Campaigning for carers in Norfolk & the UK
Since 2002 we have been campaigning for carers in Norfolk and the UK to enable family home carers to have a better lifestyle.
Meeting with Norman Lamb The Care Minister, re our concerns about the loss of carer support workers in Norfolk which will begin on 1st August 2013.
Carer support workers provide help and support for carers in their own home, when the carer is unable to go to the surgery or join groups.
When a Carer support worker visits a carer at home and listens they provide an invaluable service which has proved to help keep a carer in good health, therefore saving the county money.
07 DEC 2010
TalkTalk Digital Heroes Award for the East of England.
Chloe supports local Norwich Hero at Parliamentary Awards Ceremony
Wendy Maxwell was awarded the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Award for the East of England. She has been awarded a £5,000 grant to put towards enhancing their digital project as well as free broadband from TalkTalk for 18 months. Ms Maxwell has said that she will use the grant to buy more equipment and reach out to more carers across the UK
Chloe Smith yesterday attended the TalkTalk Awards Ceremony in support of local Norwich charity Chill4Us, set up and run by Hellesdon resident Wendy Maxwell.
Commenting on the awards Chloe Smith said:
“I am delighted that the work of Wendy Maxwell has been recognised by a national business and that she has won this very prestigious award. Wendy has worked tirelessly and selflessly for as long as I have known her to run this fantastic website for the wider social good. “
26th Feb 2009, 4pm – 6pm.
Parliamentary Reception hosted by Barbara Keeley MP
to launch ‘Putting people first without putting carers second’
The Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Westminster, London.
This far-reaching report, co-authored by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Caring for Carers, will show how we can improve the care and support system to produce better outcomes for families, individuals and carers.
Dr Chris Michel, Dr Ian Gibson MP, Wendy Maxwell
3. 23rd October 2008
Stephen O’Brien MP The Shadow Minister for Health
Wendy Maxwell from Chill4Us Carers
Gordon Conochie has taken on the newly created role of policy and parliamentary officer at partner organisations Crossroads Caring for Carers and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers.
Trevor Ivory Conservative Candidate for North Norfolk
At our meeting in Westminster on 23rd October 2008 with Stephen O’Brien MP, The Shadow Minister of Health for the Conservative Party, he raised these topics.
Stephen O’Brien advised 4 key things Tories would do for carers (without giving details on how)
1. Planned & emergency respite provision would be made a priority
2. Promote flexible working options for carers
3. Carers should be assessed when the cared-for is and needs & situation of carer considered, this would give consideration to include help for fuel poverty.
4. NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) should consider the effects on carers when reviewing the cost-effectiveness of treatments or new drugs, and whether these should be available for free on the NHS.
Other commitments: creation of NHS Board and Healthwatch –first to manage second to monitor.
Other points discussed: Ring-fencing of Carers Grant. Stephen said Tories were tempted by ring-fencing but if does happen would be for other other issues before carers, and I doubt whether there will be any move to ring-fencing.
Discussed personalisation agenda and inclusion of carers in formation of individual budgets. He believes in holistic approach of social and health budgets being pooled.
Discussed issue of regular assessments for carers. Stephen actually likes idea of annual health checks but there are problems of having to tell insurance companies what is found increasing premiums meaning people wouldn’t want them.
Stephen said the Gp’s would have to spend some time in Care Homes as part of their training.
He feels strongly that carers needs should be assessed on NEED and they should not be told that there isn’t the money available.
2.Westminster trip highlights carers woes
Moira Goodey Manager of Norwich Mind. Moira came with us to meet Ivan Lewis MP and Norman Lamb MP.
Wendy, Moira Goodey Manager of Norwich Mind, Rach, Pam,
Philippa Russell Head of the Standing Commission on Carers. Ivan Lewis the Care Minister.
15 June 2008 17:00
A woman from Norfolk has been to Westminster to try and highlight the plight of a carer who was told she needed to go back to work just 10 days after her husband died.
Wendy Maxwell, who founded the carers’ website Chill4us in 2002, led a delegation of members of the site to meet MP Ivan Lewis, who is the government minister for care services.
Now North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb has taken up their cause and said he was appalled to hear of the case of a carer from Nuneaton who received a letter just 10 days after her husband died.
It referred to her “change of circumstances” and asked her to visit an office so they could discuss her return to work
Mr Lamb, who is also the Liberal Democrat spokesman on health, said: “It’s traumatic enough to lose someone but to then be told in a cold and clinical way that your allowance is coming to an end and you have to travel somewhere to talk about getting back to work is awful.
“That person suffered a lot of distress as well as anxiety of losing a financial concession.
“We are asking that in these circumstances there is some financial cushion following the death of their loved one, and some time lag so that they can help an individual get back on their feet.”
Mr Lamb said the feedback he had from carers, particularly during National Carers’ Week last week, was that more respite care was needed.
Mrs Maxwell, who is a carer herself, is now hoping to meet the shadow Conservative spokesman on health, so that the three main political parties are aware of the issues faced by carers.
She said: “I felt angry that this member of our website, who is from Nuneaton and does not want to be named, was sent this letter in January, just 10 days after her husband died. That’s why I wanted to speak to Ivan Lewis.
“I think carers should be listened to and valued. We were lucky to meet Mr Lewis and I think we made an impact. He normally speaks to carers en masse or to carers’ groups so he found it useful to meet a small group of carers themselves.”
The carers were accompanied by Moira Goodey, the manager of the carer support department at Norwich Mind, on their trip to quiz the minister on what he would do to provide more help for people in their position.
Mrs Goodey said: “Carers can become ill, severely depressed and stressed resulting from issues because of their caring role.
“There has been legislation to improve the rights of carers but that needs to be followed up with funding.
“I’d like to see some tax credit for carers, many of whom are not able to work full-time because of their caring roles and so are not eligible for tax credits.”
1.On 16th October 2007
Wendy spoke in the Houses of Parliament at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Carers.
Carers are in crisis and want actions to be taken urgently.
Here are some proposals.
Do away with the overlapping benefits rule
Carers allowance to be increased
More respite to be available and when it is arranged it is not cancelled at the last minute.
Free prescriptions and glasses for carers
A heating allowance for carers because they dread the cold weather and the subsequent bills.
Care in the community is suitable for majority of people but each case should be assessed individually to ensure each person is treated for their needs. Health professionals should not go by the cheap option.
Elderly citizens need care and respect but they don’t get it because they are classed as unprofitable. Yet they gave us the society we have today.
We need a realistic TV documentary to be shown to raise awareness, something like the Cathy Come Home programme shown many years ago.
Carers are the forgotten ones and yet as you all know they save the country £87billion each year. It may seem easy to say these words, but when you see the reality, I’m sure it would upset you as much as it does me. From the last census we can assume there are carers who have not been included in these statistics, the hidden carers of our society, because they do not think of themselves as carers.