Month: September 2014

2014: the year YOU recognise you need to care for Carers?

I blogged this in January – and then started the Carers Virtual Strike. Party conference time. How are we doing?

Carer with Attitude!

January. Its the time of year to set out your stand.. so here is mine.

In 2014 I want to make the whole of Britain recognise and recompense  the nation’s  unpaid  carers.  Not for justice – though it would be just. But to ensure we have a robust response to the caring crisis that is coming upon us.

I want: non-means tested Carers Benefit, a relaxation on earning constraints for carers, and an occupational pension-scheme-equivalent for all fulltime carers to reflect our long years of hard work. Additionally, targeted careers advice and training; reform to social housing ideology and practice; and a guarantee from the state that money for carers is only given to organisations that offer properly targeted transport-accessible help that is fit for purpose  to all the people need it. Full details here:

And I am expecting help from everyone – particularly all activists and…

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Working mother of a disabled child – ‘a lifestyle choice’?

A life-style choice? I have spent 14 years being told that the pitiful amount I was able to earn around MsF’s care needs was in some way pointless. Yet I was on my own and had other children to support…

Scope's Blog

We’ve been investigating the extra costs of disability. For some parents and carers of disabled children, returning to work is a necessity. In a guest post from Hannah Postgate, she talks about attitudes towards working mums. Hannah campaigns for improved SEND childcare and is the co-founder of which sells “toys, gifts and lifestyle products for families with special needs”.

The emotions of returning to work for any mother are tough, but putting that aside just for a moment… for many disabled families, returning to work is a necessity, economically. In fact it is even more vital as the financial burden is so much greater; bringing up a child with a disability is forcing families to go without essentials and get into debt.

  • 52 per cent of families with a disabled child are at risk of poverty.
  • It costs three times more to raise a disabled child.
  • One in seven families with a disabled…

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TUC – We are workers too. Represent us!

It feels like everybody at the top is doing well but everybody else is going to have to suffer”  says TUC chief  Frances O’Grady  on the Today programme  this morning.

Couldn’t  agree more, Frances. Its just that you and I might have varying ideas of where ‘the top’ starts. For me, its with anyone who is entitled to pay, sick pay, holiday pay, European working time directive – oh and who the Unions are prepared to represent because they are ‘workers.’ I  get none of the aforementioned because the TUC  – although their health and social care work members are dependent on me working round the clock for nothing – elect to describe me as ‘not a worker.’

(To my face, on one occasion. The person in question  was lucky enough to be on strike because – unlike me – they  could withdraw their labour without risk of fatality to someone near and dear.


I am far from disputing the injustice of the last twenty years of widening pay and increasing inequality. But like most injustices the tendency is  to look at people better off than oneself. Ms O’Grady mentioned the injustice of unbridled boardroom pay increases and MPs increases against falling wages and a drop in living standards.

Shall we look downwards for a moment?

Ms O’Grady, the unjust situation of millions of carers should not be overlooked by you and the TUC  any more than it is overlooked by Iain Duncan Smith and the UK government! As an unpaid carer who is still getting the same big fat nothing for my continual 168 hour weeks  that the TUC were happy for me to receive last year, the year before, the decade before that -in fact, every year since I became a carer, I would love the unions to be much less philosophical about my fate than they have been! 

Sod philosophical!  I want the unions to be as outraged about my life, my fate,  as they would be over their own if it were like mine!

If we want a truly equal society it has to be equal for all.

The first step to being taken seriously is proper representation.

No, not as ‘community members’. We need to be counted.

So, come on, who is going to take us on?