Mirror, False Economy and Moore Lavan film on saving the Independent Living Fund
There's a story in the Mirror today about the film we've just made with the Mirror's Ros Wynne Jones and Moore Lavan films about Mary Laver and the fight disabled people have put up against the government's plan to close the Independent Living Fund (the ILF).
The fund is used by severely disabled people to pay for the extra care hours they need to live in their own homes and communities like everyone else. Without that funding, they face lives in carehomes, or stuck at home with inadequate levels of care. Earlier this month, the court of appeal quashed the government's decision to close the fund. But the government has not said what it will do next. Disabled people are very concerned that the government will simply re-run a consultion and try to close the fund again.
Mary let us film her for 24 hours - sometimes without her usual levels of care. She wanted to show people what care at this level looks like and also what sort of lives disabled people would have to live without that care. The film was shown at an emergency meeting of disabled people last night in the House of Commons and will be screened again in the House of Commons at the WowPetition meeting next Tuesday:
Mary Laver says:
"There is an emergency that is happening to disabled people in the UK right now.
Some of Britain’s most disabled people – including me – are facing losing our right to living independent lives.
The Independent Living Fund is a pot of money that helps disabled people who need the highest levels of support to do more than just exist. But David Cameron’s government has already closed the ILF to new applicants – and now he wants to stop it for the people who already receive it.
That will mean people like me will end up sitting alone looking out of the window for most of the day unable to even go to the toilet.
Until now, despite being severely disabled by rheumatoid arthritis and unable to walk or use my hands or arms, I’ve been able to live a fulfilling life. In 2012, I was an Olympic Gamesmaker volunteer and I carried the Olympic torch. Now, I will be imprisoned at home, and will even have to give up my beloved dogs Jack and Molly.
At 66 years old, severely disabled, and totally human and wheelchair dependent, I have found myself looking at the deep pond at the bottom of my garden, no longer wanting to live. My weight has dropped down from 9 stone to 6 stone.
But I didn’t want to just sit around feeling sorry for myself, so I asked campaigners to make a film about me.
It’s not just the ILF the whole of social care provision is in crisis. Sooner or later this will affect most of you if you become disabled or when you get older. Disabled people are also under attack from the Bedroom Tax, from the flawed Work Capability Assessment process and ATOS’ reviled tests, from the abolition of Disability Living Allowance,from cuts to council tax benefit and Benefit Caps.
We wonder what we’ve done to deserve it. We aren’t the ones who caused the banking crisis. But it seems as if we are the ones who are paying for it.
We wanted you to know what’s happening to disabled people under ‘Austerity’, because we thought if you did you’d want to campaign with us about it.
If you do, please write to your MP urgently, asking them to save the ILF. You can send them a letter at the House of Commons, or email them via theyworkforyou.com."
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