On Thursday 12th January, United Response was proud to host the minister for community health and care, David Mowat, at one of our residential services in London.

The minister, who is responsible for social care, met people we support to see for himself what good community-based support for people with learning disabilities looks like.

Mr Mowat chatted to four people we support about how the care they receive from United Response enables them to live full lives within the local community.

Brian, Rachel, Heidi and Coral all have learning disabilities and require various levels of support to live active, meaningful lives in their community. They all enjoyed meeting Mr Mowat, giving him a tour of their house and chatting to him about their hobbies and interests. Brian, an AFC Wimbledon fan, took the opportunity to defend his local team and jibe the minister for supporting Manchester United. 

The Care Minister also spoke to senior staff to learn about the day-to-day challenges they face in delivering quality support and care. He thanked them for their valuable work, which allows people to live happily in their community.

Mr Mowat said:

"It was a pleasure to meet experts working at United Response and the people they support. I commend them for their commitment to providing high quality social care, which is truly transforming the lives of people with learning disabilities by helping them to live more independently".

David Mowat MP enjoying a cup of tea with Brian, Rachel Heidi, Coral,
United Response support staff and CEO Tim Cooper

Call for a long-term sustainable solution for social care

United Response’s policy and campaigns team has been working for some time to raise awareness about shortfalls in funding for learning disability support from local authorities struggling to pay for social care. The individuals the care minister met are a good representation of some of the thousands of people we are able to support across the country.

Social care isn’t an abstract concept, it’s the way in which hundreds of thousands of people are able to live happy, dignified and independent lives. Without it, disabled people cannot live their lives to the full, and society as a whole is diminished.

We are grateful to the care minister for the time he took to visit some of the people we support and find out more about their lives.

Earlier this month, the heads of three Commons committees added their voices to numerous other well respected stakeholders and decision makers who have urged the prime minister to find a "political consensus" on funding social care in England before 2020. United Response continues to work with Government and Shadow Ministers, as well as politicians from all sides of the political divide, asking them to work together to find long-term solutions and sustainable funding for social care going forward.

Watch our video: This is what good social care looks like

A ‘shared society’

Earlier in the week, it was encouraging to see Theresa May calling for a ‘shared society’ as, “one that doesn’t just value our individual rights but focuses rather more on the responsibilities we have to one another”. United Response hopes that this might also signal some movement towards ensuring sustainable care for some of the most vulnerable people in the UK.

How you can help us campaign

Over the past few months, United Response has been encouraging people to share their view of what good social care is through its Postcards from the Edges campaign.  If you or someone you know would like to share a message on social care, please create a postcard on our dedicated website.

Visit our Postcards from the Edges website

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