Tag Archives: support

I’m so proud of you: a letter to my daughter, who escaped domestic abuse | Domestic violence | The Guardian

A very strong letter which shows domestic abuse how it is and how it affects the abused.

If you have never suffered abuse, it may be difficult for you to understand, why the abused do not report the abusing after the first incident, but the abuse is not what occurs initially. For the abuser works to gain your trust in them, showing how you can’t exist without them, being abused is their fault, no one will believe you as the public face of the abusers is showing a kind, considerate, loving, etc person. These are their ‘mind tricks’ which will have been done over a lengthy period and then the abuse starts, at first just mildly, and may be the abused does not even notice, but slowly the abuse get stronger and more intense, giving the abused many mix emotions, fear, uncertainty, etc.

Then when you gain the strength to leave or just inform others the abuser will become the kind and gentle person you fell in love with, making many apological gestures, so that you give the abuser another chance and then another.

However, some abused people never get the opportunity to leave, because they continue to stay with their abuser for many reasons, believe they will change, feel they can’t live without them, fear of making the situation worse and many more and eventually the abuser goes to the ultimate length and and causes the death of the abused or many mental health issues.

This could be happening behind many closed doors.

It is not weakness to leave the abuser, but is a show of strength and is the only way the abused can go some way to stop the abuse. It will not be easy, far from it, but for the abused survival the abused has to leave the abuser.

Unfortunately abuse will never be eradicated, it may be in certain families by the abuser being dealt with through the legal system, but that is not an easy process to go through, even though the abused will be given all the support available, but it will not stop another abuser in another family, so it goes on and on.

Is enough being done to publicise abuse and what is available to help the abused, may be not, even though there is much publicity already there can always be more for this is a never ending process.

What I would say, if someone approaches you to say they are being abused, do not discount it, for rejection can cause as much damage as being abused. You need to listen, comfort, give the abused more strength to overcome the abuser and the abuse. Accompany them to report the abuse and be there for them, whenever they need support.

Source: I’m so proud of you: a letter to my daughter, who escaped domestic abuse | Domestic violence | The Guardian

“Government waiting for the roof to fall in before repairing the leak”: Mencap responds to the Chancellor’s spending review | Mencap

I fully support Mencap, but I doubt whether £7billion is enough, for £12billion is much nearer the mark, and especially waiting to 2023/2024, for the funding is required immediately, for can Social Care wait that long.

I have been promoting this problem for years and now others are seeing the problem, except the Government, a way to show the Government the strength of feeling in the UK is to support my petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,


If further information is required then please see here.


Source: “Government waiting for the roof to fall in before repairing the leak”: Mencap responds to the Chancellor’s spending review  | Mencap

Carers are being pushed further into exhaustion, poverty and despair by government neglect, survey says | Vox Political

I completely agree for Local Authorities (LAs) have been left short of funding over the 10 years of austerity cuts. While many LAs tried to shield Social Care from these cuts, inevitably this could not continue and Social Care had to take their sharing of their budget being cut. This at a time when caring needs were increasing, so LAs had to restrict who they provided social care for and this meant that only those with substantive care needs were being considered, so persons with moderate and below were not.

However, the care needs still were increasing which has resulted in social care being rationed, especially as safeguarding was the main priority and Safeguarding had to be funded.

COVID-19 has compounded the funding crisis and although the Government as provided some funding for COVID-19 issues, the funding is falling short.

Many, if not all LAs have a Social Care budget for both children and adults in deficit and a substantial deficit in more likely all LAs stretching into £millions.

Many Governments, both Conservative and, even Labour have promised to look into the funding crisis’s over the years, but to date none have and as each year goes by the crisis become more serious.

Even the Carers Allowance, falls way short of what is required and in no way covers the income lost by family carers caring for their loved relatives.

While this is a very serious situation, there are, also major problems in respect of paid carers, whose pay is abysmal for the responsibilities they undertake, but they also have poor working conditions and unsocial hours and much more, including, in some instances, poor quality of care being provided.

Unfortunately, Social Care has never been sufficiently funded, even prior to 1970, when LAs were made responsible for all Social Care, but not funded to do so.

Social Care is in dire need of substantial funding in all areas, which has prompted me to create the the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,


More information can be found here, if required.


Source: Carers are being pushed further into exhaustion, poverty and despair by government neglect, survey says | Vox Political

ADASS president: social care can’t go back to austerity post-Covid crisis : Community Care

Social care cannot go back to a ‘savings agenda’ of the like seen in the 2010s if it is to secure the invest it needs to flourish post-Covid-19, the incoming Association of Directors of Social Services (ADASS) president has said.

Instead it needs an industrial strategy of the kind seen in sectors such as oil and agriculture that underlines its importance to society and the economy, attracts investment and enables it to grow, said James Bullion.

In an interview with Community Care, Bullion said that social care had proven its value during the pandemic, particularly in helping the NHS clear thousands of hospital beds to create capacity in March, but that it would face potentially bigger challenges as the country came out of lockdown that had to be met by investment and a comprehensive government strategy.

However, with the government deficit ballooning as tax receipts tumble and spending rockets to protect the economy, concerns have been raised that the public sector – including local government – faces another era of cuts like that which followed the 2010 election.


Source : ADASS president: social care can’t go back to austerity post-Covid crisis : Community Care



Social Care, the Forgotten Health Service

Social Care has been the forgotten health facility, well certainly by this Government and many previous Governments, for far too many years.

So Social Care has been existing on budgets which are way insufficient for the required need for many years, meaning many persons in need of care have been, virtually left to fend for themselves.

Then for the last 10 years or so, this and previous Conservative Governments have been decimating the Welfare system so that many, who are extremely vulnerable, not only do not have social care, but also insufficient welfare benefits.

The vast unseen in the UK.

The media have also not been helping, as they produce many programmes showing people abusing the Welfare System, thereby providing the UK population a misguided view of people who are vulnerable. Not saying there is not abuse of the Welfare System, for there is, but not to the extent that the media and also the Government appear to indicate.

For more information, please see below

There are many problems within Social Care and therefore I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,


Please could you consider the following and then hopefully support the petition by signing and then sharing.


Here is further information regarding the petition.

You may be wondering why I am promoting this petition as we are in the Coronavirus, COVID 19 crisis and certainly now that Social Care is appearing to have some signs of recognition.

It is because of this recognition and I do appreciate the Government is concentrating on COVID 19, and my thoughts are with Boris Johnson and his family and other families in similar positions and it is good to see he has, apparently, recovered, but Social Care has been forgotten for many years and certainly with regards to funding.

I have been involved with Social Care, be it with regards to family or on a wider basis for over some 40 years and funding was always an issue and the last 10 years has made the situation much worse.

So, the recognition is an impetus on which to build upon and to ensure the recognition continues when COVID 19 has been overcome.

Also see the post on my blog, Carer Voice, where Matt Hancock has refused to pay Carers the Real Living Wage


I also thank the Government for bringing back their recruitment campaign ‘Every Day is Different‘, but it would be even better if they had improved the salary and other conditions as stated in the petition.


So here is how I am currently promoting the petition.

I apologise in advance for the length of this promotion, but, it is a subject on which there is a lot to say.

As I am very concerned about Social Care could I also introduce you to my latest Petition, ‘Solve the crisis in Social Care’.


We all have reasons for reaching out and some of mine are mentioned below

• With the Government, Social Care is the forgotten service and Yes, the Government as plenty to deal with currently, but more should have been done for Social Care well before the COVID 19 situation.

• This section of care has been devoid of enough money for far too long and austerity measures only compounded this.

• The starting salary for all care workers should be, at least the Real Living Wage and not, as currently the National Living Wage or for some under 25 years The Minimum Wage.

• The rate of pay is abysmal when compared to the responsibilities they undertake. It is not just the rate of pay, but many others including

• Conditions of Service

• Travel Expenses

• Sick Pay schemes

My own family and many other families rely on Social Care to help us look after our relatives who have major needs relating to care.

We all have, over the years, done what we can to help manage these needs of our relatives, but there comes a time when the needs exceed what we ourselves can realistically deliver, hence our, now, reliance on Social Care and without it our relatives needs will not be met.

Lack of funding for Social Care is a major problem and this leads to

1. not only insufficient funding for all forms of Social Care

2. a lack of people wishing to come into the profession due to the abysmal rate of pay

3. partly causing a lack of quality of care being delivered in some areas and other problems

4. causing stress and exhaustion for family members providing care to their relatives, due to the lack of Social Care

If the crisis in Social Care is not met, this will then increase the crisis in health.

Please could you see if you could show your support by signing this petition and then sharing it wherever you can. .

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care For more information I refer you to my web page


It goes without saying that I am greatly disappointed with the latest Budget, not even the miserly £1 or £1.5 billion promised by Boris, but unfortunately this is how it is for Social Care and those in need of Social Care.

It is what we have come to accept, but not without question and challenge and the Coronavirus Pandemic is making Social Care even more important.

However, the Government as shown their contempt for Social Care by suspending the Care Act 2014 some weeks ago, rather than providing increased funding to Local Authorities so they can, not only maintain current Social Care levels, which are really well below than required, but increase the level of Social Care to what is really required.

Also the most recent amendments to the Health and Social Care Act 2012 need to be reversed, otherwise further funding will be swallowed up by private organisations and top heavy management.

As at the moment as it stands the health and social care act 2012 removes government liability and responsibility, which has had a detrimental impact on social care and the NHS.

This crisis could have been solved in 2015, but the then Prime Minister, David Cameron and the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne decided not to, see my blog


You will never know when you maybe in need of Social Care, so please support Social Care, before it is too late


Thank you


#care #socialcare #crisis


Solving the crisis in Social Care

Social Care is just as important as Health Care, but does not receive the support is should do.

With this in mind please could I mention that the forthcoming Budget is an important opportunity to address the crucial issue of funding for Social Care, but will it.

Boris has promised, but will he keep his promise and even if money is made available will it be sufficient.

Boris has now mentioned it will take 5 years to get the funding, Social Care can not wait that long.

Boris needs to be told this is not good enough, so it is essential we keep the pressure on Boris and my petition ‘Solve the crisis in Social Care could be the means.

Please see below

We now have the New Year 2020.

However, if the ‘Crisis in Social Care’ is not Solved soon there will not be many more New Years for the care, required for persons in need of care, to be provided by Local Authorities due to their lack of funding. This will then have a much greater impact on health care provision, which is itself in crisis.

I have therefore created my latest petition, please follow the link


For more information please follow the link


This Petition needs You, please sign to show your support for you will not know when you or someone in your family will need social care.

Care is in Crisis

In the UK and even the World there are many crisis, some Global as is Climate Change and some local of which there are many varieties and variations, some major and some not so major. While all crisis need to be dealt with urgently some are more urgent than others. This urgency could or most likely is being directed by local factors.

I am not a knowledgeable expert is all of these, but have detailed knowledge of some, so may be an expert in these, but there may be other qualified experts.

I am a Family carer, mainly for my adult daughter, who has severe Learning disabilities, multiple physical disabilities and Autism, but there are other many conditions. She lives at home with myself and my wife, my self approaching 70 years and my wife nearer to 80 years and neither of us can be said to be in good health, far from it, but we are extremely lucky to have 24/7 care for our daughter. So a ‘Crisis in Care’ is an extreme worry for myself and my family.

Many of you would query why am I not happy, for there will be many in much worse situations, but everyone has a right to live and live a reasonable life. For this to occur we need a sustainable, good quality and effective Care Profession, or as some say the Care Industry.

I favour the word ‘profession’ other than ‘industry’, for to be what is required, a ‘Carer’, you need to undertake many responsibilities as well as care, for there is safeguarding, be respectful, understanding, a good listener, work within a dignified manner, accept informed choice of the person for whom you are caring and members of their family, especially if there could be ‘lack of Capacity‘ in some situations.

However, in the UK, the country has come to a virtual standstill, due to Brexit, so they say. But is that true? For we only have politicians word for that and can you really trust any politician, no matter what colour of their Party. A generalisation, but mainly true, if the Press can be believed. but then again that is another story.

The UK has or should have a Welfare system, but it is currently in a state of crisis due to major under funding. For some years, going on some 8 years we have been subjected to Austerity cuts, well the various service organisations have been, be they private, public or the voluntary/charity sector.

It was said, by the one David Cameron, when he was the UK Prime Minister, some years ago, that we are ‘all in it together’, but, of course, that is not correct. Did he believe it at the time, we will never know, but could have a good idea.

For austerity is hitting the most vulnerable within the UK Society, those that can, not least afford it, on a monetary basis, but also not on a living basis. The likes of Cameron and his cronies in Industry and many, if not all the political parties and many other areas, can and do have the means to mitigate these cuts to their own lives, as they have the finance to do so.

In effect the majority of other persons within the UK cannot, especially those who are more likely to be vulnerable, the long-term sick, the persons with disabilities, people on low pay, etc.do not.

Where people are either on,  long-term sick,  a person with disabilities, person on low pay, etc or more likely even a mixture of two or more this will be even more so. But are the authorities putting in measures to remedy this, well they are putting in measure, but they are not remedying these situations, for where you come to the new Welfare Benefits these are, in many instances making it even worse, when one would not expect that it could get worse.

  1. Why do these people in Authority not produce the right measure?
  2. Well, for one do they really care?
  3. Are they in a position to know what is occurring outside their own circles in Society?
  4. Do they have a clue what to do?

Well many persons will generally go for 2. and possibly 4., but is it really 3. or a mixture.

I, for one do not know but do they?

But you say many of these persons are MPs so should they not know from their constituency members of their party or more so from their actual constituents.

Whatever it is it needs to be brought out into the open for open discussion, but then we come down to trust, for do we really trust any people in a position of power and authority?

Many questions, some leading to other questions, but are there any answers and if there are, are they the right answers? Well, another question requiring an answer. For myself, are we not going round in circles and never producing answers and if we do , do we believe the answers?

Would anyone wish to provide some answers?

Over to you.

The title of this article is ‘Care is in Crisis‘, which I and many others also believe. It has been in crisis for many years and nothing has been done to change this. therefore the crisis has continued to grow and grow and the austerity cuts from Central Government have been one issue making this crisis worse.

Earlier in this article I touched on this crisis and especially it reference to the Care Profession. This profession is extremely short of qualified care staff and pay is one of the main factors. With this in mind I have, with my colleagues in FLASh (Families Lobbying & Advising Sheffield) created a Petition – Pay all employed carers the Living Wage and information on this can be accessed here.

Please consider supporting this petition by signing it and then, where possible sharing it as far and wide as you can the petition link is https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/236151

Thank you

Chris Sterry





Carer Voice (Working Together)

Some 3 years ago I and 2 other Learning Disability Family Carers agreed to help a University of Sheffield student with her thesis for her PHd. A post was created on one of my other blogs 61chrissterry re the initial stages of this project where we used the principles of Co-production and the post can be found here.

Since that post was issued we met regularly and we analysed the information obtained from the various workshops at our event on 20 October 2017. From this analysis we eventually created a number of documents which we all felt would improve communications between Learning Disability Family Carers and the range of Service Providers.

In order to ensure the documents we created could be used we met with a range of service providers.

Initially we arranged a meeting at Sheffield City Council with Learning Disability Commissioners and representatives of Sheffield Adult Social Services, who viewed the documents and suggested some minor alterations for our consideration.

We then had a similar meeting with some home carer and Supported Living Service Providers, who also made some minor alterations for our consideration.

Over a few weeks we considered the suggestions mentioned from these 2 meeting and made adjustments accordingly.

By this time a meeting had been arranged with some representatives from Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and at this meeting they asked if they could use these documents with their ‘For Pete’s Sake’ campaign they were launching, to which we agreed.

In addition they offered us a 15 minute presentation slot on their ‘Assisted Technology event on the 28 June 2018. While our documents had nothing to do with assisted technology we did accept their kind offer and did attend their event and gave our presentation.

The presentation being presentation-for-ccg.

To view the documents we produced, these can be found here.

Chris Sterry produces his own Newsletter at least on a monthly basis should you wish to receive this please email Chris on carervoice@gmail.com







How Carer Voice was Started

3 Family Carers of relatives with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism (Chris Sterry, Judith Gwynn and Kate Chapman) started working together with a PHd student (Rachael A Black) at the University of Sheffield (Department of Human Communication Sciences) using the framework of Co-production. This was initially to provide research for Rachael’s thesis required for her PHd, but also to have a meaningful outcome for LD Carers within Sheffield, UK

At the start of this co-production Rachael enquired through Sheffield Mencap & Gateway for carers of persons with Learning Disabilities to work with her on her PHd project. During the last 18 months we have had regular meetings at the University of Sheffield on how we would proceed with this project and what our initial outcomes would be. Initially through general discussions, which Rachael was recording, it became clear that the recurring situations was around carers communications with the range of Service Providers. Within the context of Service Providers it included Sheffield Adult Social Care through Sheffield City Council, various health providers ( being GPs, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Community Health, and many other health areas) together with the independent Care Providers including charities, voluntary and private independent providers.

So that we were not restricted around our own views we decided to create 2 surveys, 1 to be completed by LD carers reflecting on their interactions with Service Providers and the other survey to be completed by Service Providers reflecting on their interactions with LD Carers. The surveys were created on Survey Monkey and during their creation we had a number of meeting to discuss how these were to be formed, the number of questions to be included and the specific questions. When we were all satisfied with both surveys they went live on Survey Monkey and electronic links were disseminated through our various range of contacts within Sheffield, UK.

We also discussed how we wished to to use the information from these surveys in addition to the original outcome for Rachael’s thesis. and decided we would wish to do this in a form of a presentation. We looked at possible dates and venues and obtained costings and also viewed each venue and then using co-production decided which venue to book and how we would advertise the event and provide a means for LD Carers and Service Providers to book to attend the event, which we did through Eventbrite and agreed on a format for a flyer and a website (Carer Voice) and the event title being Carer Voice Working Together.

Working Together Event Presentation 2017


Carer Voice ‘Working Together’, The Presenters from left to right, Chris Sterry, Judith Gwynn, Rachael A Black and Kate Chapman
Carer Voice ‘Working Together’, Presenter Rachael A Black Stating the Principles of Co-production
Carer Voice ‘Working Together’ Carers and Service Providers working together
Carer Voice ‘Working Together’ Presenter Judith Gwynn answering questions at the end of the Presentation
Carer Voice ‘Working Together’ Presenter Kate Chapman answering questions

Carer Voice Final Notes

Thank you for coming today and now you have seen the presentation and been involved in the workshops in which carers and service providers have worked together. This is how it should be for we are all here for the same reason, to ensure vulnerable persons, be they be our relatives or not, have provision to ensure their needs are met and they can then led their own lives.

Communication is but one key, but an extremely important key and without it all that is there can fail.

With this in mind I facilitate a support group LD Carers Butty Group, also known as Central group or Butty Group, where there is also a website LD Carers Butty Group and a mailing/distribution list. There are other support groups and details of these can be obtained from the Carers Centre and from Cathy and Kirsty from Sheffield Mencap & Gateway (Sharing Caring Project).

If you wish to be included in the mailing/distribution list please advise your email address. While this was produced with carers in mind, it does not mean that service providers cannot be included. Information sent will include areas relating to disability both local and national as well as notes for the support meetings.

Lunch is now ready and there are some leaflets from a selection of providers please view and take away and continue to network throughout lunch.

Do not forget to put on a post it the message you are taking away from this event and an evaluation form will be emailed to you, please return with your comments.

Our thanks to

University of Sheffield, Department of Human Communication Sciences for funding the event

Sheffield Central Fire Station for the room

Healthwatch Sheffield for the pens

Carer Voice ‘Working Together’, Chris Sterry giving the closing statement


After the Carer Voice : Working Together event we sent the following email to everyone who attended the event and also to those persons who could not attend but did express an interest in the event.

“We just wanted to get in touch to give you an update on the work we are doing following the Working Together Event in October.

 As a group we have met once to go through the feedback and will be meeting again in December. Where we will start drafting some standards and guidelines for communication between family carers and providers of service based on the information you gave us.  

 In early 2018 we will email these to you for your feedback. If you would not like to receive these emails then please do let me know and I will remove your name form the mailing list.

 We are also planning to pull together a small working group in the New Year to ensure the standards are accessible and practical. If you would be interested in being in this group, please do let us know. It will consist of 2 to 3 meetings at the University of Sheffield.

 Please also find attached some information about care workers in the independent and charity sector and the flu vaccine which we hope will be of use to you.

If you would be interested in receiving a copy of the presentation we gave on the day please do get in touch and I will send this to you.

Many thanks

Rachael and Carer Voice”

Flu Vaccine for Care Workers

Supporting People with Learning Disabilities get Flu Injection


We have now met in December and have started drafting some standards and guidelines for communication between family carers and providers of services based on the information given to us during the Carer Voice : Working Together event.

The draft documents were produced.

So we could enage with service providers we held 3 meetings.

Intialy we met with  representatives of Sheffield Adult Social Carer and Sheffield City Council Commissioning who viewed the documents and made some comments regarding some minor alterations.

The second meeting was with some service care providers who also made some contructive comments.

The final meeting was with representatives of Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, who also welcomed the documents and wished to use these in conjunction the their ‘For Pete’s Sake’ campaign’ and offered us a 15 minute presentation slot in the Assistive Technology event on the 28 June 2018.

Chris gave the presentation at the event and it was very appreciated by the atendees.

The presentation can be viewed  here