Ahead of the Autumn Statement next week, we have been trying to show the Government how important social care is for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs.

We hope that in doing so we can persuade Chancellor Phillip Hammond to provide proper funding for social care.

There is no better person to talk about this than Tony, who is supported by United Response in Chesterfield. Tony is passionate about politics and, as a keen member of the Labour Party, he has grand ambitions to become the first MP with a learning disability.

How Tony became passionate about politics

For now, Tony volunteers for his local Labour Party group and at community lunch clubs – helping to serve lunch to isolated people in his community. He receives job coaching from United Response to support him in finding paid work suited to his interests and skills.

Tony’s interest in politics first developed when he met his local MP Toby Perkins. Toby knocked on Tony’s door while canvassing for the General Election, and Tony was more than happy to chat to him. Toby encouraged Tony to join the Labour Party and his passion for politics grew from there.

This year, Tony attended the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool with Martin, his support worker. He enjoyed shaking hands with MPs and networking with various organisations (as well as collecting a few freebies along the way!)

Tony’s trip to Parliament

Keen to build on Tony’s enthusiasm, we organised a trip to London for him and Martin, to meet Toby Perkins at his Parliamentary office and have a tour of the Houses of Parliament.


Tony used the opportunity to talk to Toby about career opportunities in politics for people with learning disabilities. With Toby’s support, he hopes to get more involved with his local council and speak out for people with learning disabilities at upcoming meetings.

Tony also talked to Toby about social care, showing him a video he made where he describes the excellent support he receives.

Watch Tony talking to Toby Perkins MP about social care:

Making a difference

As Tony said goodbye to Toby, they agreed to keep in touch about future political opportunities in Chesterfield.

Later that day, Toby Perkins spoke at an opposition day debate on social care in the House of Commons. He talked about how social care affects the lives of people with learning disabilities.

We were delighted to see that, through speaking to his MP, Tony had made his voice heard in a meaningful way.

Help us campaign for social care funding

At United Response, we’re continuing to campaign for proper funding for social care, to enable people like Tony to fulfil their dreams and ambitions.

If you would like to make your voice heard on social care, please get involved in our Postcards from the Edges campaign. Like Tony, you could make a video sharing your experience of social care to let the Government know how important it is.

We’re asking people to tweet their messages to Chancellor Philip Hammond @PHammondMP using the hashtag #TellPhil.

Please take a look at our Postcards from the Edges website to find out more and help us tell the Chancellor Philip Hammond to give social care the funding it deserves.

Visit Postcards from the Edges

Tweet a message to Philip Hammond