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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Busy week Carers, Welfare Reform, Anniversary and PPF...

Hi guys yet again it's been a busy week!

Coo's just Coo - seizures and sleepy but still strumming happily along - he's been back on his guitar this week so things are surely on the up!
I've been out and about again!
PPF -  (NHS Patient Participation Forum)
On Tuesday I met a new group, our local PPF - well, it's not really a new group, I've been involved with them online for years but this week I met up with them face to face!
It was interesting and informative and as always, the real value is in sharing information and experiences. I really felt it was worthwhile being involved  - it's important people have a voice and raise issues and challenge where necessary.
Welfare Reform -
The latest Welfare Reform session for the Scottish Government conducted with researchers from Napier University went well. Sometimes it can be difficult sharing information, it's not always easy to open the box and examine things fully.
Health difficulties, disabilities and the current changes and challenges in our welfare system have brought their own brand of stresses for many disabled people and Carers and Coo and I are no exception!
It's really why I agreed to be involved with this three year project in the first place! It's important! I truly feel the research collected, will properly document just what did happened to the most vulnerable people in our society during one of the most turbulent and divisive periods in recent times and...I for one, want a proper record, taken from ordinary people and in their own words, accurately recorded!
We must all stand together and speak out strongly, whenever and wherever we can!
Happy news this week too...

It was our wedding anniversary this week. Thirty-one years - just where does the time go? lol
The weather was fine and bright so we decided to hop on a ferry to Arran...
It's a wonderful place for a visit and at any time of year! From museums, hill walking, cheese tasting and whisky distilling it's got the lot!
Just like Wallace and Gromit...we had a grand day out!
We sure had fun this week, I hope you have a wee bit fun too!
Maz x

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Welfare Reform sessions Scottish Government...

Hi guys, it's that time again...
I think it's important to stand together and speak out when we can and with that in mind, I've agreed to keep involved with the Scottish Governments tracking of Welfare Reform.
I've now been involved with this for around two years and the next session is almost upon us.

A wee memory refresher...
The aim of the study is to explore the impact of welfare changes over time on a range of households in Scotland. The project is being carried out by the Employment Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Stirling on behalf of the Scottish Government. 
I think it's important for people to speak out, share their experiences both good and bad and as both Carer and person with disabilities, Coo and I, have had to struggle through and find a way to navigate the recent sorry system of changes!
Firstly, the initial issues and stresses of the move over from Incapacity Benefit to ESA (Employment Support Allowance). Next, the seizures, stress and the hassles of coping with the ATOS people then last and by no means least, our struggle with 'Bedroom Tax' and securing a HDP (Housing Discretionary Payment). Both our MSP Margaret Burgess and MP Katy Clark helped us through what was a difficult time. Katy raised our case in the commons and we did get a reply from David Cameron PM.

I am dismayed the UK Government and media still continue to use their shameful rhetoric in relation to Welfare Reform. The 'Scroungers and Strivers' labels have stuck and only succeed in fuelling anti-disability feelings, further alienating disabled people and a continuing divide in our already fractured communities.
ATOS has gone but the stress and worry remain. We dread the continual stream of 'brown envelopes' from DWP that wing their way through our mail-box but I still honestly feel, most of the stress and issues created by this Welfare Reform process could have been avoided, if the policy had been planned and executed fairly in the first place!

It seems so incredibly unfair that most of the 'cuts' continue to fall disproportionately on families with disabilities and their Carers and it's important the true hardship people find themselves in, through no fault of their own is shown!
It's so very important to speak out if you get the chance!

I'll let you know how it all goes, stay strong as will I!
Maz x