A profession for the future?

I don’t always make time to read a newspaper, but since I bought a kindle, I’ve got used to reading the kindle version of The Independent. A couple of  opinions on how best to shore up social work for the future have really got me thinking. I’m sure some people have will have heard of Teach first? Now the idea is being applied to social work. I have mixed feelings about the sustainability of such a program, however surely things cannot get much worse, so it has to be worth a go! Josh MacAlister rightly says, social work “does not have to be one of Britain’s least appealing careers”. Neither however, do careers in the care profession! I just wonder if this concept were applied to ‘caring roles’ if it would revolutionize the profession, or whether even that may not be enough. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. How do we take ailing professions and turn things around for the better? The Independent’s editorial is favour of MacAlister’s approach. I would encourage you to read it, and vote! 


Back to Social work. I hardly need explain why change is necessary as mistakes make within the profession have been well documented. The most vulnerable youngsters have been let down time and again, just like the young man MacAlister writes about. It’s a great idea… the best candidates, the best training. and straight into leadership/management. Heaven knows the most difficult professions are where the best manages are needed, and starting with children, where the most impact can be made seems like common sense. I really do hope this program achieves all it sets out to do and can be sustained for the future. It can’t come a moment too soon.

Introduction to the realities of illness and disability…

Blogging, but only just…

I’ve been wondering recently, how much of a readership I have left, given how sporadically I have been posting here. In an ideal world, I’d love to post every day, and started out with intentions to do so. Unfortunately, the realities of life barged their way in. I’m beginning to try to wrestle my life back, but it’s best to start from nowhere. If I don’t expect anything, I might just surprise myself! I’m sure everyone living with illness or disability, or both, in my case .will have a vastly different experience.  Let me try to explain why, and what some of this means for me.. This post also answered today’s daily prompt

The same name, different realities…

Certainly, both levels of illness and disability, or one or the other, can vary for some people from day to day, from week to week, and from person to person. Two people with the same’ disability or illness, and even something which manifests itself in similar ways, will still experience it differently. I know someone with cerebral palsy, who up until and including the time I knew them, by their own admission, had never experienced a day’s pain in their lives. I know people with cerebral palsy who have asked me what a spasm is. I also know people with cerebral palsy who can do far more than me before they hit the same level of tiredness, and who are not ‘ill’ beyond the standard colds and flu and whatever. However, I am thankful that I do not have some of the other traits of cerebral palsy, such as epilepsy, or a significant learning disability. The closest I come to a mild learning disability is that my level of spatial awareness is too poor for me to be able to read a map or to learn to drive. I live my life within a restricted geographical area and am happy within those boundaries. Cue panic if I even have to step outside those.

The medical part of the illness…

There are aspects of my disability I can ‘control’ by the way I manage it. Other things, however, have a life of their own, such as my ileostomy bag. I had a meeting yesterday to talk about the management f it, and it turns out I can only use one particular bag cause of requiring a ‘high output’ bag overnight… There are hundreds of styles of ileostomy bags and different pieces of kit, and it’s typical of me that my needs only half-suit one particular system. Those things are very definitely out with my control, and can become incredibly frustrating.

There are many other things out with my control such as what time I get up, and go to bed, how tired I am, how much pain I am in, the affect this may or may not have on my speech, my mood, and my quality of life. The more ‘needs’ you have, the more professionals, and agencies, and clinics you need to allow into your life to help you manage aspects of it. Often it is only about management, not cure. Each person often only sees their part of my care in isolation, so for example, there is a brand of painkiller than would help me manage the shortness of my gut, in a small way, but this has a horrendous affect on my fatigue, and does not manage my pain in the most effective way. There is a treatment I am having to manage other symptoms, but that again, is not a cure, and surgery not an option. Neither is surgery for a reversal of my ilestomy. So I have had to learn to accept these things.

There are some things I can accept, and indeed, even some tings I can ‘relax’ about. I am learning to ‘go with the flow’ even. For example, I am learning not to be a control freak over what food, and brands of food, is in the fridge, to mind the way the washing is put on the airer, or to mind the way my hair is dried. I am learning simply to feel relieved that I can often have these things done for me, thus saving energy I either don’t have, or energy I can use for other things. There is also of course, lots I am still learning, like finding things that can increase or decrease my levels of pain, however small those things are, such as ‘gentle’ (!) exercise at the gym, a nap, or full on sleep in the morning. I think for me, morning naps work better than afternoon ones! All of this said there is still much I wish I could do. Just getting through every day seems to take so much energy.

This was the week that…

So far this week, it’s been unusual in that I didn’t have a ‘sit’/PA-type time on Monday. Plenty of time for a blog post, and article, and a couple of other things? Wrong!

Carer C arrived in t flat right on time as usual, only to disappear just as quickly having been called away to another client who cannot get themselves out of bed. She helped me to sit up, and then left me in bed, with chronic back pain. Bless her, she returned as quickly as she could, did some of her duties and was about to get me washed when someone pressed the entry button on the intercom. Here was the nurse…! A few minutes later, the morning routine resumed. Having found something suspect about the stoma, I sat repeatedly calling my local surgery for an emergency doctor’s appointment, which, thankfully, I got. All of this done, there was the morning gone… indeed time slipped by until 2pm, by which time I’d had enough and phoned a friend. I did get a break in the afternoon as I went off to have afternoon tea with a friend. Now I thought, I could breathe a sigh of relief. My main key holder arrived later to help me put my newest medication in the U.F.O (noisy, spaceship shaped automatic medication dispenser connected to a call centre. Unfortunately, as my friend/key holder explained, the call centre is unhappy about how much medication I seem to miss. Cue upset from me, a long discussion, and trying to find yet more strategies to help me cope with another problem. Lovely of said key holder/friend to intervene though. Went to bed thoroughly exhausted, however, this was the kind of start to the week that impacts on the rest of it…

The rest of this week has just flown. Tuesday was a hospital appointment, plus a blood screening, and a sleep in my wheelchair in the afternoon, and evening. I knew Wednesday would be no different. Each of the first three days of this week have been ‘busy days for me. Almost more than I can cope with. Together, absolutely more than I can cope with. Just one of those days in a week can be enough for me! Wednesday was an early care call, after which I tried and failed to get some writing done before I went to my friend’s house for the fortnightly Women’s group. A quick lunch, and a meeting with a district nurse (DN) manager, the Community Stoma Nurse, my Joint Care Manager (the NHS version of a social worker), and  Carer C, with a lot of verbal input from me. If I was exhausted before, I had absolutely no energy now! A curry, a rest, and I trundled off to lead the prayer meeting, sounding surprisingly awake. However, all of this effort also involves what is called “Payback Fatigue”. I suffer a lot of this. The more I can pace my week, doing things at a slower, equal pace, and in an organised way, the better. However, this is something I am still learning to do, and is by no means the whole solution. By today then, I was floundering. I woke up with my stoma bag having burst, and went back to bed after Carer C helped me complete my morning routine. I woke only to see the nurse, and fell asleep again. Having woke up when Carer C arrived to do the sit/Pa time, we decided I had enough energy to go to the gym. Make no mistake, I am no fitness fanatic. I can manage a couple of machines, and a few specialist machines which help with gentle stretching of sore muscles. This was enough to send me off to sleep again. So frustrating. So much sleep, from so little activity!

So, what about the rest of the week?!

I wrote half this blog before sleep, and half afterwards. I fear that after reading this, I will have put most of my readership to sleep! I have written it to try to illustrate some of the frustrations and complications, as well as some of the lessons that come with living from long-term chronic illness and serious physical disability. I feel there is a lot of ignorance in general among the government, as well as the public as to the everyday realities of living with such things, to say nothing of the economic consequences. I hope to get some more constructive things accomplished in the next few days, but only time will tell…

Another “must” watch…

One man, one disaease, one enormous challenge…

The following video is from   the BBC IPlayer. It is the hour-long episode of “The One Show from last night (Weds 17/10/12, 7pm). The first segment concentrates on a young man, called Alex Flynn. I think he’s 33, who has Parkinson’s Disease but it determined to bash the diagnosis to bits, for now to raise money and awareness. To do this, he took on an EPIC challenge in the USA. I don’t know what I would call his effort, as different words have different connotations. If you are interested in the language debate that surrounds disability and impairment, check out the post I wrote during the Paralympics, and the acticle I based my post on. . You may well find your own word to describe what Alex has achieved. When you find your own word to describe it, post it below, or in my Facebook group for the blog. ! It would be interesting to start a discussion. If just want to watch Alex undertaking his challenge, rather than the full programmer, it start at 2 minutes 50 seconds   and ends at 12 minutes .

‘Children in Need 2012’

p.s. You may be interested to know that The  Rickshaw Challenge in Aid of Children in Need is back! This year features a team of young people who range in age from 16 to 18. One young man is a ‘young carer’, another has Cerebral Palsy, and a young lady from Stirling in Central Scotland has a brain injury. If you’d like to find out more, this part of the programme starts at 43  minutes and ends at 46.20  minutes. You can watch “The One show by following the link at the beginning of this article.

Inside Out’ (Yorks/Links) 15/10/12




This post focuses on issues discussed on InsideOut (yorks & Links) If you’d like to watch the programme, click here

Who’s going to pay for care when we get old?

This is an issue I’ve covered before, especially from a personal perspective. It’s not just old people who need care, all sorts of people do, myself included. (If you’d like to read some of my experiences, follow this link.)  However, this Monday, InsideOut didn’t mention this even in passing but chose to concentrate on Older people’s mental health, and alternative provision of care. I wasn’t surprised to learn that 1 in 4 older people suffer from depression. These numbers will rise in the coming years due to the impact of financial worries and poorer health, people live longer, and so acquire more health problems. A woman called Christine Cook who suffers from depression says, “I don’t know who I am”.  She talked of losing your identity once you retire. It’s the same for people who can’t work as it is hard to carve out a life in between hospital appointments, fatigue, medication regimes, and so on. These comparisons were not made in the program, so I felt an opportunity was lost. Christine continued by saying that the things she struggles with most is loneliness, money worries and health issues — welcome to my life, too!

The combination of physical disease occurring from old age and mental health difficulties makes it hard to diagnose anxiety and depression because both can have similar physical symptoms. It’s an unknown problem which has been little understood until recent years. Other issues are things like loss of physical function. None of this is news to me, like having to find things to do with your days, or it makes you feel worse. Finding your own solutions was mentioned as well… but I’ve had to do that too, to a certain extent. Not belittling anything their case study person has been through, but none of it sounds like rockets science to me. Time will tell what kind of co-odinated approach comes out of the research and trials covered in the program.

Who will care, and who will pay?

Hartrigg Oaks is an example of care, but not as it’s been done before — a new kind of partnership which takes away responsibility from the state, but the state is hardly facing up to the challenges anyway. The community is a mixture of older people, and younger, older people! The younger people help with maintaining the gardens, and I think, doing some of the care of those who can’t manage any longer, and in so doing earn points which build up and may be used to ‘pay’ for care if and when their health deteriorates. Again it wouldn’t work for everyone, but is worth watching.

Care is a Political minefield, in terms of paying for it, according to David Blunkett. Paying for care without public money is an interesting idea, and the program covered a couple of possible options– home-shares, something called share and care. Iona, and Graham live in Iona’s home. Graham lives rent free, but gives some care, about 10 hours a week looking after the garden, doing the shopping and so forth. Neat idea!! The journalist admits it wouldn’t work for everyone, partly cos there needs to be a specific kind of bond there but it seems to work great for them! Something so niche seems to solve the problem for some people but if it’s not solving care issues for more than just a few there has to be other alternatives.

Blunkett’s talked about Partnership and joined up working; care ring and all those things… these things may sound like gobbledygook for you, but I’m thinking, why is this just focusing on elderly care? The ‘care’ crisis affects many others. CUTS — in rhetoric at least means care has to come from elsewhere but InsideOut’s research shows some interesting solutions. I look forward to seeing what will happen in the long-term but there has to be a cost-effective way of caring for more people otherwise schemes will only reach a select few and the government will end up paying for care anyway. Not even they know how they will pay for it … surely time is running out?

A Word of Encouragement (2)

Kickstart Sunday… and the week, with the right perspective!

Most Sunday, at the church I go to, we have a Bible study and discussion group called ‘Kickstart Sunday’. This is an informal look at a given bible passage, aided by coffee and cake! Yesterday, we looked at Psalm 103, and the person leading encouraged up to Praise the Lord Jesus, no matter how we were feeling, because praising and worshiping God is a requirement for those of us who consider ourselves believers, no matter what our circumstances. It is an active decision to do this, and is not just for Sundays, but,t well, for life! If you are reading this, I want to encourage you to Praise Him today, and every day, no matter what! This particular version of the psalm is from the Common English Bible (CEB), and I rather like the wording.


Of David.
103 Let my whole being[a] bless the Lord!
Let everything inside me bless his holy name!
2 Let my whole being bless the Lord
and never forget all his good deeds:
3 how God forgives all your sins,
heals all your sickness,
4 saves your life from the pit,
crowns you with faithful love and compassion,
5 and satisfies you with plenty of good things
so that your youth is made fresh like an eagle’s.

6 The Lord works righteousness;
does justice for all who are oppressed.
7 God made his ways known to Moses;
made his deeds known to the Israelites.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
very patient, and full of faithful love.
9 God won’t always play the judge;
he won’t be angry forever.
10 He doesn’t deal with us according to our sin
or repay us according to our wrongdoing,
11 because as high as heaven is above the earth,
that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.
12 As far as east is from west—
that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.
13 Like a parent feels compassion for their children—
that’s how the Lord feels compassion for those who honor him.
14 Because God knows how we’re made,
God remembers we’re just dust.

15 The days of a human life are like grass:
they bloom like a wildflower;
16 but when the wind blows through it, it’s gone;
even the ground where it stood doesn’t remember it.
17 But the Lord’s faithful love is from forever ago to forever from now
for those who honor him.
And God’s righteousness reaches to the grandchildren
18 of those who keep his covenant
and remember to keep his commands.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 You divine messengers,
bless the Lord!
You who are mighty in power and keep his word,
who obey everything he says,
bless him!
21 All you heavenly forces,
bless the Lord!
All you who serve him and do his will,
bless him!
22 All God’s creatures,
bless the Lord!
Everywhere, throughout his kingdom,
let my whole being
bless the Lord!


Dear Father God, may we truly worship you today, no matter what! In Jesus name, Amen.

GPs must treat foreigners under new guidelines | Mail Online

I first saw the following headline as I passed the Newspaper display in my local supermarket, and halted my chair in shock! The following is from the Daily Mail, on the 13/10/12. Click the following link to read the article: GPs must treat foreigners under new guidelines | Mail Online.

I have no doubt we will hear much story in the coming days, from every possible angle. However, as someone with a long-term illness and a long-term disability, I am astounded that such a decision could be reached while leaving common sense at the door. For m, this one is the latest in a list of CRAZY decisions about the NHS… and we have to take action while we can. Id love to know what you all think of this decision.

‘Dave’s’ speech (2)

This is the second of two posts on two David Cameron’s Closing speech to the Consevative Party Conference delegates. The first is concerned with Cameron’s take the Paralympics, and people’s view of disability. In his speech Cameron also talked about something called “Compassionate Conservatism” and said that they were providing for vulnerable people.

Sorry ‘Dave’ but you don’t have a clue mate!

What does ‘Compassionate’ Conservatism actually mean? Is it just to make them sound better? From where I’m sitting there’s not a lot of compassion. Yes, Dave, I understand that you think you understand, but having one disabled child does not mean you understand what it’s like to live day my day with a long-term illness or disability. I’ve had a disability for almost 30 years, and been ill for at least the last 10, and there’s so much I don’t yet know about disability. For example, I couldn’t pretend to know what it’s like to live with even a moderate learning disability. Also, when Ivan was alive, the Cameron’s won’t have been at the mercy of the complexities of the welfare state. Most problems are easier if you have money to chuck to chuck at it, including the provision of high quality specialist care.

As far as I can tell, the conservatives have this idea in their heads that they are providing for those in ‘genuine need’ and so being compassionate, while encouraging everyone else, to get a job, which they think is best, as work, rather than benefits pay, and so they are being compassionate. The reality is that it is not just the Ivan’s of this world who are unable to work. It is quite right that people who have his level of disability should be given the very best, but can the country afford it? There is a complex mixture of people who are unable to work, but the benefits system is too inflexible to recognise this. As a dear friend said recently, it is impossible to compare two people, even those with the ‘same’ condition/impairment, or a ‘similar’ level of disability, but for the purposes of doling out finite resources, there needs to be a way found of comparing people with money being distributed as fairly as possible. Yes, an absolute minefield!

Even where one does qualify for what is called the ‘support’ group of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) as I do, the form is a peculiarity in itself, as it is designed to trip people up, and the system is designed to recognise specific words and phrases as being associate with corresponding levels of need, and so it is best for the claimant if they fill in the form with someone beside them who knows what these specific words and phrases are and who can arrange the wording accordingly. I have been filling in forms for government since I was 18, and even with two degrees, I required the help of a friend who hold a senior position at a local social enterprise to be able to fill the form in correctly. My friend asked me for absolutely minute detail. For example, where was the pain, how long does it last, how often does it occur, how severe is it. which tablets help, and how much of the pain do the tablets take away. What are the side effects I suffer from of the pain relieving medication, and how does one medicine interact with the other. We had to do this for every place I have pain. When writing about how the fatigue affects me day to day we had to write in similar detail, for example, how often does it confine me to bed; how often does it limit my level of activity, and in what way? What impact did this have on my mental wellbeing. It was the same with the problems with my ileostomy bag, other medical ailments, how my cerebral palsy affects my mobility, dexterity, how my independence has been gradually chipped away… and the rest! We ended up with at least three double-sided blank pages of closely written extra information. The whole exercise took the best part of three hours, and left me utterly exhausted. When my friend left, I took to my bed for the rest of the day!

The form also required me to list every professional I see, and at the time I think I had a list of about fourteen! Every time I lose one, there is usually another to replace them! Not only this, but all the names and address and phone numbers of each of the team of people. It was the same for each subsequent question; so much was required. Even then, I was at the mercy of someone reading all this information who was able to process it all and understand the impact of everything on my daily life, and which group this placed me in. Obviously as a Christian, I prayed before the form was posted that such a person who be the one to assess my level of need. You might think that all this effort may entitle me to support for at least a year or two…. wrong!!

Compassion?! What Compassion?

Every time the benefits system is altered I am at its mercy. There are new forms to fill in, new benchmarks for the different levels of need, and fresh understanding required to fill in each form. To be constantly required to use my precious limited energy on all of this is, for me, a hallmark of a lack of compassion, and also, a pointless exercise, as it means telling the Job centre or Department for Work and Pensions, who they already ought to know. I understand that they have to know who is in need tobe able to determine who is not, but it is not as simple as this, and therefore, one system does not fit all… therefore even the very words universal Credit strikes fear in my heart. As I have described in some detail, it is hardly possible for one system fit all, as each individual’s level of need varies, and yet to “make work pay” it has been deemed necessary to lump those who are not working together. From next April, the reassessment fun will begin again, twice over, for “Universal Credit” and for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Every time the system changes, so does my income as I am entirely dependent on the state. Obviously as a Christian who attempts to live out her faith on a daily basis, I know, and have to trust my heavenly Father that he knows what I need and will provide. This week, I lead a bible study focusing on the first four chapters of the book of Esther. This book is about a women who battled with her circumstances, and won, with the help of her God. An appropriate study for me to lead, as it turned out, because the opening question asked which factors in each of our lives we out with our control, and how did it affect us. Of course, the natural answer for me, aside from my illness and disabilities (impairments) is my level of income. This was something of an eye opener for the group, who being caring people began to feel sorry for me as say things like “but surely this does not affect you?” the assumption being that I would quality for support with ease, and so not have anything to worry about. Once I explained, however, that the system changed regularly, and with it my level of income, they understood that this was indeed something out with my control, and therefore something I had to trust the Lord with. They had compassion.

The One with the MP

A number of months ago, as the forthcoming changes were being first discussed, I was, naturally unsure what the changes would mean for me personally. One Saturday, as I was in my local supermarket, I noticed my MP was holding a surgery, so I duly waited in line. My MP listen intently to my story and my questions, as an intern or assistant took notices, and tried to understand my situation. He assured me, as Liberal Democrat, that he was prepared to stand up for sick and disabled people in his constituency, and he would be seeking assurances from his colleagues in Government, that people like me with a genuine need would be provided for. As promised, he wrote to the then Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, seeking assurances to that effect. Ms Miller’s answer to my MP was a clearly photocopied stock answer which parroted out the propaganda now associate with this Conservative government, that the forthcoming changes with necessary in order to encourage disabled people, of which I was one, into work, with no acknowledgement that there would be those who could not work, however much they might like to. One had compassion, the other did not. I will leave it to you, to decide which!

What does the Bible say about ‘Compassion?

There are many reasons for the current Government’s lack of compassion, some of which I have outlined above, and partly springs from a lack of understanding and from not knowing the everyday reality of life for someone like me. However, their very understanding of ‘compassion’ may be questioned. In his speech. Cameron was talking about a type of compassion, compassionate conservatism. Surely if they were truly compassionate this would be apparent in every policy this government introduced. however, as I have explained, I am doubtful that the current Government even understands what ‘compassion’ is. I am privileged to know One who does know what compassion means, and that’s the Lord Jesus. There are many scriptures I could quote here, but the one that came to mind first was when Jesus fed the five thousand.

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way. (Mathew 15:32 NIV)

Here, Jesus saw a need he could meet, and dud so, out of the abundance of his love for the people. It may sound obvious, but hungry people need food, In this country, there are people going hungry who do not have food. One example of an organisation trying to meet these needs is the Trussell Trust, who say “Rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to come to foodbanks for help.”If the Government is compassionate, why are people going hungry? To me, this is yet another illustration that they do not know the extent of the need in their own country.

‘Dave’s’ speech, (1)

Dave’s speech, and the ‘legacy’ of the Paralympics

David Cameron’s closing speech to the conservative party conference has already been talked of and analysed a great deal. I would like to chip in my pennyworth. I started to write about two of the main subjects of David Cameron’s (‘Dave’ to you and me) closing speech to the Conservative Party Conference: The ‘legacy of Paralympics; and something called ‘Compassionate Conservatism’. However, there was so much to discuss I have split it into two posts.


‘see the boy, not the wheelchair’

Regarding what Cameron had to say about disabled people and the much talked of ‘legacy’ of the Paralympics,  he talked of both sporting achievement and the change the games made to how disabled people in this country are viewed. To illustrate the latter, he talked of his late son, Ivan and how [he] “always thought that some people saw the wheelchair not the boy. Today more people would see the boy and not the wheelchair, and that’s because of what happened here this summer”.

Others including those who were responsible for bring the games into being shared Cameron’s view. “Paralympic organisers hailed “the seismic effect in shifting public attitudes” to disability sports claiming the Games had changed public perception of disabled people forever”. (The Independent – 14th September 2012) I agree with Cameron to an extent, but not with the sweeping statement from the organising committee!

The Paralympics did indeed change some people’s attitude to disability, and disabled people, especially the younger generation, which I wrote about a few months ago. It makes for an interesting read, and shows that there is hope you the future, if the legacy is handled correctly, but really, have we seen much evidence of that so far? The general public’s view of disabled people may have changed superficially, but a lot more work needs to be done.


‘Hate crime’ and the Paralympics

In an article in the Independent from the 14th September 2012 talking about the link between a dramatic rise in hate crimes against disabled people, Scope, a charity working with and for disabled people said:

“Our polling has shown that attitudes towards disabled people have deteriorated over recent years and that many disabled people experience harassment, hostility and abuse on a regular basis. We know if unchallenged these low-level incidents can often escalate into more serious crimes. “

There is a clear disparity here between perception and reality. Until Cameron can be more realistic about the reality of what disabled people face in their everyday lives, little is likely to change.

In the same speech, Cameron talked about how the Paralympics enabled people to dream of achieving things in sport and to be Paralympians. However, this is not realistic for the majority of disabled people.  As far as I’m concerned,, some of it was rhetoric designed to justify budget cuts. It’s like saying, if the Paralympians are achieve great things, then so can most other disabled people, therefore anyone who doesn’t is not trying hard enough, therefore, if you don’t try harder to achieve, your benefits will be cut. For me, some days just being up, dressed and medicated is an ‘achievement’ in itself, and the effort of which can and does send me back to sleep. This happens despite having carer’s help to do all these things.

Also, when he talking about how their should not be any barriers to achievement, and named a number of groups of marginalised people, and said none of these groups should be stopped from achieving, but he did not include disabled people when claiming the Conservatives were the people’s party!

“My mission since the day I become [Toy] leader was to show the Conservative Party is for everyone: north or south, black or white, straight or gay”

As with the public’s attitude to disabled people, more work is needed before disabled people have the same opportunities as others, and would then be free to ‘aspire; to whatever they wanted to, including Paralympic sport!

A word of encouragement…

Noticeable through absence!…

As yet, as far as I remember, I haven’t yet blogged specifically about my faith, or faith in general. There are couple of notable exceptions such as when I blogged about my “health story” and referred to the way God has sustained me and been my strength. The other time is when I highlighted the plight of Rimsha, the girl in Pakistan who has been persecuted for her faith. I encourage you to continue to pray for her, and visit the website for “Open Doors” for updates. 

The Jesus bit

I read something yesterday which I would like to share. I use some Bible Reading notes published by the Good book company, called “Explore”. Yesterday, the main passage was from Luke 23: 2-12, talking about how Innocent Jesus was, and is. Especially in comparison to us, Obviously it was His Innocence that made him sinless, and therefore eligible to be the sacrificial Lamb on our behalf to atone for our sins. This is something we ought to take time to thank Jesus for. This also means that because of Jesus sinless-ness, and his sacrifice, we can be cleansed form our sin, and are made clean, and new. As new creations, we are given new garments to wear. Galatians 3 26-27. I am reminded of how good new clothes feel, especially if they are posh new clothes. They make me feel good, look good and I don’t want to do anything to spoil them so I try my hardest not to spill anything on them or soil them in any way. It should be the same with the “new clothes” Jesus  gives us. We should be determined not to do anything to dirty them in any way. This means that as well as turning from old sins, our thought-lives should also be renewed. “transformed, by the renewing of our minds”. This means you (and me!) should “set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2, also see v 3 and 4). What are the ‘things above’ we should be thinking of?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)


What a challenge! Fortunately we do not have to do these things in our own strength with with His help and by His power. I hope these verses encourage you as you go through your day today.