Join us on the Citizen Chat Podcast as Ashleigh sits down with Sarah Lilly from Cerebral Palsy Midlands to discuss the unique and inspiring journey of growing up as a young carer for her sister. From the daily challenges her family faced to the impact it has had on her professional career, Sarah shares valuable insights and experiences that will leave you feeling moved and motivated.

Watch Here:

As a voice for learning disability as we approach the 2019 General Election we are asking politicians, irrelevant of their political beliefs, to prioritise and address the following ten issues during the lifetime of the next Parliament:

• To urgently publish a comprehensive, progressive and sustainable set of proposals to deliver a world class social care offer to all citizens, irrelevant of age, who require its support

• To commit to funding this offer and enter into a conversation with all of us as to how this will be paid for, even if this requires additional, fairly applied taxation

• To broaden the public conversation about what social care is so that it’s not simply polarised around supporting an ageing population

• That the next parliament will commit to ending, once and for all, the national shame of the incarceration and detention of vulnerable citizens simply because they have a learning disability or autism

• That the next parliament will commit to addressing the discriminatory health inequalities faced by people with a learning disability, that leads to shortened lives and unnecessary deaths

• That the next parliament will work to ensure that disability hate crime is given the same credence and scrutiny as other forms of discrimination and hate as defined by the Equality Act 2010

• That the next parliament will work with people with a learning disability and devise a fully funded national pathway to employment that also ensures all employers are reporting on the recruitment and retention of disabled employees

• That the next parliament recognises family carers as the nations key strategic workforce and delivers a framework of fully funded support that recognises and rewards the commitment of caring

• That the next parliament commits to funding and reforming a regulatory body that retains public confidence and ensures that all housing, care and support provision available is safe, delivered to promote a lifestyle of choice, and that the citizen’s voice is central to its delivery

• That the next Government commits that the post holders to the portfolios of Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health is the same person for the lifetime of parliament

Friday 14th of this month it was Midland Mencaps 70th birthday to celebrate it was a party at the town hall with dance and bands and choirs. I was asked to be the host for the event and without hesitation I said yes, as it would be a really great evening of entertainment and celebration. I also felt really privileged that they trusted me with doing the role as it was in front of 500 people! Sometimes I do panic under pressure but because I can improvise due to my past acting skills it flowed really well.

I didn’t want to let anyone down and considering when I got there and given a script a few hours before to help I felt butterflies in my stomach as I did the walk on to where I would be going on the night and what colour my microphone was. The building was really beautiful and I was looked after by Chris Proctor and all the other staff who made me feel really at ease at the job I was going to do when the show started. It was a really good night I am so proud and glad I did it.

Being with everyone, dancing with all my friends plus all in Midland Mencap they are all my family. Talking to Geared about are ongoing rivalry, sitting on the stage with the acts gave me a huge buzz as I was able to really soak in what was a really good night to celebrate Midland Mencap. Who knows maybe I’ll get to host another event as it was a moment I’ll treasure.

I do wear my heart on my sleeve only because I want to show that whatever you want to go for you can do it.

You can see all the pictures from the Birmingham Big Noise here

Tom Kirby – Midland Mencap Ambassador

Here at Midland Mencap we are always looking to increase participation in physical activity! The SEDY (Sport Empowers Disabled Youth) project is an EU Erasmus+ funded project that aims to contribute to increased physical activity of children with SEND, through a better matching of the demand and the supply of sport/hobbies. Take a look at the survey below;