Every year Carers continue to be ignored by subsequent governments and other authorities. Carer charities try and represent the interests of Carers but have in the eyes of many Carers have failed to really get the message across to those in power. This paper sets out an idea to really highlight in a new and bold way the real value of Carers in society, what this diverse group adds to the UK economy and the very fabric of what makes society hang together in a cohesive way. This campaign will dramatically bring home to ”Jo Public” and those in power that Carers should not be ignored, they should be cherished and looked after.
Why are Carers problems ignored and why are they taken advantage of by society?
· They are a diverse group with many different priorities and agendas.
· They do not go on strike because it would harm their Caree.
· Which means it is easy for them to be ignored due to a lack of economic / political power.
· They do what they do out of love or sense of duty for their Caree.
· They feel obliged by society and or peer pressure to care.
· Many are hidden away at home and do not shout about the fact they are a Carer.
· Some Care around the clock and are unable to leave home to demonstrate.
So how can we bring home to the nation what life would be like if we Carers were not here?
The idea is to conduct a “virtual” Carers strike for a week. Using student film makers to co-ordinate the story flow, and real Carers input to specially set up You Tube, Facebook, Twitter pages and the media. Create a partially interactive film documentary that highlights day to day how the fabric of UK society would break down without the daily interventions carried out by the nation’s 6 Million Carers. The 7 daily films would be in the format of various news stories documenting the growing chaos at our police stations, fire brigades, NHS Hospitals, nursing homes, care homes, social services, health authorities, coroners, funeral parlors etc. It would use statisticians / researchers to ramp up the projected death toll / serious injuries and cost to the UK plc.
For maximum impact permission needs to be gained for the film series to be shown in the houses of parliament, local shopping centres, GP’s surgeries, hospitals and other public places. Charity personnel and volunteers need to be available at these locations to explain the campaign, selling Strike packs with T-shirts (I AM A CARER, I AM ON VIRTUAL STRIKE or I SUPPORT THE CARERS’ VIRTUAL STRIKE) , window posters, and a leaflet explaining the action. Hopefully the national media would help as well.
Summary Report, Impact Statement.
Finally a report needs to be pulled together that details what would have happened if the strike had happened for real, mounting death toll, over stretched local resources, cost to the UK economy, hospital closures, over full care / nursing homes, detailing the story over the 7 days. This needs to be sent to all MP’s and members of the House of Lords with a list of Carer demands.
· The formation of a Carers bill of rights.
· The right to a fair remuneration for the work they perform.
· The right to have respite.
· The right to not have to work unsupported for 24 hours a day.
· The right to have a decent night’s sleep.
· The right to a supportive / flexible / individual centred medical system for themselves and their Caree.
· The right to have paid, decent quality care-workers sourced to help with caring.
· The right to opt out of caring so that one can work.
· The right and where with all to legally challenge Social Services / Health Authorities when they fail to provide adequate services.
· The right not to be bullied and harassed by authorities.
· The right to have their human rights preserved and protected.
· With the Carees permission, the right to be listened to by all regarding the health and well being of their Caree.
· The right to live in decent suitable housing.
· The right to have specialist skills learnt during caring nationally recognized in qualifications.
· The right to special entry requirements / funding for home based distance learning courses.
I could go on ….
I hereby submit this proposal to my readers as a start to get people thinking out of the usual boxes. As a 24/7 Carer myself I can not do this alone.
So finally I say LETS DO IT AND SOON……