Category Archives: Families

Whizz-Kidz urges disabled people to rate and review wheelchair services, in ‘world first’ website

In a world first, a pioneering new facility dubbed ‘TripAdvisor for wheelchair services’ aiming to give disabled people a voice to rate and review their experiences, is being backed by national disability charity Whizz-Kidz.

Disabled people unhappy with the wheelchair service they get, who have had to endure lengthy waits, or those wanting to praise a service that’s helped them can now do just that – anonymously – on patient experience website www.iwantgreatcare.org.

Whizz-Kidz is proud to support and encourage users to engage with the new service, with CEO Ruth Owen OBE claiming it will paint a true picture of the experiences of wheelchair users across the UK:

‘Whizz-Kidz knows from listening to the young people and their families who have to turn to us, that in many areas wheelchair users have lengthy waits and often aren’t given appropriate equipment by their local NHS wheelchair service,’ she said.

‘We believe iWantGreatCare.org affords us all – including me as a wheelchair user – an opportunity to reflect the reality of wheelchair services across the UK, and affect lasting change by having our voices heard and concerns acted upon.’

The site already provides a platform for feedback on other aspects of healthcare including doctors, hospitals and pharmacies, the latest service is aimed at giving a voice to wheelchair users. Already a number of users have documented their experiences, with claims of a postcode lottery of services, and unsuitable equipment for young people.

Others have commended their local service for putting the user at the centre of the consultation for a new chair and keeping them informed throughout the process.

iWantGreatCare.org.uk site founder Neil Bacon said: ‘It’s time to listen to the previously unheard voices of wheelchair users and their families.’

Wheelchair user Dame Anne Begg – MP for Aberdeen South, and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee – said: ‘This is a really important step in giving a voice to wheelchair users across the UK.  As a wheelchair user myself and an MP representing wheelchair users and their families in my constituency, I am really excited by this development which, for the first time, will give wheelchair users the opportunity to rate and review the services they receive. I hope we will see improved services and better outcomes for wheelchair users as a result.’

To rate your service visit https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/reviews/search.

Whizz-Kidz estimates there are still over 70,000 children in the UK waiting for the right equipment to fit their young lives. The right wheelchair and mobility equipment is not automatically provided on the NHS. Whizz-Kidz aims to work where possible with local NHS services, and aims to ensure that much-needed improvements are made in delivering wheelchair services for children in the UK. www.whizz-kidz.org.uk.

MP Criticises Lack of Action Over Child Poverty in Aberdeen

Dame Anne criticises lack of action over child poverty in Aberdeen as recent figures show 18% of children in Aberdeen grow up in poverty.

Aberdeen South MP, Dame Anne Begg, says that only Labour’s plans to tackle the cost of living will help reduce child poverty in Aberdeen.

The release of the child poverty map by the Campaign to End Child Poverty showed that 18 per cent of children in Aberdeen are living in poverty after meeting housing costs. This is on the back of recent news that unemployment in Aberdeen South is 1 per cent.

Commenting on the report Dame Anne said: “Despite unemployment in Aberdeen South sitting at one percent, children are still living in poverty. We have an acute housing shortage, energy bills soaring, and jobs aren’t paying enough.

“We face the biggest housing crisis in a generation and both Tories in Westminster and Nationalists in Holyrood are letting children down.

“The Tories always say work is the best route out of poverty, but we can see in Aberdeen that simply isn’t the case.”

Dame Anne went onto criticise the Scottish Government: “The SNP have failed to use the measures open to them to mitigate the impact of Tory policies like the bedroom tax.  The SNP have refused to use all the Scottish Welfare fund and the fuel poverty budget, at a time when 900,000 households are in fuel poverty.

“Labour has endorsed the comprehensive plan set out by Sir Michael Lyons Housing Review, the first of its kind in a generation, which shows how Labour will meet their commitment of building 200,000 homes a year by 2020 and sets a course for doubling the number of first-time buyers by 2025. Labour will also increase the minimum wage, and freeze energy bills.

“Only Labour has a plan to tackle the cost of living crisis and help lift children out of poverty in Aberdeen.”

International Day of the Girl 

Dame Anne Begg MP is today supporting International Day of the Girl, a UN-led campaign to raise awareness of gender inequalities and abuse suffered by girls around the world and this year’s theme is “Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence”.

The Labour Party has made stopping violence against women and girls a key priority for their programme for Government. Earlier this year, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP announced that a Labour Government would bring in new legislation to give better support to victims of violence and bring perpetrators to justice. And in the summer the Party appointed Seema Malhotra MP as the first ever Shadow Minister for Preventing Violence against Women and Girls.

The Labour Party has committed to:

  • Introducing a new Commissioner of Domestic and Sexual Violence to sit at the heart of Government and ensure victims voices are being heard
  • New national standards for policing to drive up performance across the board
  • Introducing compulsory sex & relationship education in all state-funded schools, so young people are taught that no form of violence in relationships is acceptable
  • A new £3million annual fund for refuges supporting victims of domestic violence
  • New FGM Protection Orders to stop children suspected of being at risk of FGM from being taken abroad

Dame Anne said: “I want girls in Aberdeen South growing up knowing they won’t face discrimination because of their gender and never fearing violence will be used against them. That is why it is important that we continue to fight for gender equality and continue speaking out against violence and discrimination – in our local area, but also across the country and internationally too.

“This is an incredibly important cause and that’s why a Labour Government – and a Labour MP in Aberdeen South – will make it a priority.”

Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Minister for Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls said: “The global level of violence girls in our country is horrific. All too often rape and violence are used as weapons of war and in many countries discrimination against girls is deeply embedded in the national culture. International Day of the Girl is an important moment where we can stand side-by-side with women and girls across the world and say: ‘we will not stand for this. We want change.’

“And we need change in our country too. Teenage girls and young women are now the most likely group to be victims of domestic violence, thousands of girls are at risk of FGM and NUS report a growing number of sexual assaults at university.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to this growing violence. That is why Labour is putting this issue centre stage in our plans for Government.”

You can find out more about the UN International Day of the Girl at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/girl-child

MP Visits Home-Start Aberdeen

Anne visited Home-Start Aberdeen with her colleague Richard Baker MSP on Monday 6th October to mark Home-Start’s manifesto which was launched in Westminster in July.

Home-Start aims to support families under stress offering friendship together with emotional and practical support and the manifesto highlights the issues that Home-Start families are facing.

In Aberdeen, each year around 100 Home-Start volunteers work with approximately 200 families including over 500 children. Home-Start Aberdeen also manages the Recipe for Life project to provide practical assistance to prepare nutritious food and runs a charity chop at 101 George Street.

    Home Start Aberdeen with Anne and Richard2

During the visit, Scheme Manager Georgette Cobban spoke about the variety of families they support across the city and the many reasons why families are referred to them. She also spoke about their recent initiative to recruit 50 volunteers over 50 weeks to allow them to meet the demand for their service.

For more information about Home-Start Aberdeen, go to http://www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk/

The manifesto can be read in full at http://www.home-start.org.uk/about_us/what_we_do/manifesto