Tuesday, 7 April 2015

March of Shame : Thursday 9 April 2015 - start at 10.30am House of Commons to Chingford

March of Shame by Mary Laver
Thursday 9  April 2015 - start at 10.30am
House of Commons to Chingford 
[via Tottenham - Wards Corner, 2pm (ish)]

[Note: Various campaign and support groups will be cheering her on the way and offering support (it's quite a feat for someone in poor health). She aims to reach Wards Corner by 2pm and local organisations aim to give her a warm Tottenham welcome.]

Thursday 9 April 2015 will mark the 61st birthday of Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP. I, Mary Laver from the great North East, hopes that he likes the very special birthday card I am going to deliver to him on his special day.  

Iain, I hope that he does not mind me calling him Iain, is about to make his mark on my life. He is going to imprison me in my own home for the rest of my life without a parole or right to appeal.  My crime? The crime that I have committed is becoming a disabled person.  Not only am I disabled, but I am severely disabled with a mandatory life sentence.

To mark Iain’s 61st birthday I came up with the idea, while I am physically able, and before age and my condition will, over the coming years, take their toll.  While I have the care support team to look after me, I am going to drive my NHS power chair the House of Commons to Iain’s party office in Chingford, London, a mere 14 miles, to deliver his birthday card in person. I do not want to trust anyone else with such an important gift.  This will probably be my last long journey, and I have done a few journeys in my power chair, starting with the longest, Lands End to John o’Groats making it into the Guinness Book of Records; to the shortest carrying the Olympic Torch down Newbiggin Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. I could add being a Games Maker.

When, way back 26 years ago, I was only receiving 2 – yes 2 hours of care per day – even though I was bed dependent (I hate the term bed bound as I am not tied to my bed) I was told by my social worker that there was money to enable disabled people, like myself, to receive extra social care above what the local authority was providing. It was called ‘The Independent Living Fund’ (ILF). 

Back to why I am going to drive my power chair 14 miles, at the age of 67, and severely  disabled, dependent on my support team, to deliver a birthday card personally to the man who is going to be responsible for imprisoning me in my home. 

There are 18,000, give or take a few, ILF users who are going to lose on the 30 June 2015, the funding to live an independent life, a life that non-disabled people accept as normal. The ILF stands for, Independent Living Fund, that is what the it gives us, our independence to enable us to live our life as we see fit. 

We have been told that the ILF is out of date and that local authorities are going to take over the responsibility of supplying and paying for social care.  Councils have faced massive cuts in their budgets from central government and there is no doubt that social care will be hit hard again as it has been in the past. All facts and figures to them, to me and 18,000 other ILF users, those fact and figures are counted in human terms, simply the quality of our lives.

If you see me on my journey to deliver (the jokingly called) Rt. Hon Iain Duncan Smith his birthday card please stop and say hi, take one of the many leaflets that will be given out along the route. If you feel you can or want to support us email me atmary.laver.e2e@gmail.com  and of course toot/honk your horn.

My message to all political parties is that it is not too late to save the ILF.  Be true to yourself and stop the cruelest cut of all, cutting the Independent Living Fund, the ILF.    

Mary Laver

Publicised by Disabled People Against Cuts

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