Sir George supports MENCAP's Breaking Point campaign
18 Jun 2003
Sir George at the Reception in the Members Dining Room
Sir George at the Reception in the Members Dining Room
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During National Disability Week, MENCAP held a reception at the House of Commons so carers and people with a learning disability could highlight the difficulties they face because of the pressure on Social Services.
"The theme was Breaking Point - explaining that resources are focussed on crisis management, which means that those just below that threshold may not get the support they need and, in turn, become a crisis themselves."
"Parents are often struggling to bring up sons and daughters with severe learning difficulties, but get limited help. This leads to a diminished lifestyle for the whole family, and reduced opportunities for the children." The priority is to give them more breaks and more practical support in the home."

Carers and Mencap staff took the fight on behalf of parents of children with severe or profound learning disabilities - many of whom are near 'breaking point' - to the House of Commons.

Among the 60-plus MPs attending the event was Sir George Young. Parents, carers and their sons and daughters from across the country met their local MPs and talked to them about the struggle of bringing up their sons and daughters with severe or profound learning disabilities with little or no help from social services.

There is a glaring need for increased provision for short breaks. Mencap's family survey 'Breaking Point' found that 8 out of 10 carers have reached breaking point. These families love their children and want to care for them but are struggling to cope with the demands of caring 24 hours a day with little or no support.

Mencap District Officer, Tad Taberer said: "All these families desperately need short breaks, which is why Mencap is campaigning to lobby MPs and put pressure on local authorities to bring about a fairer system."

Sir George Young, MP said: "There is an added need for this campaign now; Social Service Departments such as Hampshire are under enormous pressure, because of the way Government distributes Revenue Support Grant, It is important that Government provided more headroom for social services, so additional support can be given carers."

Mencap has found that local authorities do not see families of disabled children and adults as a priority. Because of a need to save money they leave families to cope alone and do the very minimum to support them.
Despite the fact that there is now a legal requirement to assess and review the needs of carers in a Carer's Assessment, this is not the experience of families in the survey.

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