As part of our ‘It doesn’t add up’ campaign, many of our supporters have sent letters to their local MPs to draw attention of the funding crisis that threatens the sustainability of the learning disability sector. So far over 100 letters have been sent, and from the responses that have been forwarded to us, we can see that awareness of the issue is increasing.
One MP, Mr Nadhim Zahawi, the MP for Stratford Upon Avon accepted an invitation to visit one of our Worcestershire Area services…
Hft Regional Manager Jeannette Rix, who had written to him, arranged for him to visit our Shipston Road service to meet some of the people we support and see how the support we provide can lead to great outcomes for people with learning disabilities. Jeannette also took the opportunity to discuss the current challenges we face and why we are campaigning for the new National Living Wage to be properly funded.
During his visit, Mr Zahawi also listened to the views of the Registered Cluster Manager and some of the support staff, reflecting on the demands they face on a daily basis.
Jeannette says Mr Zahawi showed a genuine interest and appeared to understand the impact that statutory but unfunded increases will have on Hft as an organisation and the social care sector as a whole. He also said he would be sharing the information with colleagues at a political party meeting he was attending that evening.
We appreciate Mr Zahawi taking the time to visit one of our services, and seeing with his own eyes the kind of specialist support that is put at risk by the funding crisis our sector currently finds itself in. But it will take more than one visit by one MP for the issue to gain the prominence it needs for change to actually happen…
If you’d like to get involved in the campaign, we’ve made resources available to download from the ‘It doesn’t add up’ section of our website, including a template letter that you can send to your own MP. And if you choose to do so, please do let us know who you’ve contacted, and what their response was.