Day 87: Letters and buses #107days

Day 87 is another shared day, this time between Educational Rights Alliance and Carol Stott.

This is what ERA had to say about supporting #107days and #JusticeforLB:

Members of the Educational Rights Alliance were absolutely stunned to hear of Connor Sparrowhawk’s entirely preventable death. We wanted to add words of support to Connor’s family and friends at this dreadful time but, like all of us supporting the #107days campaign, we also wanted to DO something to make sure this never happened again.

Connor’s story cuts deep with us. We are all parents of children who happen to have disabilities and we are outraged by the indifference and hostility they sometimes encounter.

Urgent change is needed and we believe that ensuring respect for disabled people’s legal rights to dignity and equality is an essential first step in that process of change. The law already exists to protect our children but it does not operate to safeguard them in practice. Why?

We think we need to start demanding answers to difficult questions like this and that a good starting place lies in establishing political accountability. So, we have adopted Day 87 because we want to contribute to this process of change in a small way.

ERA volunteered to help, very early on, to support people to take actions themselves to contact their MP. This is what they’ve done:

We have drafted a letter that people can use to send to their MP. The template is here.

The letter can be used to inform your MP of the concerns around the use of Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs) and to ask them to make inquiries about the use of ATUs in your constituency. It is only a template so it can be amended as you want.

There are two things to note:

1. You can write, fax or email your MP but MPs will generally only act on behalf of their constituents, so please check you are contacting the MP who represents your constituency. You can find out who your MP is here. The reports mentioned in the letter are all hyperlinked so if you send the letter by email, the MP’s staff will be able to access the information easily.

2. You can find out if there are any ATUs in your area by going to the NHS England site here and clicking on the link entitled Quarter Ending 31 March 2014: Excel workbook showing the data‘. If you click on the tab which says ‘Patients’, you will find information about which Trusts have patients. You could highlight those Trusts in your area in the letter to your MP. Otherwise, you can leave the template letter as it is.

We are making this commitment to the campaign: if you let us have copies of any responses you receive, we will produce a report for the #107days campaign based on this information. You can contact Debbie Sayers by email if you have any queries at any time and please leave a comment below this post with your name and the MP you have contacted. This isn’t essential but would give us some idea of who we’ve contacted.

While most of us are settling down to write letters this weekend, Carol is taking the much more active option and has set herself quite a challenge. This is why she’s supporting #107days and #JusticeforLB:

I didn’t know LB but I came across the #107 and #JusticeforLB campaigns on Facebook. For such a happy, loved and special young man to be subjected to what he was, is a personal tragedy for LB and his family and a national disgrace. We can’t sit back and let these things pass us by. We owe it to LB and to others like him to celebrate his life and his loves and to make the world aware of what happened.

Today Carol is travelling around London, on as many London buses as she can, taking photos of as many as possible (hopefully 107) to make a bus collage.She is doing this raising awareness and funds for JusticeforLB. You can follow her progress on twitter here or on facebook here. You can donate to her efforts here.