As a leading disability charity in the North West, we work tirelessly towards a brighter future for all. And to build communities where everyone feels valued and can thrive.
The people we support tell us that they face daily discrimination, hardship and barriers. And the impact of harsh austerity measures roll on. Things must change.
Every day, we listen and learn from the people we support so we can work together for change. Join us.
We champion the rights, needs and ambitions of the people we support - they are at the heart of everything we do. We stand by them and we work together for change.
Where we stand
Care experienced people deserve the best possible life chances. But they tell us they continue to feel stigmatised and alienated from society. We're committed to challenging stereotypes and shattering misconceptions. Until communities value and support care leavers as they should.
We're also seeking a full scale review of the care system. And we join 400 people with personal or professional experience of the care system in this call. Together we want to see long-term support in place. Starting from someone's initial transition from the care system into independence. We also want the age of care leavers moving into independent accommodation raised to 25. And appropriate ongoing support offered throughout someone's life, so they can truly thrive.
Children and young people’s mental health
The government’s prioritisation of children and young people’s mental health is a step in the right direction. But the investment doesn't go far enough.
Support services continue to be cut. CHAMS and the NHS strain under the weight of referrals. And young people are not getting the help they need. Early intervention is critical so young people can build resilience and get the right support to manage their mental health.
We're campaigning for critical early intervention services. So that young people can build resilience and get the right support to manage their mental health.
Children in care
The North West has some of the highest levels of looked-after children in the country. Unless we invest in early intervention and robust support for families in crisis, these numbers will increase.
Public perception of young people in care needs to change. We're working towards removing the stigma and barriers that looked-after children face. We want to see the care system transformed, with love at the heart and care-experience people making decisions.
Employment and lack of opportunities for people with disabilities
Employment can present real barriers for the people we support. Putting them at risk of poverty, marginalisation and lower quality of life.
Despite government initiatives, disabled people are still less likely to find employment than their non-disabled peers. Disabled people can also face workplace discrimination, lack of support and unequal pay. There needs to be a change in attitude.
So, we're calling for the government to take further action now. And to ensure that disabled people have the same rights as non-disabled people to access a secure, fair workplace.
The transition from children’s to adult services can be challenging and upsetting for young people and their families. Changes to education, health and care plans (EHC plans) should mean that there is no hard transition to adult services. But families are reporting that this isn’t the case.
We want to see the appropriate support agreed years in advance. As well as support for children and young people to say what changes they would like to make to their plans. Everyone should have a voice in their care and the outcomes they want to achieve
People with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their families
People who have profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) are among the most vulnerable in our society. Yet their needs and rights are frequently neglected.
One of the greatest barriers faced by people who have PMLD is the negative attitudes of others. These judgements can prevent people receiving more innovative forms of support or healthcare. Simply because someone else doesn't feel they will benefit, or that the costs are too high.
Such judgements show a failure to understand the contribution every individual makes to the lives of those around them. We want to make sure people with PMLD are fully included in society. And to make sure they have the same human rights as everyone.
Despite the reform of the SEND system, parents continue to face unnecessary battles. The system is complex. And there is little guidance or support for desperate and vulnerable families.
As parents fight for the support their children need, local authorities continue to spend vital funds on needless tribunals. These decisions place unnecessary strain on families mentally and emotionally and on local authorities financially. We want to see the person-centred system that was promised in action, and the voice of families and their children respected.
Our campaigning history
For 150 years we’ve been working tirelessly to champion the voices of the people we support. And over the last decade, we’ve continued to campaign for positive change in our local and national communities.
We called on the government to rethink the care system as part of The Care Inquiry
We contributed to the Department for Education discussions on planned special educational need (SEN) reforms
We contributed to the Staying Put report. Worked in partnership with Mencap on the Hear my Voice project. And took part in a project called Passport to Parliament, in partnership with Who Cares?
We were invited to contribute to the government’s review of children’s residential services
We joined the Disabled Children’s Partnership as a supporter of the group
- We declared our support for the Department of Education’s care leavers covenant.
- We also joined VODG – the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group.
- And, as part of the National Children’s Bureau coalition, we called for the government to put children at the heart of its spending
- We called for a reform of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) bill as part of a VODG coalition. And we also signed VODG’s open letter to call on the Joint Committee on Human Rights to question the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in parliament
- On the 30th anniversary we joined Article 39 and key figures across the sector to call on in the Government to incorporate the Conventions of the Right of the Child into UK law
We stand together
Everything we do is in collaboration with the people we support. Alongside our dedicated team of staff and volunteers. But we also partner with like-minded organisations at a national level to share practice and campaign for change. Because together we a brighter future for all.