A petition calling on the government to deliver better pay for social care workers has been taken to the Treasury by a coalition including a Warwickshire man with learning disabilities, representing the charity he is supported by.
Brian Steel is supported by Heart of England Mencap, which provides care for around 200 people with learning disabilities across south Warwickshire and north Worcestershire.
The charity is part of the BetterPay4SocialCare coalition, which is fighting to win a minimum of £9.50 per hour for social care workers.
The coalition’s #BetterPay4SocialCare campaign is urging the government to increase funding to local authorities so that social care providers can pay workers what they deserve – and bring the social care sector more in line with the NHS.
More than 9,000 people have signed the BetterPay4SocialCare petition.
And on Tuesday (September 21st) it was taken to HM Treasury by a group of coalition representatives, including Brian, who lives independently in Heart of England Mencap’s Supported Living setting in Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, which enables him to have the freedom and choice to live his best life, with the support that he needs to do this.
Brian, who was joined on his journey to London by one of his regular support workers, Bev Bromwich, wanted to play his part in the BetterPay4SocialCare campaign because he believes passionately that paying his support team the wage they deserve is critical, both to recognise the professional work they do and the dedication and commitment to the care sector.
Helena Wallis, Chief Executive of Heart of England Mencap, said:
“Covid-19 has revealed just how much we rely on our social care workers – and the risks that they take to do their job.
“It has provided a focus on the incredible work they undertake, and the skills required to deliver social care and support to the highest of standards.
“But the pay our social care colleagues take home does not reflect the expertise, commitment and vital importance of their roles.
“We are actively supporting the BetterPay4SocialCare campaign in the hope we can action real change, urging the government to increase funding to local authorities to allow for an increase in pay.
“We were proud to be represented by Brian in London. He’s supported by an incredibly dedicated and passionate team that work together to make the lives of the people they support as meaningful and fulfilling as possible – enabling them to enjoy the ordinary things in life that many of us take for granted.”
The BetterPay4SocialCare campaign wants to see a minimum of the Real Living Wage paid to social care workers – which equates to £9.50 per hour or £10.85 in London. Almost three-quarters of the workforce in social care in England earn below this, while the average UK wage is closer to £15 an hour.
The campaign is supported by MP and Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner, a former care worker herself.
To sign the petition, which will be handed over at the Conservative Party Conference on October 5th, please visit: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/BetterPay4SocialCare.
For more information, please visit: www.betterpay4socialcare.org & search #BetterPay4SocialCare on social media.