Campaign

CASCAIDr – opening the floodgates to restore the rule of law in public services

Our legal correspondent Belinda Schwehr unveils the new charity she is establishing – an idea whose time has definitely come. Community Living’s editor has generously allowed me to use my normal space to publicise my latest venture – a new charity providing legal advice to people stuck in wrangles over social care with their local council or health service Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).…

End of an era – and start of a new one

Elinor Harbridge is retiring after a remarkable 30 years as founder, publisher and editor of Community Living Magazine, handing the reins to Simon Jarrett. It has had its ups and downs over those years but it has outlived other magazines and, as she told Seán Kelly, perhaps just surviving these days is a success.…

Fighting hate crime – are you ’with Sam‘?

The national learning disability charity Dimensions is spearheading a campaign – I’m with Sam – to fight back against learning disability and autism hate crime. Thirteen organisations have joined them so far and there has already been some success in working with the Crown Prosecution Service to react more robustly to these crimes.…

More heartbreaking stories came to light in the second 7 Days of Action

Desperate parents spoke up about their experiences following the first 7 days of Action. Rosemary Trustam reports. This second 7 Days of Action took place from 10  to 17 October and was inspired by a mother’s post who blogged about how her son’s personal hygiene was completely neglected during his time in an Assessment and Treatment Unit (ATU).…

3000 lives: Active support for families

Founder members of Justice Together  – Respond and Bringing Us Together – racked their brains to find a solution for families whose child or young person was facing a placement in an ATU.  Liz Gow of Respond and Debs Apsland from Bringing Us Together describe how Justice Circles work.…

3000 lives: How Josh was brought home

Josh’s parents ran a very public campaign demanding, “Bring Josh home’. It took three years and much heartache but today Josh is living close to home and is a very different boy. Father Phill Wills tells their story. Josh was sent away from his home in Cornwall to a unit in Birmingham because his self-harming behaviour had become life threatening and it seemed there was nowhere locally that could give him the support he needed.…

Squaring the circle for vulnerable people

Volunteers are making a real difference, says Sarah Reilly Despite the shock and horror of Winterbourne View there are still thousands of service users miles away from the inner London boroughs with accountability. These people are some of the most vulnerable members of our society but most receive only one statutory visit a year, often by a duty social worker who knows no more about them than what they read in the previous review.…

Speaking with one voice

It is vital that families and self advocates unite. They have much to gain and a great deal to lose by not speaking in one voice, says Jan Walmsley   In February, I was immensely cheered to see the photo (right) of representatives of the National Forum of People with Learning Disabilities and the National Valuing Families Forum.…

Why ATUs don’t work

By their very nature ATUs are not set up to work with people in their familiar environment and rehabilitate them; instead, they seek to remove and treat with an extremely small toolkit, says Sam Sly   Over a year ago I was asked to write about getting people out of Assessment & Treatment Units (ATUs) but didn’t get around to it so when I was asked again I thought I would reflect first on the changes I have seen in a year.  Then I will look again at why I think people aren’t home and what needs to be done.…

Risk-averse staff are undermining the aims of the Mental Capacity Act

Vicky Yeates worries about the future for her 31 year old daughter. She met two young men whose journey to independence offers some reassurance about her daughter’s future but whose stories show how excessively risk-averse implementation of the Mental Capacity Act can be a barrier to success…   Dan and Steve have learning disabilities; both have had chaotic young lives and at times posed a challenge to their South Wales local authority.…

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