Independent Living – Welcome to the latest Independent Living news roundup.

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Welcome to the latest Independent Living news roundup.
05.06.19 Contents:
Complaints to ASA about DWP
Together for Short Lives
CASCAIDr fundraising
Gainsborough Case Study
Latest – Digital exclusion
1. Complaints to ASA about DWP

I don’t think the phrase “fake news” has previously passed my lips, but it is being bandied about in the vicinity of the DWP’s advertising campaign in support of Universal Credit, which is now the subject of several formal complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Anti-poverty charity Z2K is one organisation that believes it breaches the ASA code on misleading advertising.

Find out more here

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2. Volunteering

This is Volunteers’ Week. If you are sighing, “not another … Week”, I have some sympathy!

I’m not going to bombard you with statistics, but simply say that volunteers are the people who keep vital services running. As the amount of money available for social care, education, the arts, grassroots sport and healthcare shrinks before our eyes, the work of volunteers is even more essential.

Mencap has grown its network over the last five years from around 200 volunteers through to 1260 today. Each of them will be getting a handwritten thank you card this week.

The RVS depends on volunteers for its many services, including working to prevent older people having to go home alone after a hospital stay.

Inclusive sport needs people to help – perhaps you could help someone get back into sport, while improving your own fitness, like parkrun volunteer, Roz.

Whatever your interests, there is bound to be a volunteering opportunity to match. And the best thing? You get at least as much out of it as the people you’re helping…

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3. Together for Short Lives

Together for Short Lives is the nationwide charity that supports families and children with life-shortening illnesses.

They help them to access specialist children’s palliative care services when and where they need it, and provide information so that families know where to go for support and have the help they need to make the right choices about their child’s care.

You can read more about their work and this year’s campaign to raise much-needed funds for children’s hospices.

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4. CASCAIDr fundraising

The crisis in social care is so huge and all-encompassing, even the mainstream media are regularly covering the issues, including a pair of Panorama episodes, the second of which airs tonight.

With a workforce that has halved in a decade, and too little money to pay for the services people are legally entitled to under the Care Act, no wonder councils are floundering.

Legal advice charity, CASCAIDr, is dedicated to using the law to support people’s rights to care. So far, they have managed to support more than 300 referrals in 18 months, providing free advice to some 175 and taking on 19 complex cases which they will pursue at no charge, however long the process takes.

We need them to carry on! Find out how you can help in their fundraising, here.

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5. Gainsborough Case Study

If you are running a care home for residents who require 24/7 support, many of them with dementia, you need bathroom facilities that are at once hygienic, accessible and reassuringly homely.

Gainsborough Specialist Bathing has just delivered advanced wet room and toilet facilities at Hollybank House in Derbyshire.

Details of the project here

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6. Latest – Digital exclusion

Since the Office for National Statistics kept comparable records, the number of non-internet users in Britain has halved. But it is still 5.3 million, or 10 percent of the adult population.

It isn’t just those without access who are disadvantaged in this way. Anyone who lacks basic digital skills is effectively excluded from the online world where life’s admin is increasingly conducted. Unsurprisingly, elderly and disabled individuals are disproportionately involved.

More details here

Don’t forget that you can apply to join the Independent Living Facebook group, if you would like to spend more time discussing these themes with other interested people.

There are various ways you can get in touch with us: email me; visit our Facebook page and leave a message there; or if it’s short and sweet, Tweet!

Previous newsletters are archived here.

If you are reading a copy of the Independent Living newsletter that has been passed on to you by a colleague or friend, why not sign up for your own free subscription – it’s quick and easy, and won’t lead to your inbox being bombarded with other stuff!

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Until next time, best wishes,


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Frances Leckie

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