In November 2016, Rebecca Evans announced that the Welsh Independent Living Grant would be closing and the funds to provide care and support for former ILF recipients would be transferred to local authorities.
Using an analogy from the world of football, this was akin to finding herself with the ball at her feet in front of an empty net. She seemed certain to rob disabled people with high care and support needs of the assistance and understanding they need to live independent lives. An irresponsible Welsh Labour Government were about to hammer down another nail in the coffin of disability rights. With her statement – that can be seen here – she had powered the ball forward with the goalkeeper and defenders merely watching on helpless..
However, after spending much of the game meandering in midfield – gripped by the belief that Welsh Labour were on my side and posed no threat to my vulnerable team-mates – I spotted the threat and managed to barge my way in to the penalty area and make an amazing goal-line clearance. The ball was still in play as the #SaveWILG campaign was launched and quickly gathered momentum.
I managed to get the ball under control and with the help of some amazing comrades, and began to dribble up the field whilst playing some delightful one-twos. I have skipped a number of two-footed challenges, and kept on my feet despite repeated attempts to bring me down.
We managed a major surge up-field,at the Welsh Labour Conference in April 2018 where we inflicted the heaviest ever defeat on the Party, as Unions and members all agreed that Welsh Labour should not turn their backs on disabled people by carrying on with this neo-liberal policy.
As we poured on the pressure, there was some good news from the sidelines with the resignation of Carwyn Jones as First Minister, which eventually led to the appointment of Mark Drakeford and the subsequent sacking of Huw Irranca-Davies as Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care. Julie Morgan took over responsibility for WILG as Deputy Health Minister, and suddenly our opponents became less threatening, and more understanding.
The ball is still bobbling about in the opposition goal-mouth, helped by cross-party support and encouragement from a whole host of MPs – including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell – AMs and celebrities such as film director Ken Loach. What we need now is for someone to get the ball under control amidst all the Brexit shenanigans, and drive it home.
This is a crucial period of the game, with less than ninety days left before WILG ceases to exist, but there’s still time to contribute to the winning goal. Basically, I don’t care who scores the goal as long as we can manage to #SaveWILG. So, I am asking for your help in a number of ways as we search for a last-minute winner.
WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP
If you feel that you could help raise awareness of the WILG campaign via social media,please visit this post to find out more.
Contact your AM:
Write to Local and National Newspapers:
Please use the following template letter as a guide when writing to the local or national press. You can also use this short letter in an email to your AM. Feel free to use articles written on this blog to form your own personal paragraphs and make this message unique to yourselves.
This is a crucial time for the future of Social Care in Wales. On March 31st 2019 the Welsh Government plan to close the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) and transfer funding to Local Authorities. These funds will not be ring-fenced and Councils across Wales are already threatening substantial cuts to the care and support services that recipients need to function as a part of local communities.
#SaveWILG campaigners are call1e11ee1ing on the Welsh Government to reconsider the decision to end WILG and fully explore the alternative options available. In the meantime recipients, their families and Welsh Labour party members – who voted overwhelmingly for a motion to #SaveWILG at the Welsh Labour conference in April 2018.
The campaign to #SaveWILG has won Cross-Party support, two motions have been passed and a number of MPs and AMs have lent their support – including Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. We have also had the backing of Unions, Disability Labour, the United Nations and celebrities such as film director Ken Loach who all agree that the Freedom of Information work that has been done provides glaring evidence that disabled people with high support needs require, and are entitled to, third party support from an independent body.
Pose for a Postcard Photo:
In need of your support…
Take part in our postcard campaign in a number of ways. We would like to encourage people to print the card image below/contact me for a card and pose for a photo while holding a card to show your support and help raise awareness of our campaign. You can share it on Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat or Instagram using #SaveWILG.
Feel free to tag yourself in any image you appear in. You may also share the album and encourage others to take part.
If anyone knows any celebrities that can help boost awareness then please alert me.
Buy a Badge:
Save WILG button badges – Only £1
Wear one with pride to help raise awareness and raise much-needed funds to propel the campaign forward. Contact me to make a purchase and I will make sure the badge gets to you quickly and safely. You can choose from two designs or buy them both to help provide a boost to our campaign budget.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped us carry the campaign so far. It really does mean a lot to have such great support from all corners of the UK and beyond.