Know Your Rights Day

On Wednesday 28th March 2018 people were invited to attend a Know Your Rights Day with social care solicitor and social justice expert Luke Clements, exploring disability rights and the impact of current social care cuts.

Disabled people and their carers across the county who are worried about the changes to the social care support they receive themselves, or the packages of someone close to them, had the opportunity to hear from a leading expert in the field at the Churchdown Community Centre.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is a nationwide organisation that was formed in 2010 to bring equality to disabled people.  DPAC’s belief is that full human rights should be exercised and that austerity cuts should not be to the detriment of anyone’s quality of life.  The Gloucestershire branch of DPAC is headed up by Rich Amos who also organised the Know Your Rights Day.

Speaking about the event, Rich Amos said: “I wanted to create an opportunity for people with disabilities in the county to come together – to learn from a legal expert and to find out what we can do together, or individually, to fight for fairer treatment.”

“This event is in response to the social cuts that seem to be targeting Gloucestershire’s most vulnerable people. I am a victim of these cuts myself. As a 30 year old male with Cerebral Palsy, I have been caught up in a protracted saga with my local authority. I have already had my care package cut and now the authorities are attempting to infringe my human rights and suggest inhumane alternatives of care for me.”

Luke Clements was approached to lead this event because his experience is focused around the rights of people who experience social exclusion, including disabled people and their carers.  In 2013 Luke was also the Special Adviser to the Parliamentary Committee that scrutinised the draft Bill that resulted in the Care Act 2014.

Following the event, we followed up with Rich to ask him how it went:

“The Gloucestershire DPAC ‘Know Your Rights Day’ was a huge success. It was fantastic to see nearly 90 people come together but to see such large numbers just shows the scale of the epidemic that is happening in Gloucestershire. 

My own experiences of the social care ‘system’ inspired me to arrange the day, which allowed me to channel my energy into putting on such an event for others to be informed of their rights and hear from a leading social care solicitor and expert in social justice.  Professor Luke Clements captivated the audience and guided people through, what can be a complicated topic with passion, humour and positivity.  Of course the day was not just about rights, but an opportunity for people to network, show that they aren’t alone and grow their strength in numbers.

The event was arranged under the banner of national campaigning group ‘Disabled People Against Cuts’ and from the day we will be launching a local group here in Gloucestershire.

My opening speech described how the day was 5 weeks in waiting from when the idea came about, which involved a lot of hard work from many people. Thank you to all of you and to Barnwood Trust, whom without their support we would never of been possible to host.”

Find out more about DPAC at dpac.uk.net

Follow Rich on Twitter at @lifeonwheels87

View more pictures from the day below: