If you can’t blow your own trumpet on your own blog, where can you?! You’ve been warned…. This has now been reported in our local Kingston press.
Last night I attended the annual Disabled Motoring UK Awards Evening at the Heritage Motor Museum in Warwickshire, where I had the honour of being presented with the O A Denly Memorial Award for my campaigning work on the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
Thank you so much for honouring me with this award. I would also like to thank Sue McCafferty, who nominated me, and all the disabled people, Parliamentarians and others who have campaigned with me over the last few months against the Government’s decision that anyone who can walk reliably more than 20 metres is no longer entitled to full mobility support. I could not have achieved what I have without the support of sick and disabled people, who I can turn to for help with analysis, research, tracking down references, creating surveys etc. They give tireless support for little or no recognition; this award recognises their contribution as well as mine.
I would love to be able to say we’ve succeeded in overturning the “20 metre rule”, but we’re not there yet. But we have had some major achievements along the way: an application for judicial review passed the initial stages and, in conjunction with the political pressure, that helped secure an additional consultation, which ended on 5 August. We know DWP has received some high quality responses from key individuals and organisations, including GP’s, the Social Security Advisory Committee, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Disabled Motoring UK (of course!) and many others. We can only hope for a positive outcome, knowing we’ve done all we could to ensure people with significant mobility difficulties continue to enjoy independent mobility.
I want to say a couple of special thank-you’s. I want to thank Unity Law for sponsoring this award. Over dinner I’ve had the privilege of getting to know to Chris Fry, their Managing Partner, and whilst we already have lawyers we work with, I know we’ll want to work with Chris, who has a passion for justice and equality for disabled people.
And finally I want to give a very special thank you to Bill Whillock, my best friend and PA, who is truly the “wind beneath my wings”. Bill gives me amazing support, and knows exactly what I need for every activity, meeting etc. I couldn’t do any of this if he wasn’t there with me.
Bill was busy taking pictures but I surprised (shocked?) him by asking him to come onto the platform with me so I could thank him publicly!