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Tweeting the terrific #twobby

Yesterday was one of those amazing days that makes you glad to be alive.

Down at Westminster, around 1000 people – disabled people, older people, carers, family members, friends , and supporters of charities, took their message to MPs on social care reform. The issue is hard, and the care problems that people experience are painful, but the message was upbeat, positive but determined. The place was buzzing and it was all about people having their voices heard. End the Care Crisis now.

@CarerWatch Care reform must succeed where welfare reform failed #twobby

We’ve been told we’re too quiet and we don’t make enough of a fuss. So yesterday, folks, was our chance to make that fuss and we did that, in person and online.

The Care and Support Alliance had been planning this mass lobby on care reform for months, and we wondered whether people would come out and support us. For carers, it’s difficult. Many can’t come to Parliament because they are busy caring for someone ( stands to reason really). But we needn’t have worried – people came in their hundreds and it was fantastic to see.

@CarersTweets: Hundreds of carers and disabled people lobbying at parliament today. Great to see you all! #carelobby2012 #twobby

The sight of busloads of older people, people using  wheelchairs or with walking sticks, people with guide dogs, people on their own or in groups,  descending upon Westminster Hall, to a slightly nervous looking bunch of MPs who must have been  wondering quite  what they had let themselves in for, was inspirational.

@richmondmencap just arrived at care lobby … hope to see vince cable… good work everyone… lets stand together #twobby

But this time we hope people who couldn’t make it weren’t disadvantaged  because , through the miracle of modern technology, a new phenomenon happened. Campaigners tweeted their messages to their MPs , or the lobby teams sent them on, and so the Twobby was born! Message upon message upon message telling the story of the day – if you’re a twitterer go online and look for #twobby . I tweeted too! You can find me twittering on @CarersTweets

@DisRightsUK we’re taking part in the world’s first ever #twobby to tell MPs the care system is in crisis #twobby

We think about two thirds of MPs were lobbied yesterday. Thank you everyone who came or tweeted and made it such a success. And thanks , too, to the MPs who came to meet their constituents.  In his Q & A session with campaigners at the end, the Minister for Care Services, Paul Burstow , acknowledged the massive support and said it’s the biggest lobby he’s seen in 15 years . That’s an incredible achievement. We just need to wait and see if it helps us get the outcome we need.

@carelobby2012: ‘We will produce a white paper that genuinely reflects the opinions of people here today’ Paul Burstow #twobby#itsastart

It’s  not too late to write (or tweet) to your MP if you couldn’t make it. This is a problem that won’t be solved in one day. I hope  everyone who came had a terrific time – and  I know you enjoyed the cups of tea!

@age_uk While pausing for a quick cuppa and a cake, we’ve just learnt that some 1000 cups of tea have been supped here at the care #twobby today!

Well I’ll drink to that.

Moira

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March 8, 2012 - Posted by | Carers movement, Social Care | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. It was great to see so many people there lobbying their MP’s. Lets hope it makes a difference.

    Comment by Rob Osborne | March 9, 2012 | Reply

  2. I do hope in the white paper you will recommend that carers of over 65 should have carers allowance, after all they are the ones who need it most and they get nothing, even if your pension is only £55 per week. Younger people are allowed to earn £90 per week in addition to their carers allowance. It is so hard yet nobody ever mentions it.I dont think anyone cares for older carers.

    Comment by Gillian Ovenden | March 27, 2012 | Reply


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