Merton CIL News

As part of our work with local partners to raise awareness of Hate Crime and increasing support to address hate crime, our staff and volunteers took part in Hate Crime Awareness Week in October. We travelled around the borough with the police Reassurance Bus and some of their Safer Neighbourhood teams. We hung out with Victim Support and our CEO spoke at the launch of the week (you can read the full speech below). Thank you to everyone who took leaflets, stopped and talked to us, and to everyone who filled in our survey about how to support people to report hate crime.

Merton CIL would like to thank all our members and supporters who came to our AGM on 30th October 2017. A total of 60 people came along to show their support. We also launched our brand new stratergy which was developed with the help of our members, volunteers, service users trustees and staff 

Merton Centre for Independent Living (Merton CIL) are doing some work with Clarion Housing Group (formerly Circle Housing) to support their disabled residents to speak up throughout the regeneration process of the Eastfields, High Path and Ravensbury Estates. Merton CIL are supporting Clarion to hear from and consider the needs of disabled residents throughout the process. This includes people from across the full spectrum of Disability and includes disabled community language speakers and Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users. 

We have had loads of contributions from our members and supporters this month talking about what independence means to them, and there are more opportunities for you to get involved too. We would also like to personally invite our supporters and members to our next Annual General Meeting on 30th October from 11am to 1pm at Vestry Hall. We are really looking forward to presenting our new 2018-23 strategy to you all, which has been developed with our members and supporters over the past year.

Merton CIL want people to come forward and report hate crime. However, hate crimes against disabled people are almost all under the radar. We are supporting National Hate Crime Awareness Week to help make more people aware of hate crime and hate incidents, and find out how to report it and stop it.

Merton Centre for Independent Living research has shown that over 2500 Disabled People have already been denied PIP or had their benefit reduced, and thousands more are at risk. 

Merton Centre for Independent Living (Merton CIL) is looking for an experienced Adviser to join our Advice and Advocacy Team. You will primarily be providing Benefits and Money Advice and Casework, but there will also be opportunities in Housing and Community Care.

Merton CIL's members group met recently to discuss plans to close Wimbledon Police Station. The group were not happy with the proposals and felt that the Mitcham Police Station was not as accessible as Wimbledon for disabled people. The group also raised concerns about some of the proposals to move more services online, as this can also be less accessible to disabled people. Our members also raised concerns about the nature of the consultation, whether it was genuine consultation, and the fact that some of the questions seemed somewhat leading. Have your say here!

Be part of our great team enabling Deaf and Disabled people to take control over their lives, be independent and challenge discrimination

This is a great opportunity to join our dynamic user-led Deaf and Disabled people's organisation in Merton and to support our continued growth, strategic direction and governance on the trustee board.

Some of our members have been telling us what life is like for disabled people in Merton. You can read more about what people said in our short report 

Merton CIL congratulates all the MPs who have been elected to Parliament in this election, and particularly our local MPs: Siobhain McDonagh was elected MP for the Mitcham and Morden constituency for Labour and Stephen Hammond, representing the Conservative Party, was elected MP for the Wimbledon constituency.

 

In this newsletter, Deaf and Disabled people and their families, supporters and friends can find out what Parliamentary Candidates say they will do to address issues which matter. We bring you a review of some of the policies from the three main parties, the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats. And, also hear what candidates from Mitcham & Morden and Wimbledon Constituencies have to say. 

Unfortunately both the planned hustings events for Mitcham & Morden constituency and for Wimbledon constituency had to be cancelled. We still want to give people the opportunity to find out candidates’ views on the issues which matter to local Disabled people so we sent 5 key questions to candidates.

Due to the tragic events in Manchester, the General Election hustings set to take place at The Holy Trinity Church in Wimbledon from 11:30am on 25th May 2017 will be cancelled. Both the Mitcham & Morden hustings and Wimbledon hustings will not be rescheduled. Both events have been cancelled and will no longer take place. 

Today’s General Election hustings event, planned for this afternoon (Tuesday 23rd May) has been postponed in light of the appalling events at the Manchester Arena last night.

Merton CIL are delighted to announce that two hustings events have been organised in partnership with Focus-4-1 and Merton Mencap. Local Disabled people, friends, family and supporters can come along and quiz some of the candidates hoping for your vote!

 

 

 

Merton Council has adopted a new Equality and Community Cohesion Strategy 2017-21. Community representatives, including our Merton CIL Members Group, contributed to the development of the strategy, and raised important points about their experience on inequality.

With just 7 weeks notice, a snap election has been called for 8th June 2017.   A snap election by definition means that everything happens quickly. From our experience as a grassroots Deaf and Disabled people’s organisation, we know that a fast pace can exclude Disabled people.

Reda our latest information-packed newsletter - There is so much to update you on!

If you have used our service over the past 12 months you may receive a call from us asking if you would be willing to provide some feedback on the service that you received.

Last August, Anjan from the Public Health team at Merton Council came to visit the Merton CIL members group to talk about members’ ambitions for The Wilson and what that would look like. The Health and Wellbeing Board have now published the results of their consultation and community conversations. Merton CIL members are featured in the report and we hope you feel heard. 

Last August, Merton CIL responded to an inquiry by The House of Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion on behalf of our members. We told them about the disadvantage being faced by Disabled people across all areas of our lives.

As many of our members and supporters may know, we launched a new service supporting survivors of hate crime last year, which is funded by MOPAC. We recieved a Thank you letter from Chris Lee of Merton Council and have a new easy read version of our hate crime report. 

Merton CIL Wrote an Open Letter to Merton Council Expressing Concern at Planned Cuts to Adult Social Care

Over 40 disabled people and supporters attended our annual “My Voice Matters” event on 8th December and told Merton CIL what they want us to focus on over the next few years. One attendee said it was “good to hear disabled people speak for themselves.”

Please take part in our short annual survey - we would love to hear from you!