Since October, Age UK has been encouraging people to meet with their MP. With the Care Bill expected to be debated in the House of Commons in the near future, it is imperative that MPs understand how the current crisis in social care is affecting older people and their families. There is no better way than for those with first-hand experience to share their stories with those who will represent them in the debates.
One such campaigner was Bob who lives in London. He gave his account of how he went about lobbying his MP about the Care Bill:
‘For me, social care is a really important issue. Having helped care for both my own parents and my in-laws, I can see how valuable a bit of support can be. My late father-in-law received a care package in the last few months of his life. Even though it was only for a short time, it brought him and my mother-in-law a new lease of life. But it was difficult getting it in place and my mother-in-law still is not receiving the help she needs – it should be universally available.
‘I contacted my MP through the Age UK website and asked for a meeting. I got a quick reply, inviting me to attend one of his weekly surgeries at the local supermarket. At the same time, my pack from Age UK came through the post, which helped me prepare for the meeting so I knew what to ask.
‘When I got to the meeting, I was pleasantly surprised that the MP had been briefed about my arrival and was happy to discuss the Care Bill. We spoke at length and went through my questions. He told me that he supported the Care Bill and had already visited the Care Minister.
‘After the meeting, I received a letter answering all of my questions and offering to raise any additional points with the Minister.
‘I felt it was really worthwhile going to the trouble of meeting with my MP, even though, in my case, I disagree with his politics! We can all sit back and complain that things are wrong but if we get involved, at least you know you have voiced your opinion.’
Bob is one of over 1,000 people who have signed up to meet with their MP so far. There’s still time to meet with your MP before the Care Bill has been debated and Age UK’s free campaigner pack can guide you step-by-step along the way.
If, like Bob, you have met with your MP already, share your experience with us today.