Midland Mencap has announced plans for the coordination of a mass lobby of disabled and vulnerable citizens outside Birmingham City Council House on Monday, 16th January at 10:30am to oppose severe cuts to housing support and prevention services, funded through the Supporting People Programme, for the cities most vulnerable people, with the key message #SaveOurSupport.
Anticipating the attendance of at least 300 citizens, Dave Rogers, Chief Executive Officer for Midland Mencap, and organiser of the lobby, comments: “Birmingham’s housing support and prevention services are vital, even life saving, for our most vulnerable citizens. These services are funded through the Supporting People programme and cutting them will be catastrophic”.
“The funding provides the means by which the Council fulfills its statutory responsibilities for the Care Act, Children Act, Homelessness duties, Health and Wellbeing and the Southwark judgement.
“The lobby marks a genuine watershed moment in the history of social care in the city of Birmingham and losing these services effectively abandons our most vulnerable citizens at a time when the Council claims to be a caring, inclusive city and the Prime Minister is talking about a vision for a ‘Shared Society'”.
The Supporting People programme is the Council’s single largest Health and Wellbeing programme delivered in partnership with the not-for-profit sector and has already been cut by 50%.
According to Midland Mencap and partner organisations the following social groups involved in the current programme to find and keep a home could be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless following the cuts:
More than 2000 people with mental health problems
More than 950 people with learning disabilities
More than 4200 vulnerable young people aged 16-25, including care leavers
More than 600 people with physical and sensory disabilities
More than 2100 victims of domestic abuse and violence
Birmingham City Council is consulting on the budget until Wednesday, 18th January with the scheduled date of the lobby timed to allow Cabinet Members the opportunity to reverse their plans.
During the lobby citizens will have the opportunity to hand in completed feedback forms and letters to the Council opposing the cuts with elected members confirmed to receive the submissions at the lobby on behalf of the Council.
Midland Mencap, which currently has five centres across the region, works and campaigns for accessible and inclusive services and a better quality of life for everyone with experience of learning disability and additional needs.
Offering three core services, ‘Safe, Secure and Quality Housing’, ‘Care, Support, Advice and Information’ and ‘Meaningful Things To Do’, the charity provides seamless and holistic support to individuals, their families and carers regardless of need, creating an environment where people are valued equally, listened to intently and included completely.
Lobbyists are invited to join Midland Mencap at 10.30am outside Birmingham City Council House on Monday 16th January to participate in the lobby.
For further information on Midland Mencap please visit www.midlandmencap.org.uk and show support for the campaign across social media using the #SaveOurSupport