WADING THROUGH THE SEA OF HELP (Part 2 – SCOPE)

Well there is a tidal wave of responses …

..well just two..out of about thirty, lol!

Anyway one I approached before was Scope.

I mean it does not matter to me if they are a charity … or claim to be anything else. There are dozens of these organisations out there all being funded somehow via the British Taxpayer or some quirky and suspect donations system, what IDIOTS donate to these organisations that do nothing?

Or do said organisations just lie or give a false impression out about what they do?

In the email response below you will note that, despite me only asking where I could get help to get funding to help towards something I have spent a small fortune and three and a half years of my life on along with helping other victims, I am answered in an insulting way.

You will note that in the email there are remarks about disabled people asking for grants for ‘holidays’?!

WHAT THE FUCK?!

Not too bright these people are they?

I was bloody offended that what I had requested was no more than asking for a free holiday or a ‘free lunch’.

From an organisation that has God knows how much money handed to them by either the British taxpayer or naive and stupid people, being misled that said organisations do more than they actually do.

How much trouble have you seen in the TV news and the tabloids over disabled people since the austerity period started?

Where, oh where have any of these people been during that time?

The odd representative appearing on TV on the odd occasion for his salary stating how hard done by we are an dhow the government treats us badly?

How about taking millions upon millions in donations for doing fuck all when those donations could go STRAIGHT to help those that are disabled?!

LMAO!

You will note that I am a little stern about her tone and insinuation in my reply to her lengthy email?

God I need to do a front crawl to get through the sea of people and organisations wanting to help me as … oh … no wait, there are only two out of 30 plus! LMAO!

I will pre-warn you her email is LOOOOOONG! Maybe my reputation precedes me?

EMAILS ..

Dear Rosie

I did not ask for a grant for a holiday and I find it bloody rude that you would suggest that what I was enquiring about was no different to asking for a free holiday.

Believe me there is a belief of a group of people getting a free holiday, or free lunch, but it is NOT on the side of disabled people but is in fact with those claiming to be of help and being no help at all or very, very little.

How do you get your funding then?

Call it a ‘Freedom Of Information’ request, something I have made extremely popular the last five years.

Martin Haswell BSc

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Helpline
Sent: 06 April 2016 11:33
To: Martin Haswell
Subject: RE: Letter for helpline

 

Hi Martin,

It very much depends on what type of help you are looking for as to what is available and where to access it.  Medical help? Are you facing financial hardship?  Do you need care services?  Does your house need adaptations or equipment?   We can certainly point you in the right direction.

To address your query, the process of ‘registering disabled’ doesn’t really exist anymore – there are a few councils still keeping lists but they are non-compulsory, and exist more for monitoring purposes than to access services these days.

In terms of accessing universal statutory provision,  ‘official recognition’ of disability is normally either determined through the equality act definition of disability, (especially when there are issues arising from employment or discrimination) although in many cases, being in receipt of a disability benefit, such as PIP, DLA or Attendance Allowance.

Occasionally, organisations like local authorities will conduct their own assessments to see if an individual qualifies for the product or service they are providing – examples include care needs assessments from local councils, or the discretionary criteria for a blue badge.

With increasing pressure on councils to provide social care to more people for less money, eligibility thresholds have become harder to meet.  The cuts to the Independent Living Fund did not help either and government cuts to council budgets have compounded this impact considerably.

The migration from DLA to PIP has meant that some people are not eligible for the same financial support as they once were and pressure to cut welfare provision has had an impact on how benefits are assessed and administrated.  It all contributes to what is available – more people need help and there is less money to provide it.

The same can be said of advice services – government cuts to legal aid severely impacted national provision of local support.  Two examples include the Citizens’ Advice Service and Shelter, both huge advice-giving organisations delivering services in local communities.  Many of these have either closed or are running on volunteers with limited training, restricted opening hours, with huge waits and limited ability to help – particularly where casework or formal representation would have been helpful.   There are still advice services out there but not with the same consistent national coverage – it can be a postcode lottery, and what they offer can vary greatly.

Often, being in receipt of one type of help can ‘passport’ a person to be able to access other things – for example receiving the high rate mobility component of a disability benefit can enable a claimant to join the Motability Scheme, or receiving the care component can mean they get a free carers ticket at the cinema.

In terms of what the charity sector does, it’s quite difficult to summarise because, as you’ve highlighted, there are many different organisations working in this sphere and each will run things their own way.  I can perhaps explain how Scope is structured and hopefully this will illustrate how charities typically operate in terms of service provision.

Scope receives no government funding or grants – we rely entirely on donations and our own fundraising activities (for example charity shops).  This allows us to campaign and lobby with party impartiality – it means we can work, and where necessary criticise, the government of the day, whoever they may be.  Campaigning, research and influencing work are a big part of what we do and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved in this area.  For example, protecting PIP from the 2014 welfare cuts, or working on the Extra Costs Commission.

Alongside this work, Scope also runs services, and an information department. (The helpline is part of the information department).  We take calls, emails and social media enquiries from disabled people about a hugely broad range of things related to disability, often providing emotional support at times of crisis and providing information that is transformative – for example explaining the benefits system to someone who has just become disabled and doesn’t know where to start in accessing support, and telling them about local advice services who can sometimes do casework or advocacy for the disabled person.    Information provision is a really important part of what we do these days, especially since the government cut funding for legal aid for benefits advice (this was how most Citizens’ Advice Bureaus and Shelter advice services were funded, and many have shut down / reduced their service provision dramatically as a result).  Providing information is a way of reaching a large volume of disabled people and giving them the knowledge they need to take action themselves.

On top of this, the information team also works on maintaining accurate website content, research, making our content as accessible as possible, reaches as many disabled people as possible, and sometimes partnering with other organisations whom we can learn from, or who can learn from us.  For example, we’re just finishing a project with the Scouts, who wanted to do more to make Scouting inclusive.

We run the Online Community which is a section of our website that disabled people, their carers, family, friends and interested professionals can use to chat, ask questions, and talk about disability and life as a disabled person.  We get really good feedback about this from our users.

Alongside the information provision, we also run some services in local communities.  In some circumstances, we receive payment from local authorities to deliver these.  Typically, local authorities will pay for the cost of a place for a disabled child at one of our high-support schools or colleges, if they can’t be well accommodated in a mainstream school.   Or, they might pay for a member of Scope care staff to deliver home-based or community-based care services, or respite breaks.  We also have some supported living services that provide accommodation and support to disabled people to live independently.   People are welcome to pay for this directly to us but most need the support of their local authority as they can’t afford the costs on their own.   The local authority needs to assess a person’s needs to work out if they are eligible for help, and to establish what their means to contribute financially might be, and so on.

So, we can sometimes operate as a provider of statutory services.   Sometimes this can confuse people- they see charities primarily as a source of benevolence, and feel that we should  provide these things free of charge.  Unfortunately this is not possible.  We need to be paid for what we do in order to provide a professional service that meets the standards which we feel disabled people deserve – our staff are trained, qualified, supported and supervised.  They work to the highest standards and we couldn’t do this using volunteers.  Additionally, it would be improper for us to use the donations of members of the public to provide or supplement what are statutory services that technically, they’ve already paid for through their taxes.

However, where services are not statutory, we are often able to provide them for free to service users when we have raised enough in donations to do it.  For example, we’ve got a befriending project for parents of disabled children – we train parents of a disabled child to give them professional listening and support skills, and pair them with a parent whose child has been recently diagnosed.  We also have sleep consultants who are able to work with families where a disabled child’s disrupted sleep is affecting the whole household.

We believe that disabled people should have the same opportunities as anyone else, and so through campaigning to improve the lives of disabled people nationally, through influencing government, contributing to policy making, and changing attitudes in society.  The alternative paints an uncertain picture- leaving disabled people at the mercy of primarily benevolence-model charities, whose ability to ‘bridge the gap’ is insecure in the long term – charitable incomes fluctuate, dependent on current social attitudes towards charitable giving and many other things.

Sometimes we hear from people who are hoping Scope can give them a grant for a holiday, or for personal ‘life improvement’ for want of a better word– for example house renovations.  Unfortunately this isn’t something that we do.  Generally speaking, charities don’t supplement things that have a statutory source of funding with their own funds, and for things that don’t (eg holidays) because they are perceived as luxuries rather than essentials, there isn’t the funding to be able to offer this broadly enough.   This is particularly true for disabled adults- there can be a bit more available for disabled children.  There are some smaller charities that do offer grants here and there – and there is a pretty good database of what is available on the Turn2Us website.

I’m not sure from your email whether you’re just doing some general research and thinking, or if there is something specific that you’re looking for help with.  If the latter, feel free to share some details with me and I’d be happy to advise.

I hope this information has been useful.

Kind Regards,

Rosie

Helpline Information Officer

Scope helpline

0808 800 3333

helpline@scope.org.uk

Scope Email 060416

 

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