to give your views about agencies you use. Let us know how you get on.
Disability Benefits Consortium
The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) is a national coalition of over 50 different charities and other organisations committed to working towards a fair benefits system.
We want to know more about disabled people's experiences of the benefit system. Please take a few minutes to share your views and experiences: they will help to inform our work to influence Government benefits policy. This survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.
Student Social Workers facilitate meeting on Agency Ratings Tool
Students from Bath University have been working over several months on a project to make it easy for Direct Payment Users and Self Funders to compare notes about Domiciliary Care Agencies in Wiltshire. The work is expected to be completed in conjunction with DotComUnity/Wiltshire page by our AGM on June 26th. Here the students are shown presenting their work so far and assisting the users present to look at the website in preparation for completing the Ratings Tool online.
Direct Payment Support Service
Meet our two new Independent Living Resource Advisers. Welcome to Kathryn and Joe pictured below who have joined the Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living staff team from COMPASS. Joe and Kathryn are based at the Devizes office of Wiltshire CIL.
Sharing Information at Community Area Level
Wiltshire CIL realises how important it is to share information about Direct Payments and the needs of their users to hear about local community resources so is pleased to visit Community Area Partnernship Social Care Theme Groups. On Tuesday 4th April we visited the Calne Area Health & Social Care Forum and this picture was taken at the meeting comprising Duty Practice Managers, Private and Voluntary Providers and Service Users.
Wiltshire CIL has been holding Welcome Meetings around the County since April 1st 2012. These have been an opportunity for Direct Payments Users to meet the Team delivering the Direct Payment Support Service. Here are some photos from the meetings in Salisbury and Devizes.
Welcome meeting Devizes
Welcome Meeting Salisbury
Wiltshire CIL takes on Direct Payment Support Contract
From April 1st Wiltshire CIL takes over the Support Service for Direct Payments and Personal Budgets from Wiltshire Council. We are pleased to have been awarded this contract in the last few weeks and are determined to provide a high quality service for all Direct Payment and Personal Budget Users who choose to access it. We have been concentrating on a smooth handover and developing a database to record the contract activity etc so you may have noticed our web postings have not been so frequent as usual this month. However we plan to make sure as much information as possible for Direct Payment Users is available on line which is part of our strategy of supporting Direct Payments Users be in control of their support and therefore their lives. Read this summary sheet of what support service choices are available and contact the right person as appropriate. Click here to view the Support to DP Users flyer.
Self Funders Forum Meeting Information on Employing Staff Direct
There was a meeting of the Self Funders Forum on Tuesday April 17th in Devizes when members discussed the issues about “Employing Staff Direct”. As well as looking at the advantages of employing staff direct, we looked at all that is involved and required by law and also looked at costings. Here is the Powerpoint presentation we worked through to make sure we discussed all the relevant points. Click here to view the presentation. If you are interested in meeting with other self funders and their families or have a topic you would like discussed, please contact Clare Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01249 815170.
Starter Workshops for those “Thinking about,” or “New to,” Direct Payments
As part of our commitment to support people take control of their Direct Payments and have the opportunity of using it as effectively as possible, we are running workshops in different parts of the County for those who have decided to try Direct Payments rather than receive help arranged by DCS. We ran these at the end of last year and participants found it helpful to come together in a “safe” environment to talk with those experienced at using Direct Payments to learn tips about how to make the most of them. Each Workshop is tailored to the needs of participants and is suitable for Direct Payments Users and Carers from adult care and for parents of children receiving Direct Payments. Follow the link Direct Payments Workshops to learn the dates and sign up by completing the application form or sending an email to email@example.com with your request on and contact details.
Important Visitor to WiltshireCIL Office
As part of the developing partnership with Wiltshire Council involving the Direct Payment Support Service, Councillor Jemima Milton, Wiltshire Council Spokesperson for Adult Care North visited the Office to meet Wiltshire CIL Director, Chair and Staff. The picture shows Jemima with Wiltshire CIL personnel with the WiltshireCIL banner at the Devizes Office.
From left to right: Kathryn Woodlands (Independent Resource Living Advisor), Geraldine Bentley (Director), Clare Evans (Chair), Jemima Milton (Wiltshire Council), Polly Hannan (Office Manager)
2012 AGM set to be special occasion!
We’ve been busy planning an exciting AGM after last year’s success with guest speaker Kevin Mulhearn. We also try to feature a disabled person with a National reputation who is an expert in their field as our guest speaker for us all to enjoy after hearing the usual boring parts of the AGM meeting! We have been lucky to get Talan Skeels-Piggins as our “inspirational” speaker. Talan is locally based and represented the UK in the 2010 Winter Olympics. He will be talking about his experiences and life since becoming disabled. Click here to view the invitation. In addition to Talan we shall be giving you the opportunity of hearing about the new “Agency Ratings Tool” we are setting up on the DotComUnity website for Wiltshire to enable service users to share their views about the agencies they use. This is in line with the announcements made by Paul Burstow Minister of Social Care about wanting service users to share views in this way about agencies as a way of maintaining quality standards. We shall finish it all off with a buffet lunch for you to network with others. Please sign up while spaces are still available.
The AGM is the time when we elect our trustees and as usual a third of WiltshireCIL trustees are standing down. We have at least three vacancies on our Trustee body – at least two must be filled by disabled people in line with our constitution as a Disabled Peoples User Led organisation. If you are interested in standing for one of these vacancies please contact Clare Evans Chair or Geraldine Bentley Director through our office 01380 725400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Do you know about the changes to DLA?
Will you be affected by the changes to DLA from April 2013 and are you familiar with its replacement Personal Independence Plans (PIP) ? After the passing of the 2012 Welfare Reform Act we now know the changes are definite and need to prepare for reassessment and learning if we are eligible for the new benefit. WiltshireCIL is keen to inform disabled people up to the age of 64 who will be affected by these changes, of what will be happening and how to prepare to apply for it. As a first step we have invited a specialist speaker from Disability Rights UK Robbie Spence from London who works in their specialist advisor team. He is coming to speak to us on Monday June 11th – click here to have further information. Join us as we approach this change together in Wiltshire.
Many members and contacts have attended the Consultation about Wiltshire Healthwatch, that Wiltshire Council held between December 2011 and March 2012. Dot Kronda has now produced her report of the meetings.
Joining Consultation of changes from DLA to PIP
Following Royal Assent of the Welfare Reform Bill on the 8 March, DWP has this week published a formal consultation on the detailed benefit rules that will underpin Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
The consultation asks for views on a number of aspects of the regulations including eligibility to the benefit and payment of the benefit for certain groups. It also contains more details on how we will reassess DLA recipients and what the passporting arrangements will be under PIP.
The consultation will run for 14 weeks until 30 June and the current intention is that the final draft of the regulations will be published by the end of the year.
Further information about Personal Independence Payment is available on the DWP website
Chippenham Railway Station
I thought you would be pleased to know the results of the above Planning Application at the North Wilts Planning Meeting last week. I am pleased to say it was approved but it was very clear that the letters of support about Access had influenced officers to say they were giving priority to it. The response I wrote on behalf of Wiltshire CIL was printed in the papers as one of four organisations supporting it. I also spoke for 3 minutes as permitted! Maureen Lloyd who has done a lot for many years in Chippenham to get the lift also spoke. It was a bit unnerving because the elected Member for the area of the station (not on the planning committee) spoke about the need to ask them to wait to improve the design and, of course, there is an issue of them giving up on it or withdrawing the money if it is not done soon! Two or three of the councillors on the committee were concerned about the design but when they heard from the Chair that to show concerns about this would be taken as rejecting the approval they decided to support it! Let’s hope they get on with it soon and thank you very much for the support you gave in the campaign for this at the final stage. Let’s hope the building of it goes smoothly.
Clare Evans - Chair
Beyond Disability Season BBC1
Watch out for the documentary on Sunday March 25th about disabled parents bringing up to their children in the Beyond Disability Season on BBC1. David Tennant narrates this documentary about Laurence and Adele Clark which is on at 10.25pm.
Self Funder Forum
The next Self Funders Forum is on 17th April 2012 at Devizes Sports Club 10.00 for 10.30 start until 12 noon. The subject will be Employing Care Staff Direct and there will be plent of opportunity to talk over issues as well as hear some of the facts. We look forward to seeing you there. Please complete the flyer
or telephone the office on 01380 725400 to let us know you can come.
Support to Disabled People at Work
The Government has announced it is adopting the recommendations of the Sayce Review in resdesigning the support it provides to assist disabled people to have the support they need to be able to work. This is some rare good news as the commitment is to put more funding in the Access to Work pot from which individually designed packages of support to people in work can be provided. This form of funding also fits well with Direct Payments and Personal Budgets provided by local authorities and can be combined in an Individual Budget.
Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living and Wiltshire and Swindon Users Network have produced a report from their Engagement Day for Disabled People in Wiltshire to feed into the National Disability Strategy
Right to Independent Living Report Published
This Report shows how the UK measures up to the standards of the UN Declaration of Independent Living so is an important campaigning document for us as disabled people. Jenny Morris is a leading disability activist so her blog makes very good reading as well.
Click here to view the report
Last year, Jane Campbell, an independent member of the UK's House of Lords, persuaded the Joint Committee on Human Rights to hold an inquiry into independent living and how the UK is doing on implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Inquiry's report - based on evidence given by man disabled people and their organisations - recommends incorporating a right to independent living, and to advocacy, in legislation and exposes the way the current government's welfare reforms mark a step backwards for disabled people.
Click here to view Jenny's blog
Time to lobby for planning approval for accessible lift at Chippenham Station
Please can we ask for your help in giving your support to a planning application to install a lift at Chippenham railway station to enable disabled people to reach the platforms to board all the trains using the station. As you are probably aware, currently the only way wheelchair users and others unable to use the stairs at the station are able to access the trains is via the Barrow Crossing directly crossing the railway line at the end of the platform at the Bristol end. Whilst this is better than having no access at all, it is not a satisfactory way to access the trains particularly when most stations have full equal access. Using the Barrow crossing is not appropriate because it is very exposed and open to the weather, replies on finding a member of station staff to escort you over the line, requires you to book at least 24 hours ahead and get to the station early and is frankly rather humiliating and excluding.
Disabled people and communit organisations have lobbied for some years to get provision for a lift. This has required Network Rail to set aside costs for the lift and so on. We are now on the final hurdle and find there is difficulty at the consultation stage of the planning application which is to be heard on March 14th because there is opposition from Wiltshire Council Conservation Officer and from Chippenham Civic Society to the plans because they are in the environs of Brunel's workshops at the side of the station. Whilst it may be possible to improve the detail of the design of the lift structure, we feel Network Rail have been involved in these discussions for some time and there is real danger, particularly in these times of austerity, that they lose interest in the project to delete the budget set aside for this, if planning approval is not given on March 14th 2012.
Please may we ask you therefore to send an email to:
Brian Taylor, Area Development Manager (North) Wiltshire Council, Development Services, Monkton Park, Chippenham SN15 1ER 01249 706683 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
expressing your support for the lift application because of the difference it will make to access for disabled people.
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
The Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are offering FREE 'home fire safety visits' to people in Wiltshire. This is an opportunioty for a home fire risk assessment and aims to make householders aware of potential fire risks within the home, and how to prevent or reduce them, and develop an escape plan in case of fire. Smoke alarms can be fitted at the time of the visit if this is deemed necessary.
The service is completely free of charge for people who fall into one of the following categories:
- Live on their own
- If anyone living in the property is aged 65 or over
- If anyone living in the property is aged 5 or under
- If anyone living in the property has a limiting condition (sight, hearing, mobility problems, takes medication or has any conditions that might prevent them from hearing a smoke alarm and being able to leave unaided)
- If the property is a thatched house, mobile home or house boat.
If you are interested in receiving a home fire safety visit, please contact Dottie Avenell on 0800 389 7849 / 07809648026 or email: email@example.com. All appointments will be confirmed in writing. All community safety technicians will be wearing uniform and carrying ID, and will arrive in a marked vehicle.
Help Shape a New Disability Strategy in 2013
The Government states is wants to make sure that disabled people receive the right support and involvement at important stages in their lives. The Government has already heard about barriers that disabled people face so it now wants to hear what practical actions would make a real difference to enable disabled people to fulfil their wishes for education, work and independent living. Wiltshire and Swindon Users' Network and Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living would like to invite you to the consultation at Devizes Sports Club on Wednesday 29th February between 10.15am - 1pm.
Click here for full details (pdf)
Click here for the booking form (pdf)
Last Chance to Act
Many of you have told us how worried you are about the change in benefits likely to happen following the Welfare Reform Bill passing through Parliament. Disabled people nationally have been working to influence the House of Lords including disabled peers like Jane Campbell and Tanya Grey-Thomson to get the Bill amended. Now it goes back to the House of Commons for full approval and we must see if they have taken notice of any of the changes the Lords have requested. Here is a link to a blog by one of the disabled people who has led the campaigning and research on benefit changes called the Spartacus report.
Online Independent Living Information Resource
Wiltshire CIL are pleased to announce the launch of our Online Independent Living Information Resource developed in partnership with DotComUnity on the Wiltshire page. This gives information about events, community services and other facilities which may be of use to disabled and older people as they develop their plans for independent living. There is a link to the resource on the home page. Here are some photos of the launch which was attended by Community leaders, disabled people and providers of services. Watch out for a report in the Gazette and Herald. The launch took place on Thursday 26th January 2011.
Personal Independence Plans (PIPS)
The Government has published its second consultation document on Personal Independence Plans (PIPS) which will replace the Disability Living Allowance in the future. The consultation closes in April so there is still plenty of time to give your views about these new proposals.
Please click here for a copy of the report in pdf
Wiltshire CIL Research Report
Today Wiltshire CIL Learning and Resource Centre publishes its first research report. The research focuses on the Self Defined Training Needs of Direct Payment Users in Wiltshire and was conducted in October and November 2011. The Report identifies training Direct Payment users wish to see provided which includes training for their Personal Assistants. The Report stresses the importance of Peer Training delivered by disabled people as one kind of Peer Support disabled peoples' organisations can provide to support Direct Payment users.
Click here to view the report in pdf
Click here to view the report in Word
Welfare Reform Bill
We know many of you are concerned about the implications of the Welfare Reform Bill for us as disabled people. Here is an opportunity to try to influence it by signing an e-petition.
Click here to link to the petition
The Spartacus Report - Responsible Reform
We know many of you are concerned about all the planned cuts in welfare reform as well as likely reductions in social care across the UK. We have been notified of this report recently published which has been produced by disabled people nationally to show the opposition to the reforms. We thought you would find it of interest to read the report.
The report is available at:
http://tinyurl.com/78erjru Shortened Report - Responsible Reform (accessible version)
http://tinyurl.com/86h82gb Shortened Press Release link (accessible version)
Launch of our Online Information Resource for Independing Living in Wiltshire - Wiltshire CIL's local partnership with DotComUnity
This event is being held on Thursday 26th January 2012 at Devizes Bowls Club, Long Street, Devizes SN10 5BY 11.30am for 12 noon - followed by lunch.
If you are interested in attending, please contact the office on 01380 725400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for more information and booking form
Calling all Disabled People
Book now to learn new skills and practise them with Wiltshire CIL. We have received national funding from the Office of Disability Issues to run a series of free workshops and practice sessions during 2012 to enable you to learn how to:
- Make presentations to community groups
- Plan a campaign to influence policy
- Promote the Social Model of Disability and Independent Living
- Collect peoples' views effectively
- Be a volunteer for Wiltshire CIL
- Prepare PowerPoint presentations
- Facilitate discussion groups
- Add information to our online Information Resource
- Run a workshop for other disabled people
- Use Access to Work to return to work
- Gain other skills you identify as useful.
In this one-off opportunity, starting in March 2012, the Workshops are FREE and transport costs paid. Your access needs will be met and we invite you to a meeting at 10.30am - 12 noon on Tuesday 14th February 2012 at the Devizes Sports Club, London Road, Devizes SN10 2DL to learn more and influence when the workshops are. Please contact the office on 01380 725400 or email email@example.com if you are interested in attending.
Independent Living Fund !
Thousands of disabled people rely on funding from the Independent Living Fund to enable them to live independently with choice and control over their lives. ILF users have been left shocked and extremely anxious since it was announced in 2010 that it would be closed down by government in 2015. Already closed to new applicants since May 2010 this decision was taken with no evidence of an equality impact assessment having taken place nor any consultation carried out with current and potential beneficiaries of the fund.
Click here to read the DPAC letter re ILF.
Add your signature by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Please say whether you are an ILF user.
Are you an older person living in fuel poverty and need additional support to heat your home and eat properly in the cold weather? A Surviving Winter grant may help. You must live in Wiltshire or Swindon Borough to apply. A grant of £125 could assist you with: Paying your fuel bill, purchasing oil, purchasing an oil heater, purchase of coal, topping up your electricity, purchasing a warm pair of slippers and a blanket. Depending on your circumstances you may be able to apply for additional support and applications from other individuals in need who are disabled or suffering extreme hardship, may also be considered.
If you would like to make an application, please contact:
CAB Wiltshire 01225 717907
CAB Swindon 01793 618781
Age UK Wiltshire 01380 735527
Age UK Salisbury & District 01722 335425
Wiltshire Good Neighbours 01380 722475
Parks Volunteer Centre 01793 529938
Shine in the Community 01722 504049
Wiltshire Credit Unions 01380 722475
Swindon Credit Unions 01793 529938
CLIP 01792 723687
Parks Advice Point 01793 487934
This scheme is run by The Community Foundation for Wiltshire & Swindon working in partnership with all of the above partners. Registered charity no. 1123126
Wiltshire Council are holding several workshop events to decided what Wiltshire people think is the most important for the new Wiltshire HealthWatch. There will be lots of opportunities to contribute and have your say in the workshops. Your views and responses will help us to make sure Wiltshire has the best possible HealthWatch. The events will take place on:
Tuesday 13 December 2011 09.45am - 12.45pm Devizes Sports Club, London Road, Devizes SN10 2DL
Tuesday 24 January 2012 13.30pm - 16.30pm Trowbridge Civic Centre, St Stephens Place, Trowbridge BA14 8AH
Wednesday 15 February 2012 09.45am - 12.45pm Salisbury Methodist Hall, St Edmond's Church Street, Salisbury SP1 1EF
If you are thinking of attending please call Dot Kronda on 01225 718306
Click here to view the Fact Sheet - Guide to Healthwatch
Click here to view the Fact Sheet - Health Watch FAQs
Why we need to defend DLA
Many of us are concerned about the plans to change DLA and the consequences of losing some of our income. To learn more about the implications and the press campaign to support it being abiolished, follow this link to Jenny Morris' blog. She is a disabled person who has done a lot of research etc and writes from a Social Model perspective. If you feel strongly about the DLA threats, why not sign the e-petition you can reach on the weblink to get the matter debated in Parliament.
On the 14th November Labour and Independent members of the House of Lords attempted to amend the Welfare Reform Bill clauses on replacing Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payment. We need to defend the principles underpinning DLA.
Click this link to read Jenny Morris' blog
Independent Reports about DLA Reforms
As disabled people we are all worried about the plans going through Parliament to abolish DLA in 2013 and replace it with PIP - Personal Independence Plan. Here independent reports, which show more about the likely effects of this. Lord Low's report specifically focuses on the mobility compenent and its use by people living in residential care. It finds there is no reason to think that there is any duplication of funding for disabled people's transport needs in this situation. The report produced by SCOPE in partnership and explores the likely ways PIPs could work in the future. Let us know your views about how the reforms as planned will affect you.
Click here to view the Low Executive Summary
Click here to view the Low Executive Summary - Easy Read version
Click here to view the Low Final Review
Click here to view The Future of PIP - A Social Model Based Approach
Many of us are worried about the plans to replace DLA with PIP in 2013. Here is a link to a report by SCOPE about what this might involve.
Trustees and staff learn together at an Away Day
The photos show the Trustees and staff at an Away Day, where they focussed on the Vision & Mission of Wiltshire CIL and looked to its future role strategically. Look out for some tweaking of our Mission Statement in the next newsletter. We thought our vision, that "All disabled people are able to live independently as full citizens with equal rights and equal opportunities" was still very relevant and fit for purpose.
Take action for the Hardest Hit this weekend
This Saturday (22nd October 2011), disabled people, their families and friends are taking to the streets in 12 cities across the UK to protest against cuts to disability benefits and services. Some of our members are attending and we need as many of you as possible to get involved to show the government that changes to benefits and public spending cuts are hitting disabled people hard. The nearest event is at Bristol: march 12 noon and rally 1.15pm, College Green.
Even if you can't get there, join the protest online at www.hardesthit.org.uk
New Care Providers
Recently service users in Wiltshire learnt about which four care agencies had been awarded the contracts for domiciliary care for the next 7 years. They are:
Ridgeway - Devizes and the South
Complete Care - North Wilts
Leonard Cheshire Disability - East Wilts & Malmesbury
Somerset Care - West Wilts
In the next few months all service users receiving help to live at home through Wiltshire Council will be moved across to have their help from these agencies. Care staff will move to the agencies too.
Are you affected by the changes? Let us know what you think on Facebook and Twitter. There are no changes for those who are on Direct Payments, who still have a choice of agency.
The Disability Cuts Map
How is Wiltshire doing in the first research about the custs to Adult Social Care in the UK Nationally? In Research carried out by SCOPE and the DEMOS Thinktank Wiltshire came out 27th of 152 local authorities and was judged to have low cuts and be coping well. Read more about it on the interactive map on http://disability-cuts-map.demos.co.uk/local-authority/wiltshire/
Have you experienced Hate Crime as a disabled person?
Recently the Equalities and Human Rights Commission published a report of their findings into Hate Crime and how it is dealt with. You can read more about it on http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/news/2011/september/inquiry-reveals-systemic-institutional-failure-to-tackle-harassment-of-disabled-people/ and email the CIL office with your experiences in Wiltshire if you have experience of being a recipient of Hate Crime and want to share.
Do you want to join with other disabled people to protest about the cuts in services?
Follow this link to find out about Action in Bristol in October as part of a UK-wide series of protests organised by the Hardest Hit website.
Wiltshire CIL AGM
Well-known broadcaster and disabled activist Kevin Mulhern came to Devizes on June 22nd to be the guest speaker at Wiltshire CIL’s AGM. He highlighted the difficulties disabled people currently face, with cuts planned and local authority services threatened.
Chair Clare and Director Geraldine
open the meeting
Kevin Mulhern captivates the audience
Wiltshire CIL’s new website was launched at the AGM on June 22nd. Funded by Wiltshire Council, it was designed and built by Hot Creative Media from a brief from CIL’s Director and Chair. Accessibility is a top priority and it has been market-tested by disabled people.