June  2019
Disabled Motoring UK’s Baywatch campaign measures the level of disabled parking abuse at supermarkets, by asking disabled motorists to survey their local supermarket car parks. The number of disabled bays is recorded and how many cars are parked in them without displaying a Blue Badge. The type of enforcement (if any) carried out by the parking operator responsible for the car park, and if it’s displayed will also be noted

The 2019 Campaign
Baywatch will take place in June and DMUK is asking as many people as possible to survey their local supermarket car park so they can get good data on the levels of Blue Badge parking abuse around the country. Copies of the survey forms can be requested from the DMUK office or you can visit their website and complete it online. www.disabledmotoring.org/news-and-features/news/post/487-baywatch-2019-

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson commented: “I often experience problems when trying to park at my local supermarket because Blue Badge parking bays are not enforced properly. There is a real lack of understanding about how essential these bays are to disabled people. This is a campaign that I fully support and I intend to survey my local supermarket car park in June to help DMUK obtain the data they need to take the supermarkets to task over their disabled bay parking policies.”  For more information contact DMUK.  Email info@disabledmotoring.org or Telephone 01508 489 449

An increasing number of motorists now have to pay for parking using various forms of digital technology. Motorists are required to input their vehicle’s registration number manually to ensure that the payment is attributed to the correct vehicle.

The IPC has launched a new campaign called ‘Get Your Reg Right’ to highlight how important it is that motorists make sure that they provide the correct information when they pay for a ticket.

While the responsibility ultimately lies with the motorist to ensure this information is accurate, there are other factors involved. The IPC also wants to use the campaign to encourage operators and local authorities to put processes in place to deal with minor typographical errors and persuade technology manufactures and service providers to design technology that is easier for motorists to use.

PAVEMENT PARKING INQUIRY - Edited from Disabled Motoring April 2019
On 2nd April 2019 the Transport Select Committee launched an inquiry into pavement parking. The purpose of the inquiry was to determine the size and nature of the issue and find a feasible solution to the problem.

Pavement parking is particularly problematic for wheelchair and scooter users, and visually impaired people because it can force them out on to the road and potentially into the path of oncoming traffic. Having parked cars on the pavements also causes problems for local authorities because they have to spend money repairing the damage that the vehicles cause given that pavements are not designed to take that much weight. Many campaigning groups have been working to abolish pavement parking in recent years but very little action has been taken by the government in response.

The Chair of the Transport Select Committee commented: “This is an area where some people’s actions cause real difficulties for others. Parking on pavements risks the safety of all groups of people from the littlest to the oldest, with differing needs. The consultation has now closed.

This year a number of local organisations are working together to help ‘get carers connected in Surrey’. Surrey County Council, Action for Carers Surrey, clinical commissioning groups, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Diocese of Guildford are the key partners using joint resources and channels to maximise and amplify communications to unidentified, and existing, carers to help them access information and support. 

However, support for this campaign is open to all local organisations who are encouraged to get involved. If you need any more information, would like to run your own event or need promotional material, please contact: elise.edmonds@surreycc.gov.uk

CPAG has published a new report that says information provided to claimants about their universal credit payment and how to challenge a decision is in some instances unlawful.

The report - Computer says No! - gives case studies and analysis to highlight problems with the information provided to people claiming Universal Credit (UC).  It focuses on two key areas:

•       the information provided to claimants about payment decisions; and

•       the information provided to claimants about their right to challenge decisions if they do not agree with them.

The government’s own survey of universal credit claimants found that nearly a quarter (23%) felt that the decision about their claim had either not been explained at all or had not been explained clearly.”

It is generally accepted (including by the DWP) that any statement made by a claimant to the DWP that s/he is unhappy with a decision (whether in writing or by phone) is a request for a mandatory reconsideration. However, the route to requesting a mandatory reconsideration is limited to telephone or by post. Leaving out the simplest and quickest method that a claimant can challenge a decision – by making an entry in the journal on her/his online account.

One case study highlighted by CPAG is of disabled mother who had deductions in her housing payments in error:

“A disabled mother and her adult child moved into a new property and claimed UC. The first payment was very low and the mother was so distressed about affordability that she contacted her social landlord about ending the tenancy. The UC statement was not clear to her that UC had not taken into account her eligibility for the limited capability for work element, nor that her housing costs element was being reduced by a non-dependant deduction.  This only became apparent when her welfare rights adviser investigated the matter.

Without the adviser’s expertise, she would not have been able to challenge the missing element or the non-dependant deduction (from which she was exempt because she receives a qualifying disability benefit).”

CPAG's new report Computer says no - stage one: information provision is available at www.cpag.org.uk .

You might have heard the phrase ‘invisible illness’. It means living with a condition or disability that has an impact on you every day but on the outside, you look fine. People with invisible illnesses suffer from pain, discomfort and embarrassment. But when they use facilities like disabled parking spaces, disabled spaces or priority seats, they face judgement because people don’t believe they are ill. ‘You Don’t Look Sick’ is the name of Metro’s series highlighting the issues around living with an invisible condition.

Mo Haque, 36, from London, has stage four bowel cancer, and has developed side effects from treatment including rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. He also uses an ileostomy bag after having surgery to remove part of his bowel.

Speaker and author of the book Choosing to Stay, Mo says that because he still looks well, he often faces judgement. He tells Metro.co.uk: ‘When I wait for a lift instead of takings the stairs, I sometimes get told “you should take the stairs at your age”. ‘If I need access to the accessible toilets to check my stoma, I’m sometimes shown the regular toilets. I do feel judged at times especially when I have to explain my reasons for accessibility.

He adds: ‘I marvel at what the medics can do. This allows me to live but does occasionally brings problems. ‘When the bag has leaked it causes a huge mess together with embarrassment and guilt.

My friends truly are amazing, they know my challenges and are mindful that I might cancel at any moment, even if we’re about to order food. MO has been told that he has Lynch Syndrome – a type of gene mutation that puts people at high risk of developing bowel cancer. Mo’s dad died of bowel cancer when he was a baby and it is believed Lynch Syndrome was inherited from him.  His research has shown that immunotherapy, a type of treatment not widely available on the NHS, can work in patients who are carriers of Lynch Syndrome. It makes the body’s immune system attack the cancer cells. He set out to raise £190,000 to have the treatment privately, which has been a success. He explains: ‘This has incredible seeing my tumours reduce and stabilise. But the immunotherapy has created some other side effects that are challenging for Mo.

The illness doesn’t stop me from going out although I need to do a lot more planning and I need to build in a lot of rest and recovery.

I find writing therapeutic and revisiting my story in my published book Choosing To Stay, was profoundly cathartic.’ Mo also speaks about his condition to raise awareness of Bowel Cancer, especially in younger people, and of Lynch Syndrome. As part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month (April), Mo took part in Bowel Cancer UK’s #thisisbowelcancer campaign by writing one word about himself on a piece of paper and sharing it on social media.

Surrey County Council has teamed up with charity Citizens Online to tackle digital exclusion as figures reveal that one in 10 residents lack at least one main online skill.  Around 133,000 people in Surrey can’t communicate, access content, complete a transaction, solve a problem or remain safe online, according to the Office for National Statistics.

To combat this, the charity has teamed up with Surrey County Council to support residents lacking digital skills.  It will roll out its award-winning “Switch” approach, which involves pinpointing where digitally excluded people live, analysing local digital inclusion schemes already operating, identifying gaps in provision and getting organisations – whether they are public services, voluntary groups or businesses – involved.

Switch is part funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and is also part of the One Digital programme developed with the likes of Age UK and Clarion Futures.

Any organisation – from public services to firms small and large – wanting to get involved can contact workwithus@citizensonline.org.uk.

Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for promoting digital inclusion Charlotte Morley said “Digital inclusion isn’t just about whether people can access the internet, it’s also about their ability to use it. This partnership is all about improving the digital skills of people of all ages so everyone can enjoy the benefits of modern technology, whether that’s enjoying Skype to stay in touch with families, booking appointments or using services – including the county council’s – at any time.”

Healthwatch Surrey is currently gathering experiences from people receiving paid-for care in their own home. They are especially interested in people who receive daily visits and people whose care is funded by Surrey County Council (SCC). They will use this information to make recommendations to help shape future services for everyone. Everyone they interview will receive a £30 thank you gift.

For more information contact Tessa Weaver on 01483 572790 or email research@healthwatchsurrey.co.uk 

Surrey Heartlands is working with Surrey Community Action to carry out research on the paid and unpaid health and care workforce in Surrey. The aim is to better understand the size and shape of this workforce so that they can work together across all sectors to offer better care to Surrey’s residents.

People living in Surrey and North East Hampshire can now access specialist mental health advice and support round the clock - with the launch of The Mental Health Crisis Helpline which is an NHS telephone service run by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Lines are manned by trained call handlers who support local residents who are concerned about themselves, or a friend or relative, in mental health crisis.

This Helpline is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be accessed completely free of charge thanks to a new freephone number: 0800 915 4644.

If you have hearing or speech difficulties you can access the helpline using the Next Generation Text Service by dialling 18001 0800 915 4644 from your text phone or Smartphone app.

For more information visit www.ngts.org.uk   

You can also Send a brief text message outlining your reason for getting in touch to 07717 989024 and you will receive an SMS text in response.

SURREY COMMUNITY ACTION is participating in Small Charity Week with two FREE events.
Tuesday 18 June - FREE Fundraising Surgery Astolat, Coniers Way, Guildford Surrey GU4 7HL.

One-to-one appointments are available with our Head of Communities and Development, Nick Bragger specialising in fundraising and project development to: 

•       help you identify relevant funding sources for your project or services; explore alternative funding and fundraising techniques and plan next steps for your fundraising.

Saturday 22 June - Setting up a CIO 9.30 - 12.30 Astolat, Coniers Way, Guildford Surrey GU4 7JY.

Have you formed a new group that you want to register as a charity?

Do you want to convert an existing charity into a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)?

Do you want to explore whether your charity’s trustees are protected from personal liability?

Do you want to modernise your Constitution?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘Yes’, then sign up for our FREE training on Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO) and find out what is right for you.

To find out more and to book visit www.surreyca.org.uk/small-charity-week/

ASHFORD ST PETER’S HOSPITAL TRUST - COMMUNITY DAY 6TH JULY 2019 – From Suzanne Rankin, Chief Executive
The Chairman Andy and I, as most of you will know, are keen to hold the first annual Community Open Day on Saturday 6th July from 10am-3pm at St Peter’s Hospital.

A chance to open our doors and welcome all generations of the community we care for - as well as Team ASPH families - to come together for a celebratory, fun, engaging and interactive day. As it’s our first one we are focusing on the St Peter’s site and once we have reflected on this event, we will plan for next year to hold it across all sites.

We want patients, families, carers, members, local education services, local businesses, stakeholders and partners to feel a part of the hospitals, as we all do. To truly engage, support and collaborate with the Trust on the extensive and exciting ASPH Transformation Programme, improvement projects and development plans for the organisation - including challenges we may face over the coming year and beyond.

It’s a real opportunity to showcase the hospitals as never before - the excellent services, the scope and range of care and treatments we provide, the facilities and innovations striving towards giving patients the very best personalised care and achieving the Together we Care vision. It will also be a great opportunity to promote working here, training and education, research, fundraising, membership, working with our partners and more! We know that these types of events are hugely successful as other London Trusts hold similar annual days.

The Communications Team along with other colleagues from across the Trust have been meeting since the New Year and planning is underway with lots of ideas for talks, tours, interactive demonstrations, stands and activities all highlighting the amazing work we do at ASPH!

Plus, a fun element with food, drink, games and entertainment including inviting colleagues from the Police, Fire Brigade, SECAmb and our system partners to talk about the work we are undertaking with them.

Obviously, we will still be providing care on that day and have robust plans in place so as to not interfere with business as usual.

In the meantime, please pop the date in your diaries, I know we can all come together to make this a very special day - personally I can’t wait!

TESCOS 'BAGS of HELP' SCHEME - SCAN's Application for Funding
A Huge THANK YOU, to everyone who voted at either Tesco Express, Church Road, Ashford, and/or Tesco Superstore, Town Lane in support of SCAN’s application for funds for paper copies of this newsletter.