One month in!

So I’ve been at Mencap Liverpool for almost a month now and still can’t believe how quickly time has passed. I had another busy week last week, so have quite a lot to fill you in on!

Fellow World of Difference winner Lucy had her first day at the charity on Tuesday, and it’s been great working alongside her this week. The office is even more packed than usual, which is fantastic… it shows just how many people want to help out with the important work that Mencap Liverpool do!

Wednesday was a particularly hectic day, and the office was so busy that at one point there weren’t enough computers for all the staff and volunteers!  So in the morning I decided to leave to office to visit another local charity in order to promote our Big Cuts Event. It’s getting pretty close now, and places are starting to fill up pretty fast!

In the afternoon we held a social afternoon outside of the office in a nearby cafe, which was great fun. It was good to meet some of the members who I hadn’t met before, and I also took the opportunity to tell everyone about our Big Cuts Event. We took some brilliant pictures at the social, which Vodafone have published in their ‘week in pictures’ album on facebook, so have a little look at those if you can!

Here is the link to the first one, just scroll along for the next couple:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/photo.php?fbid=10150124702614440&set=a.10150124701789440.281999.63458869439&theater

Thursday was, again, another really busy day. In the morning, I had a meeting with National Mencap to talk further about the Liverpool Big Cuts Event. We decided to make the workshop I am running for people with a learning disability a bit longer to ensure that everyone fully understands exactly what is going on, which I think is a fab idea. Feels like everything is really coming together now, and I feel a lot more prepared for the job than I did at my first meeting!

In the afternoon, all the staff had media training, where we were told the most effective ways to tell the press about that work that we do at Mencap Liverpool, and how to make sure that our stories our heard. It was a great opportunity for Lucy and me to learn how to engage with the media and the local press, which is important for us as we want to promote the work that we are doing as World of Difference winners. We were also given advice on how to write a press release, so Lucy and I attempted one on Friday morning!

Lastly, on Friday afternoon, chief exec Sarah, one of our volunteers Derek and I went to a public consultation held by the council. The topic was the proposed removal of funding for people who are assessed as having ‘moderate’ needs. Set by the government, there are four bands that are used to assess whether someone is eligible for care paid for by the council:

  • Critical
  • Substantial
  • Moderate
  • Low

In order to save money, Liverpool City Council has decided that it is going to stop paying for the care of those who fall under the ‘moderate’ category. This is a huge worry, as obviously a lot of people rely on this funding to live fulfilling lives. The consultation gave people the opportunity to voice their concerns about this proposed cut, although I have to say I don’t think many people felt that their questions were properly answered. The council are proposing to reassess everyone currently receiving care, which also raised a number of concerns for people. Some thought that the council would be spending money unnecessarily in order to do this, and others were worried that the new assessment was not going to be accurate and reliable.

I managed to spread the word about our Big Cuts Event at the consultation though, and loads of people were really interested. I think its going to be a great way of getting people who are worried about the cuts to work together to fight against them, and I really hope that in the long run we can make some sort of positive difference!

I am only in work three days this week as I am going on holiday for a long weekend on Thursday, so I better crack on with work… lots to do before I set off!

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Email: contact@mencapliverpool.org.uk
Phone: 0151 707 8582
Post: Mencap Liverpool, 9 Lydia Ann Street, Liverpool, L1 5PW

Registered Charity Number 1004262