The Family Carers team continue with their delivery of virtual sessions, wellbeing calls, Statutory Carers Assessments and 1:1 work with carers. The GOLDD service also continues to support carers who care for individuals with Learning Disabilities and Dementia.
The GOLDD service is a unique service to Midland Mencap where carers can be supported in various ways to suit them. Lara who runs the GOLDD service is currently providing regular wellbeing calls, carrying out Statutory Carers Assessment to identify any unmet needs, hosting virtual support groups on Zoom and sending out activity packs, which have been a huge success. There are lots of plans for the GOLDD service when we return face to face including: Horse Therapy, Sailing lessons and singing groups. Although we may not be face to face yet, you can still contact Lara to be registered with the service and receive the virtual benefits if needed. You contact Lara on: 07912268248 or email email@example.com
Parent Carer Workshops:
The Parent Carer Workshops are a 3 week course for Parent Carers to identify unmet needs to their wellbeing and learn coping strategies on a day to day basis to improve and meet these needs. In the sessions you will cover confidence and self-esteem, stress management techniques, self-care practises and much more. We have 3 of these courses running to ensure we offer different days and times of the week to suit as many carers as possible. These sessions are delivered via Zoom, if you would like more information or to book onto the sessions you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1:1 Casework with a Family Project Worker:
Although we have lots of group sessions available for carers, some may feel they need more in-depth support and referrals to external organisations. With casework, you will be allocated a Family Project Worker who will complete either a wellbeing assessment or Statutory Carers Assessment, from the assessment, the FPW will then identify where referrals need to be put in to meet any identified unmet needs. This may include referrals to Social Services, counselling services, or any service the FPW feels appropriate. You will work with the FPW for anything up to around 15 weeks. Once all referrals have been completed, your case can be closed but we will continue supporting you through wellbeing calls, group activities or support groups. To receive 1:1 casework, please email: email@example.com
The Family Carers Team are currently completing regular wellbeing calls to carers, hosting fortnightly Coffee Mornings and Wednesday Wisdom groups on Zoom. We are also going to be delivering the Carers Wellbeing Workshops again with dates being released very soon.
For any further information regarding how the FCT can support you, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Packed lunches will be available from Weoley Castle Community Centre, Bottetourt Rd, Birmingham, B29 5TE! (Sat nav: B29 5RX) #ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY
Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm!
Call us on 0121 427 6404! pic.twitter.com/DzDzsxaYPP
— Midland Mencap (@MidlandMencapUK) October 26, 2020
Midland Mencap are offering free packed lunches For children who need them through October Half Term in the Weoley Castle (Birmingham) Area.
Drop in at ‘Weoley Castle Community Centre Bottetourt Rd, Birmingham, B29 5TE! (Sat nav: B29 5RX)
Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm!
All we ask is that you only use this support if you truly need it and respect social distancing measures
STAFF ADVERSE WEATHER UPDATE:
The adverse weather means that travelling will once again be difficult. Most main routes, including bus routes are now clear so for tomorrow the following applies:
• We will again operate our offices & hubs as normal, so if you are OFFICE BASED and it safe for you to do so please attend for work. However, if it is not safe to drive, use public transport or walk to work please advise your line manager of alternative working arrangements or requests for emergency annual leave
• Office based staff can work from any of our sites at Alcester Road, The Enterprise Hub or The Walsall Hub which will be open as normal
• Colleagues from Housing with Care & Support will be advised of arrangements via their line manager to ensure they and vulnerable citizens are fully supported
• Non-housing care & Support staff can also volunteer to support colleagues in our care & support services who may have been in situ all weekend or short staffed as a consequence of the weather. If you feel you could go on emergency stand-by please e-mail Chris.Haines@midlandmencap.org.uk or David.Bird@midlandmencap.org.uk directly
I would once again like to take this opportunity to thank all of our care & support staff who have either stayed at work, walked to work or have been on-call to ensure all vulnerable citizens have been kept safe over this exceptionally challenging weekend. Every single citizen received the care and support they would get under normal circumstances!
Travel safely and please ensure you advise your line manager of your whereabouts and arrangements for Tuesday
Midland Mencaps response to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s recent statement to the Treasury Select Committee. Hammond was answering a question about the cause of poor productivity in the economy. He disgracefully implied that the UK’s poor productivity levels were the result of disabled people in the workforce.
Hammond said ‘It is almost certainly the case that by increasing participation in the workforce, including higher participation by marginal groups and very high levels of engagement in the workforce, for example disabled people – something we should be extremely proud of – may have had an impact on overall productivity measurements.’
Chief Executive of Midland Mencap, Dave Rogers said:
‘This is an unbelievable and exceptionally derogatory comment from the Chancellor. It’s an overt insult to individuals who work hard and make a significant contribution in the workplace. Disabled workers face many barriers to gaining and sustaining work and to suggest this, for which there’s no evidence at all, risks perpetuating the view of employers that it is not worth employing disabled people because they will impact on work place performance. The Chancellor should issue a full apology and withdraw the comments without reservation. It once again brings into question the Governments policy and moral commitment to disabled citizens.
Today is International Volunteer Day, at Midland Mencap we place great value on the contribution of our 113 volunteers who make a massive difference to vulnerable citizens. Last month alone they contributed nearly 650 hours of their time to support the delivery of a wide range of services across Birmingham and Walsall. Here are some impressive facts about how diverse and inclusive volunteering is at Midland Mencap:
• 20% of our volunteers are from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic communities
• 26% of our volunteers have some form of disability or impairment
• In terms of gender, 36% of our volunteers are male and 64% are female
• The majority of our volunteers (56%) are under the age of 30 (the age ranges are as follows: 16-19 = 11%; 20-29 = 45%; 30-39 = 11%; 40-49 = 14%; 50+ = 19%)
• Only 12% of our volunteers appear to fit the definition of the ‘civic core’ (white, middle-aged, highly resourced and educated)
• In terms of higher education levels, 33% of our volunteers are currently students
• With regards to socio-economic levels, 14% of our volunteers live in neighbourhoods that fall within the most deprived 10% of areas in England, 31% live in neighbourhoods that fall within the most deprived 20% of areas in England, and over half (54%) live in neighbourhoods that fall within the most deprived 40% of areas in England
If you would like to volunteer at Midland Mencap you can find all of our amazing opportunities here
Midland Mencap launches new app
We are always looking for ways to make getting involved with Midland Mencap as easy as possible. This is why we are very pleased to be introducing ‘Midland Mencap – on the Go’ our brand new online booking system which will give people more control over the sessions and activities that they or their family may wish to access.
The quick and easy app, which can be accessed via your smartphone, tablet, computer and the Midland Mencap website will make it easier to book and pay for sessions, meaning you have more time for other things!
As well as booking and paying for sessions the app will also keep you updated on all things Midland Mencap and will support you to browse all the other amazing services we have to offer.
The Children & Young People team will be trialling the app to begin with but very soon you’ll be able to book many more services and activities including community activities, carer support programmes, training opportunities and our gardening service to name just a few.
Please feel free to contact Gemma Weston on 0121 245 1500 if you have any questions.
You can download the app here:
Midland Mencap Response to How Budget Cuts Will Affect Services in Birmingham
Last Tuesday BCC confirmed its budget for 2017/18. As you may know Midland Mencap has been extremely active in the #saveoursupport campaign arguing there should be no cuts to vital support services to vulnerable citizens. Though the Council say they listened to the campaign they still voted through £5m of cuts to the Supporting People programme and Third Sector grant funded services. In 2017/18 they need to cut £3.2m from these budgets with the remaining £1.8m the following year.
Last Friday we were informed by the Council as to how these cuts will be applied. As of 30th September 2017 all Third Sector Grant funded services in Birmingham will be decommissioned. The Council have said these are non-statutory services and therefore they are not legally obliged to fund them. This will ‘save’ the Council £2.4m per annum. The remaining cuts in 2017/18 are expected to be a combination of efficiency savings, claw-back of under utilised SP grant, savings from non-commissioned services & some further decommissioning. Starting on Friday 10th March the Council will commence a 60 day consultation which we, and the #saveoursupport campaign, will actively contribute to. We would urge all those affected by the cuts to complete the consultation which will be on the Council’s website on the Be Heard page, the Council need to hear how these cuts will affect individuals and family careers.
We want to reassure everyone who uses a Midland Mencap service that though this is a devastating decision for vulnerable people in Birmingham we have been working on our plans in anticipation of this decision. All of our existing services will continue to run as they are for now as we look at different ways of ensuring people retain access to vital support.
We will keep everyone updated over the coming months about services, where they are, and how you can use them. Keep in touch with our Facebook page and website, midlandmencap.org.uk, for all the details
Dispatches, Under lock and Key:
Following last nights screening of Under Lock and Key we think it’s very important to say things can be different. We absolutely believe that person and family centred approaches to housing, care and support can deliver high quality local outcomes that mean individuals do not need to be in hospitals, alone and separated from their family. We will continue to pursue with commissioners from both the NHS and Social Care opportunities to devise and deliver, in partnership with families, better outcomes for everyone. Millions of pounds per annum could be reinvested in this approach that would offer the individual dignity and choice and save stressed statutory budgets a small fortune over years to come.
We’re exceptionally disappointed at Midland Mencap by this article and the absurd suggestion that having a learning disability, often with associated additional sensory or health issues, may be no longer evidence that an individual has a recognised disability with regard to welfare benefit support. We will continue to campaign vigorously to resist this nonsense as it achieves nothing but promote anti-disability sentiment, social isolation and social exclusion. Please join us in challenging the sheer cruelty of austerity and its impacts on our most vulnerable citizens
As Birmingham City Council meet to finalise the budget, which contains £5m of cuts to vital housing support services to the city’s most vulnerable citizens, the #SaveOurSupport campaign will be out in force supporting St. Basil’s in an awareness raising Flash Mob in Birmingham City centre at 12pm on Monday 27th February. Why not join us at the Flash Mob to once again say to Birmingham City Council with one voice NO to cuts to vital support services in Birmingham. All the details are in the press release below.
Flash mob to take to the streets of Birmingham to highlight fears for a homeless future
Midland Mencap will take seat with partner organisations on Monday 27th February at 12pm in support of a flash mob stunt, created by St Basils, to raise awareness for the Save Our Support campaign.
The stunt will see more than 900 Save Our Support protestors gather in Victoria Square with a blanket for a sit down protest, to demonstrate to the council the sights that will become all too familiar should the planned cuts go ahead.
The proposed cuts means the potential loss of 450 bed spaces in Birmingham for people at risk of homelessness and the likelihood that over 2000 vulnerable people will not receive essential help to keep them in a home. The Save Our Support campaigners are hoping that the flash mob will send a clear message to the council of the devastation the cuts will provoke.
Midland Mencap Chief Executive Officer Dave Rogers comments: “We continue to recognise the Council’s financial position and though the proposed reduction in cuts is welcome no-one should be left in any doubt that this will not avert a crisis for vulnerable citizens now faced with losing vital support. We urge the Council to re-think the cuts to Supporting People and utilise reserves to retain all services whilst working with the sector on future solutions”
Birmingham’s Third Sector Save Our Support Coalition, which includes Midland Mencap, Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, BID, Birmingham Crisis, Birmingham Mind, Birmingham Rathbone, St Basils, YMCA, BVSC and Midland Heart, stated in an open letter to Theresa May on 16th January that it was likely that more vulnerable people would die as a direct result of the proposed budget cuts to housing support and prevention services, with the cuts sure to trigger a surge in the number of people forced to sleep on the streets, piling more pressure on hard-pressed NHS and social care services.
Initial cuts to the Supporting People budget proposed a £10 million reduction in funding. This has since been halved to £5 million, despite Birmingham City Council completely withdrawing cuts to Birmingham Museums Trust and all planned threats to the future of park rangers.
The Save Our Support campaign has gathered increasing amounts of support over the past two months, with over 1,000 people in combined attendance at previous events on 16th January and 14th February, nearly 1,800 signatures on the change.org petition, and involvement from not only a wide range of charities, but also student groups and trade unions.
For those wanting to get involved with the Save Our Support flash mob, supporters will sit together with a blanket at Victoria Square on Monday 27th February at 12pm.
For more information on the event please visit http://www.stbasils.org.uk/news-resources/news/thanks-to-supporters-who-attended-lobby-to-saveoursupport-please-join-us-on-27th-feb-too-for-one-final-push/#sthash.G8ahtt56.dpuf
For further information on Midland Mencap please visit midlandmencap.org.uk and show support for the campaign across social media using the #SaveOurSupport
To sign the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/birmingham-city-council-say-no-to-proposed-cuts-for-vital-funds-for-vulnerable-people