Would you like to raise awareness of Mental Health, reduce the stigma faced by those with Mental Health problems, and create a more inclusive community?

The new ‘Outstanding in the field’ project aims to tackle stigma in Cromer, North Walsham and surrounding areas.

The project will deliver a variety of activities, including:

  • Group and one to one talks
  • Music and arts festivals

We are looking for volunteers with lived experience of Mental Health problems to get involved in the project and activities.

Anyone interested in volunteering will be invited to take part in the below training:

Speak Out Training: Giving people the skills and confidence to Speak Out about Mental Health

Date: Thursday 16 January 2014

Venue: The LighthouseCommunityChurch, 62 Cromer Road, Sheringham, NR26 8RT

Time: 10.00 – 15.00

Lunch will be provided

If you are interested in volunteering and attending the training, please contact the Volunteer Coordinators at Equal Lives on 01508 491210 or email volunteers@equallives.org.uk


Defend disabled people’s right to a voice in politics!

Equal Lives has received this letter from Baroness Jane Campbell urging us to respond to the Lobbying Bill which is currently going through parliament.  Please respond if you are able.

Defend disabled people’s right to a voice in politics!

I am writing to alert you to the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Political Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill currently being considered by Parliament.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights, in a report published in October, called for the Bill to be paused and amended.  It believes that in its current form it will have a “chilling effect on free speech and freedom of association”.

Among various measures, the Bill lowers the threshold that a charity is allowed to spend in the run-up to an election from £10,000 to £5,000 in England.  If this sum is exceeded the charity must register with the Electoral Commission, which is highly bureaucratic as each expenditure must be accounted for.  The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has pointed out that the bill will “tie charities up in red tape”.

With the scale of the agenda faced by disability charities, and reduced resources, this could have the effect of gagging disability charities and limiting disabled people’s participation in public debate.

The Bill has already passed its Common stages and many flaws remain.  As a result of vigorous debate in the Lords and pressure from the third sector, the Government has agreed to pause the Bill and conduct a six-week consultation (there was no such consultation with organisations affected prior to its introduction).

As you may know, I have campaigned for disability rights for over 30 years and currently co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Disability Group.  Our voice in politics had to be fought for.  Nothing about us, still has be our central mission.  This Bill needs to hear it loud and strong on this issue.

The disabled people’s movement for rights and freedoms is a political movement but not a party political movement.  Of course, we have engaged with the proposed and actual policies of particular parties and with governments on particular issues.  But not in a way that advocates the election of one party rather than another.

It may be right that there is a comprehensive register of people or companies involved in political lobbying and limits on how much they spend, (eg Millions to ensure that the party they support is elected).  But that is entirely different from the charity approach.  This bill could severely restrict the ability of disability organisations – and many other organisations in the third sector working on issue from world hunger to climate change – to contribute to discussion on national laws and policies.

I am deeply concerned that the clumsy and unnecessary additional restrictions on organisations such as yours, may undermine our attempts to raise publicly issues faced by people sometimes literally without a voice.

The All Party Parliamentary Disability Group, in common with many other all-party groups, receives support with secretariat services from Disability Rights UK and is in frequency contact with a range on organisations of and for disabled people.  Most of them are bound by regulations enforced by the Charity Commission and we fail to see how the current Bill can enhance our activities.  The status quo and its effective balance of political impartiality, and stimulation of reasoned public debate, works.  Why change it?

If you share my concerns, I urge you to fill in the survey on the website of the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement:  http://civilsocietycommission.info/submit-evidence/.  The evidence gathered will be used to influence discussions about the future of the Lobbying Bill.

Yours  sincerely

Baroness Campbell of Surbiton


All Party Parliamentary Disability Group

Equal Lives Response to the Norfolk County Council Consultation on the Cuts

Equal Lives Response to the Norfolk County Council Consultation on the Cuts

 “It’s taken the pressure off my family, off the children and left me being able to go out and do my own shopping and do an activity, maybe with them as a family where I couldn’t before.  It’s taken the stress off the children, they can now be children and not young carers.”  Personal Budget User

At Equal Lives, we know, because of our vast experience and knowledge, that the cuts proposed to Adult Social Care will be the end of personalisation. The suggested cuts will result in disabled and older people becoming ‘prisoners’ in our homes, as well as imposing an intolerable burden on families and carers. While it may seem to an accountant that the ‘social activity’ part of personal budgets is a luxury that can be easily dispensed with and offer an easy way of saving money, this calculation ignores both the personal impact on the lives of service users, as well as also the medium and long-term financial costs, and the short-term costs, that will inevitably follow as people are forced up the ladder of need. It goes against almost every aspect of the Council’s own Prevention Agenda. In short, it will result in a massively false economy – a lose-lose proposal.


Equal Lives  

Equal Lives (formerly The Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People), its members and service users have worked in close partnership with Norfolk County Council since the passage of Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 to develop Direct Payments (DP) and subsequently Personal Budgets (PB). Our organization has been supporting people to use direct payments since 1998. In 2001 it won Norfolk County Council’s tender for a direct payments support service and established Independent Living Norfolk (ILN), just one of the services which was managed by the Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People. At this time just 80 people used direct payments in the county.

In April 2013 the organisation was rebranded and is now known as Equal Lives. We provide specialist advice and support services to more than 3,000 people using self-directed support in Norfolk. More than 1,700 personal assistant employers use our payroll service and we hold more than 2,500 supported accounts on behalf of direct payments users in Norfolk.

Equal Lives provides advice and support to individuals using Personal Budgets and/or Direct Payments funded by the local authorities in Norfolk and Suffolk, the NHS, through personal health budgets or to individuals who fund their own care and support.

In relation to self directed support our services include:

  • Assisting an individual to think about how they might like to use their Personal Budget and assistance with writing their support plan
  • Support to set up Direct Payments
  • Advice on arranging individual care and support
  • Advice on arranging care and support for disabled child
  • Support with recruitment of personal assistants
  • Advice and support to individuals on being a good employer
  • A payroll service to support individuals in working out wages
  • A Supported Account service to support individuals to manage their Direct Payment monies

“The proofs in the pudding, I’m still here and I’m still reasonably happy, I can cope with life, I’m in control of my own life, responsible for myself and I have quite a few friends that have received personal budgets, mental health service users and it’s had exactly the same effect for them as well.  It’s given them choice, it’s given them confidence, self esteem and it’s got them re-engaged with their communities, so to me personal budgets are essential.” PB User 


Wider Implications of the Proposed Cuts 

These proposals violate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which the UK Government has signed and ratified.  In particular they violate Article 19 which states:

 “Persons with disabilities must be able to live independently, to be included in the community, to choose where and with whom to live and to have access to in-home, residential and community support services”.

Norfolk spends less per head of population on adult social care than most council’s across the UK (see Appendix 1 below).   On top of this, Norfolk’s population has more older and disabled people than most other counties, so the cuts will have both a disproportionate and discriminatory effect.

The Council’s own high level equality impact assessment states:

 “At this early stage in the process, it is clear that the budget proposals, if implemented in their current form, would disproportionately impact on disabled residents of Norfolk, their carers and families. Because of the association between disability and the increased chance of developing medical conditions and frailty as people age, older people will also be disproportionately affected. This impact is likely to be felt in several ways. It may limit disabled and older people’s independence and resources, and affect their quality of life and mobility across the county. It may restrict their access to the built environment, public transport and leisure activities. It may increase their vulnerability to loneliness and social isolation, and place greater responsibilities of care on their families, friends and colleagues.”


“Very vital, because it’s actually getting me out doing things and when I first took my PA on, I was having a number of transfusions over two months and that was in 2009 and in the last four years I’ve had only 3 blood transfusions for my anaemia so obviously getting out and about and staying active at work does help.” PB User


Analysis of the Impact of Proposed Cuts to Services and Charges

The details given in the consultation do not allow a proper, detailed analysis of the proposed cuts.  The implications from the information provided are the following:


Reduce funding for wellbeing activities for people receiving support from Adult Social Care through a personal budget

What we believe this could mean. 

  • Some people would get less money in their personal budget
  • There would be no support for accessing leisure and non-care activities


Change the type of social care support that people receive to help them live at home

What we believe this could mean?

  •  Older and disabled people becoming ‘prisoners in our homes’
  • Reduction of independence and quality of life
  • Move away from personalised social care to expensive agency care which costs more and results in worse outcomes
  • Increase in stress on families and carers


Reorganise how we provide care for people with learning disabilities or physical disabilities

What we believe this could mean?

  •  Disproportionate cuts to services – poorer quality of life, poorer health and less independence
  • Turning the clock back to the bad old days where we were ‘hidden away’ from society in institutions
  • Move away from personalised social care to expensive agency care which costs more and gets worse outcomes


Work better with the NHS to deliver the re-ablement and swifts service

What we believe this could mean?

 If this works well it could be a positive move, however:

  •  It could mean institutionalisation and greater reliance on residential and hospital care – again turning the clock back
  • The N&N contract is sucking people into hospital not creating effective preventative schemes  


Reduce the number of Adult Care Service users we provide transport for

What this could mean?

  • A rolling back of our rights to independence and equality with our peers in the rest of society
  • These charges on top of charging for day services will put transport out of the reach of the poorest disabled people.  This will mean disabled people will be institutionalised at home


“And it’s going to damage people.  We’re whole people, we’re not here for our bodies to be serviced and washed and fed and we’ve got needs of being able to take part in the community and if you take that away then we will become sick and we become a greater burden.  PB User


Evidence for the benefits of Personal Budgets

The first National Personal Budget Survey (In Control, 2011) provides clear evidence that people managing their own personal budgets as direct payments achieve significantly better outcomes than people whose budgets are managed by Councils.

The second survey carried out this year found that:

Over 70 per cent of people who hold a PB reported a positive impact on being independent, getting the support they need and want and being supported with dignity

Over 60 per cent reported a positive impact on physical health, mental wellbeing and control over their support

A further 50 per cent reported a positive impact on feeling safe in and outside their home, and in their relationships with paid supporters. The survey found only small numbers of people reporting any negative impact.

For the first time, the same survey was also run with 195 people who hold personal health budgets (PHBs) and 117 of their carers. This group reported similar positive results as those with social care PBs.

At the Think Local Act Personal summit on 13 September 2013 the following successes, challenges and opportunities were outlined:

  • Personal budgets have been liberating for many people, enabling them to take greater control over their lives and improve the support they use

But…too many people experience a rhetoric/reality gap. For example:

  • Councils can often be too prescriptive on what personal budgets can be spent on e.g. only on personal care, rather than what meets outcomes
  • Service users are sometimes penalised for wanting to have a direct payment
  • Managed personal budgets too often don’t offer real choice and control


  • Having a system that is simple to understand, transparent in the allocation of resources, how decisions are made, and monitoring arrangements and lets people use money creatively
  • Ensuring there are good brokerage and support systems that help people to think through the variety of ways in which outcomes can be met, avoiding the ‘task and finish’ approach


  • Co-production – councils can shift to an approach of working with service users to design and deliver services and personal budgets together thus avoiding service that no one wants
  • The integration of personal budgets across a number of funding streams including health and social care and rolling out the Right to Control could enable people to pool PBs across all areas of their lives


“We’re not just pawns in a game of chess, we’re real people and these cuts are really going to be devastating for us in it just changes completely from what we are now to what we were before.” PB User


Personal Budgets In Norfolk

In Norfolk good progress has been made towards meaningful personalisation for some service users. However, there are still too many for whom their personal budget is not ‘real’.  The current proposals for savings as they stand would mean an end to meaningful personalisation and personal budgets.  To restrict personal budgets to personal care, respite and day services goes counter to all Government guidance in TLAP and MIR.  This is not an acceptable way forward for disabled people and their families.

Norfolk’s experience to date clearly demonstrates the cost effectiveness of direct payments compared to directly commissioned services. In Norfolk it costs about 40% less to employ one’s own personal assistants directly than to pay an agency or have the Council arrange services. This is a conservative estimate and takes into account the cost of the specialist advice and support services provided by Equal Lives.

There is also clear evidence that people who are in control of their own money through direct payments are very prudent. About 10% of direct payments made by Norfolk County Council are returned to or recovered by the Council unspent. This amounts to approximately £1.2m a year.  This is money which can be reinvested in services.

A strategic co-production partnership between Equal Lives and Norfolk County Council, together with a robust funding model, has also been critical in enabling thousands of disabled people in Norfolk to empower themselves to live more independent, equal and active lives.

Having a Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) managing the self-directed support service has also been critical to the success of direct payments in Norfolk. Equal Lives has embedded its values in the delivery of its support service and its partnership work with Norfolk County Council, including a social model of disability approach and the concept of professionals being ‘on tap, not on top’. This has led to a focus on peer support, including the creation of a network of independent living groups, and has ensured that the expertise and lived experiences of disabled people have and continue to shape the development of self-directed support.


“If these proposed cuts go ahead and I lose my supported activities, I can’t see why I’d want to get out of bed in the mornings.  It would just be devastating. PB User


Equal Lives Proposals for Saving Money and Achieving Better Outcomes

  • NCC ACS and Equal Lives co-produce and implement a plan with to increase to 10,000 service users who take all or a large part of their personal budgets as direct payments and manage their own care using personal assistants.  We believe this scaling up will produce better outcomes for individuals and save money.
  • Work together to identify those who have some of the highest care packages and work with the service users to increase their choice and control and decrease the use of managed services.
  • Identify those service users who live with elderly parents and work collaboratively with the families to move them to independent/supported living to avoid institutionalisation at a later date.


“It’s been something that I couldn’t imagine being without now.  It’s changed my life.  I don’t get so depressed and it’s given me a reason for going on, for living.  It’s been a wonderful journey and I’d love to see that continue.”  PB User



Mark Harrison – CEO – Equal Lives

Shaun Hobbs – Chair – Equal Lives


Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People Trading as Equal Lives
15 Manor Farm Barns
Fox Road
Framingham Pigot
NR14 7PZ
Company Limited by Guarantee  Registered in England and Wales No. 4098341
Registered Charity No. 1084108
Registered VAT No. 927 9604 86



The cuts in Norfolk – the second round of misery

Chris Edwards

1. Cuts in Norfolk

In 2010, Norfolk County Council proposed cuts of £136 million over the three years between 2010-11 and 2013-14. This was 23% of the Council’s total expenditure in 2010-11 of £579 million. This short report focuses on adult social care. The net expenditure on Adult Social Care was to be cut by 22% over the three years (see Edwards, January 7, 2011, 18).

What were the actual cuts over this period?

For total expenditure, the cuts over the three years would seem to be about £140 million. This was the figure given in ‘Your Norfolk’ dated Autumn 2013 (NCC Autumn 2013, page 2) by the Leader of the Council, George Nobbs. In the County Council’s Statement of Accounts for 2012-13, the corresponding cuts figure is given as £139 million (see NCC, 2013).  This is a cut of 24% of the 2010-11 total.

What were the actual cuts for adult social care?  In 2010-11, the NCC’s net expenditure on adult social care totalled £262 million. In 2012-13 the actual expenditure had fallen to £233 million, a fall of 11%. But note that this is in cash terms. Over those two years, prices (the Consumer Price Index) rose by 6.3% so that in real terms, expenditure on adult social care in Norfolk fell by about 17%. The cut in 2013-14 is scheduled to be about 7% (from £233 million to £217 million) which brings us to a cut over the three years of 24% for adult social care.

Therefore both total expenditure and adult social care will have been cut by 24% over the three years to March 2014.

Now, as if this was not bad enough, the Council is planning to cut a further £189 million over the following three years (2014-15 to 2016-17). £91 million of this is due to a cut in the funding from the Government and the rest (£98 million) presumably comes from the Council freezing its share of the Council Tax (NCC Autumn 2013, pages 2 and 5). This cut of £189 million is 32% of total expenditure in 2012-13 of £592 million.

So on top of a cut of 24% over the three years from 2010-11 through 2013-14, we will be  getting a further cut of about 32% over the following  three years, that is from 2014-15 through 2016-17.  This means that if these cuts are implemented, the Council’s expenditure will have been cut by over a half over the six years

It is these cuts and the budget that are to be decided by the full Council (of 84 members) on 17 February 2014 (NCC Autumn 2013, page 5).

‘Your Norfolk’ claims that the Council has identified cuts of £140 million for the next three years with Adult Social Services being cut by a further 5% (NCC Autumn 2013, page 4). Some, but only some of the horrendous details of service changes are given on page 4 of ‘Your Norfolk’.

2. Why are we facing these cuts? We are not in this together and there are alternatives

The cuts are being imposed by the Coalition Government accompanied by the cry of “we are all in this together”. We are not.  If we look at the changes in taxes and benefits and the cuts in government expenditure over the years up the next election in 2015, the cut on the poorest fifth is 11% whereas the cut on the richest fifth is only 4%. The cut on the poorest fifth is almost three times as great as that on the richest fifth even though the disposable income of the richest fifth is more than six times that of the poorest fifth (see Edwards, March 2013).

The deficit could and should be closed by taxing the rich (for details, see Edwards, January 7, 2011, 36).

3. Back to the expenditure on adult social care in Norfolk…..and the miserable record of Norfolk

We have seen that expenditure on adult social care been cut in Norfolk and continues to be cut. And yet these cuts are from an already low level. Table 1 below shows the expenditure on adult social care as a percentage of total Local Authority expenditure in 2011-12 for the 27 Shire Counties in England, the comparator group for Norfolk.

The table shows that in 2011-12, the 27 Shire Counties spent 43.9% of their total expenditure on Adult Social Care and yet the figure for Norfolk is only 22.9%. Norfolk came 27th out of 27 the bottom of the lot and the proportion that Norfolk spends on adult social care is only a little over a half of the average for the comparator counties.

The table also shows that the percentage spent by Norfolk was even lower than the average for England (of 26.9%) whereas it should be much higher, as is the average for the comparator group – the Shire Counties.  It should be higher because these 27 Counties have a relatively large share of their population in costly-to-reach rural areas and their population is older. The latter is true of Norfolk which has an above-average percentage of ‘old’ people, defined as those who are 65 years and over. In 2011, of the total population of Norfolk of 858,000, 21% was ‘old’ compared to only 16% for England as a whole.

We have seen that the proportion spent on adult social care in Norfolk is only a little over a half of the comparator group’s average. Given this it is not surprising that in the same year (2011-12), the proportion of Norfolk’s expenditure on disabled adults (18-64) was much lower than the proportion in the comparator group. Table 2 below shows that Norfolk’s expenditure on disabled adults was only 10.8% of its total expenditure only slightly more than half the proportion spent by the comparator counties. Norfolk’s share was even below that of all local authorities in England.


Edwards C, January 7, 2011; An Impact Assessment of the cuts (both national and through Norfolk County Council) on disabled people in Norfolk

Edwards C, March 2013; The Austerity War – Misery and Meaning, presentation for the Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts (NCAC)

HSCIC, September 2013; Use of Resources Report for 2012-13, Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)

NCC, 2013; Statement of Accounts 2012-13, Norfolk County Council  

NCC, Autumn 2013; ‘Your Norfolk’ (the magazine of the Norfolk County Council), Issue 42   

This version is dated November 28, 2013 and saved in ‘Word/hardest hit/cuts in Norfolk’. Comments and queries to c.edwards4@btinternet.com.  




Campaign to save mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk



CRISIS IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES – an open letter to all users of mental health services, mental health professionals and members of the public (we are all vulnerable to mental illness)

Mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk are in a state of acute crisis. Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) has decided to accelerate a £20 million cost-cutting programme, over two years instead of four. To achieve this aim:

  • It is closing or reducing in-patient units, with Meadowlands secure unit the next to close and either Northgate or Carlton Court acute units next in line. There are no longer any in-patient psycho-geriatric units in the Kings Lynn area, and plans are afoot to reduce the beds on Sandringham Ward at the Julian Hospital, Norwich, from 22 to 10. This is a national strategy, with over 1700 beds having been lost in the last two years, leading to the spectre of mental health care trusts across the country scrabbling around in competition for private beds.
  • At a time of great demand for mental health services NSFT is making staff redundant or downgrading their posts.
  • It has decimated community teams and disbanded important, specialist mental health teams such as the Assertive Outreach and Homelessness teams, both of which provided a service to those with the most severe mental illnesses. At the time of writing, there are almost 200 unallocated referrals in Norwich community mental health teams alone. Access to a psychiatrist has become very difficult; staff morale is at an all-time low.
  • In Primary Care NSFT has got rid of the GP-attached link-worker service, which acted as an accessible, preventive service. It was replaced with a centralized Access & Assessment team, which is poorly resourced and struggles to cope with the high number of referrals.
  • In Acute Services, the Crisis Resolution Home Treatment (CRHT) team is no longer able to provide a safe alternative to hospital admission, operating as it now does at 25% below capacity. The team is constantly called on to plug the many gaps in the existing service and is now expected to carry out urgent, acute psychiatric assessments as lone workers. (Until now, such assessments have been done in pairs, both for a more thorough assessment and for the health and safety of both patient and staff.)
  • Patients are being prematurely discharged – both from in-patient units and community teams – without adequate support, bringing back into existence the ‘revolving door’ phenomenon.
  • Wards are operating at over 100% capacity, often with only one qualified staff member on duty, trying to manage a ward staffed by agency nurses who are not familiar with the patients or the procedures and who often do not have the necessary training or qualifications.  Staff morale is low because workers are unable to carry out their duties to an acceptable professional standard.
  • Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs), who are responsible for carrying out assessments for detention under the Mental Health Act, are finding it almost impossible to function in a safe and legal manner, frequently being told: ‘no beds in East Anglia’, so that patients are admitted to hospitals as far away as Kent and London, often to private hospitals, at a huge cost and disruption to any form of continuity of care. Even worse, there are often delays in essential admissions – both voluntary admissions and compulsory admissions under the Mental Health Act – when at times an AMHP is unable to make an application for detention because the papers cannot be completed for lack of a named hospital.


All this is happening at a time when – due to the recession – the demand for mental health services has increased markedly, and when local government care services have also been slashed. The background to all this is the Coalition Government’s drive to privatize the National Health Service (NHS). The new Health & Social Care Act encourages Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to seek tenders from private companies. The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) admits that their drive to cut costs is partly fuelled by the pressure to compete with potential private-sector providers.


A similar process is taking place in the voluntary sector where essential support services that are provided by such organizations as Mind, Julian Support, Rethink etc. are being cut due to reduced funding, while access to such services is now narrowly restricted to those patients fortunate to qualify for the Care Programme Approach (CPA) and a Personal Budget. Personal Budgets themselves are incredibly bureaucratic and subject to ever increasing strict scrutiny by senior management, leading to long delays in the provision of vital support services. Care Coordinators are now being told that their caseloads will treble in size, going from a current average of 25/30 to 75/90. The concept of a therapeutic relationship with the service-user (which is the best way of preventing suicide) will no longer exist, while risk management and monitoring will get even worse. This is what the Trust calls a “community-based approach to care “. THIS IS WHAT WE CALL A SEVERE CRISIS IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.


The Trust management has a very short memory or a poor knowledge of mental health history: the care management approach was brought in the early 1990s because the care and treatment of severely mentally ill people was fragmented and uncoordinated, with many people slipping through the net and becoming very unwell. Assertive Outreach teams and the National Service Framework standards were brought in as a result of a series of high-profile tragedies such as the suicide of Ben Silcock, who – while psychotic –  jumped into the lions’ enclosure at Regents Park Zoo, and the death of Jonathon Zito at the hands of Christopher Clunis.  A caseload of 70-90 people makes effective care coordination impossible.


We congratulate the Eastern Daily Press for highlighting the fact that the mentally ill themselves are the ones most at risk from cuts to our service, as opposed to the Sun’s dreadful scapegoating of those with mental illness. The tragedies referred to above occurred in London. In Norfolk and Suffolk we have even greater problems of social isolation, rural deprivation and difficulty in accessing essential services, which will now be compounded by the transfer of Community Mental Health Team bases from Holt to Hellesdon and from central Norwich to Hellesdon/Wymondham. We have had many tragedies already and further tragedies are highly likely. The Trust’s response to the dramatic increase in suicides over the last five months had been complacent in the extreme.


As professionals, we are initiating this campaign because we are no longer prepared to remain silent any longer; we do not want to find ourselves in a Mid-Staffs situation – whereby standards of care sink to an unacceptable level – without our having spoken out. Therefore we want to launch a campaign to save our mental health service – a service which at times is literally a matter of life and death. We are going to plan for a public meeting in Norwich – with prominent national speakers – to draw attention to the crisis in mental health services and to formulate a plan of action. Suicides can be reduced by effective, well-resourced mental health services, and the creation of emergency respite care such as that offered by the Maytree sanctuary in London.


 If you would like to help in building this campaign, you are welcome to attend our first organizing meeting on: Monday 25 November at 7pm in the Alma Suite, Vauxhall Centre, Johnson Place, Norwich NR2 2SA (some parking available)


We particularly want to join with service users and their relatives who are experiencing problems with obtaining help from mental health services.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, but would like to be involved in some way, please contact Terry Skyrme, tel 01263 825967 or email WSallyL@aol.com




This campaign already has the backing of the following organizations and individuals:

Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust NHS Unison Branch

Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust NHS Unite Branch

Norfolk County Council Unison Branch

Equal Lives

Norfolk Peoples Assembly

North Norfolk Trades Council

Norfolk Coalition against the Cuts

North Norfolk Labour Party

Norfolk Social Work Action Network





12th October at 1pm in Chapelfield Gardens



Jan Ainsley

Keep Our NHS Public


Mark Harrison

Equal Lives


Emma Corlett


Norfolk People’s Assembly speakers

Music             Red Flags and Dirigibles


POP UP ACTIVITIES MORNING – before the march


10.30am-12.30pm in The Curve at The Forum

Help, advice, discussions, and refreshments!


Including      Equal Lives–Impact of cuts on disabled people Trade Unions and stopping scapegoating Austerity Myths- Fighting back

Zero hour contracts Clothes swap stall

Placard making workshop/Children’s craft activities


“We can work together to make our voices heard!”

For more info:     www.NorfolkPeoplesAssembly.com

www.facebook.com/NorfolkPeoplesAssembly Email us at:      NorfolkPeoplesAssembly@mail.com


Organised by Norwich and Norfolk Trades Council and Norfolk People’s Assembly

Armchair activism! Week of action starts NOW!

25+ Armchair Activism Rebellions for DPAC reclaiming our Futures
1.    Use our spectacular DPACtweetmachine for easy tweeting over the 7 days fromhttp://dftr.org.uk/DPAC-rof-tweets/–just click and tweet a pre-loaded tweet, or suggest some of your own- follow @dis-ppl-protest to get links for each day of action
2.    Email your MP and tell them what’s happening ,ask them to come to the launch of the UK manifesto–see http://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/write-to-your-mp-about-our-dpac-lobby-on-4th-sept/ for text
 MPs can be found here http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/
3.    Email your local councillor Find them through your local council website orhttp://www.writetothem.com/ see  http://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/write-to-your-local-councillor-on-the-bedroom-tax/ for text
please send any copies of responses to benefitjustice@gmail.com.
4.    Sign the wow petition http://wowpetition.com/
5.    Send some underpants to I. D. S who has to use tax payers money or expenses because he can’t afford his own from his multi-million funds
See facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/events/614672968553842/
See You Tube vid here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DZHkkaiRSA
Alternatively spread the vid and facebook page to others through twitter and FB – let’s make IDS pants go viral-they’re already on fire!
6.    Download our #dpacrof twibbon for Facebook or Twitterhttp://twibbon.com/support/dpac-reclaiming-our-futures
7.    Send us your pics to share that people can change to use as their profile pics on Facebook or twitter and we’ll publish them send to : mail@dpac.uk.net note that there may be delays if we’re on protests
8.   Send Facebook messages and Tweet the DWP so they know we know they have been deliberately misrepresenting and lying to create a false impression of welfare and disability in the UK.
For more information on DWP abuse of statistics see http://www.scribd.com/doc/149776210/DPAC-Report-on-DWP-Abuse-of-Statistics-Final-22-June-2013 and http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2013/08/ministers-silent-after-being-caught-pulling-lies-out-of-thin-air/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DWP?fref=ts
@Dwppressoffice   and email: ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
9.     Phone email, tweet Atos, Jam
Email: customer-relations@atoshealthcare.com or caroline.crouch@atos.net (atos press office), investor  relations: giles.arditti@atos.net or head officeukwebenquiries@atos.net Email: thierry.breton@atos.net
Call Atos to complain.  Why not ask them about their UK eugenics program that they’re being paid 100 million a year for by the (unelected) government-video it, record it, post it
Use skype as a cheaper alternative if you don’t have one of those free calls thingies
Customer Relations
Tel: 0113 230 9175
Global public relations
Tel: 020 7830 4233
Press office 
Tel: 02078304233
Investor relations: 
Tel: +33 (0) 1 73 26 00 66 (with skype its not a UK number)
Sales and Marketing team
Tel:  0207830 444
Be sensible, be polite but let them know….
10. RT tweets from dis-ppl-protest and join up
11. Let local radio know what’s going on
BBC Radio 2 88-91 FM — 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm — Jeremy Vine — call 0500 288291
BBC Radio 5 Live 693-909 AM — call 0500 909 693
5 Live Breakfast Your Call — 9:00 – 10:00 am
Victoria Derbyshire — 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Local radio
BBC Radio Berkshire 95.4, 104.1 FM — 7:00 am Andrew Peach — call 08459 001 041
BBC Radio Berkshire 95.4, 104.1 FM — 1:00 pm Mike Read — call 08459 001 041
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire 95.7, 96 FM — 10:00 pm Nick Risby — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Cornwall 95.2, 103.9 FM — 12:00 pm Laurence Reed — call 01872 222 222
BBC Radio Cornwall 95.2, 103.9 FM — 10:00 pm The Late Show (Vic Morgan) — call 08459 222 269
BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire 94.8, 103.7 FM — 12:00 pm Bob Brolly — call 08459 005 200
BBC Radio Cumbria 95.6, 96.1, 104.1 FM — 9:00 am Kevin Fernihough — call 0845 305 1122
BBC Radio Derby 104.5, 95.3, 96 FM — 10:00 pm Amanda Bowman — call 03701 431 333
BBC Radio Devon 103.4, 95.7 FM — 10:00 pm The Late Show (Vic Morgan) — call 08459 222 269
BBC Radio Essex 95.3, 103.5 FM — 12:00 pm Sadie Nine — call 01245 495 050
BBC Radio Guernsey 93.2 FM, 1116 AM — 10:00 pm The Late Show (John Colvin) — call 08459 222 269
BBC Radio Humberside 95.9 FM, 1485 AM — 10:00 pm The Late Show (Vic Morgan) — call 08459 222 269
BBC Radio Humberside 95.9 FM, 1485 AM — 9:00 am David Burns — call 01472 340959 or 01482 225959
BBC Radio Jersey 88.8 FM, 1026 MW — 10:00 pm The Late Show (Vic Morgan) — call 08459 222 269
BBC Radio Kent 96.7 FM, 104.2 FM — 9:00 am Julia George — call 08459 811 111
BBC Radio Lancashire 95.5, 103.9 FM — 9:00 am Ted Robbins — call 01254 583583
BBC Radio Lancashire 95.5, 103.9 FM — 4:00 pm Brett Davison — call 01254 583583
BBC Radio Leicester 104.9 FM — 10:00 pm Amanda Bowman — call 03701 431 333
BBC Radio Leicester 104.9 FM — 9:00 am Jim Davis — call 01162 511 049
BBC Radio Lincolnshire 94.9, 104.7 FM — 10:00 pm Amanda Bowman — call 03701 431 333
LBC London 97.3 FM — all day — call 0845 60 60 973
BBC Radio London 94.9 FM — 9:00 am Vanessa Feltz — call 0207 224 2000
BBC Radio London 94.9 FM — 5:00 pm Drivetime with Eddie Nestor — call 0207 224 2000
BBC Radio Merseyside 95.8 FM, 1485 AM — 11:30 am Roger Phillips — call 01517 099 333
BBC Radio Norfolk 95.1, 104.4 FM — 9:00 am Nick Conrad — call 01603 617 321
BBC Radio Norfolk 95.1, 104.4 FM — 10:00 pm Nick Risby — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Northampton 103.6, 104.2 FM — 12:00 pm Helen Blaby — call 01604 234 455
BBC Radio Northampton 103.6, 104.2 FM — 4:00 pm Joe Pignatiello at Drivetime — call 01604 234 455
BBC Radio Northampton 103.6, 104.2 FM — 10:00 pm Nick Risby — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Nottingham 95.5, 103.8 FM — 6:00 am Andy Whittaker — call 01159 343 434
BBC Radio Nottingham 95.5, 103.8 FM — 10:00 pm Amanda Bowman — call 03701 431 333
BBC Radio Oxford 95.2 FM — 10:00 am Malcolm Boyden — call 03459 311 111
BBC Radio Sheffield 88.6, 104.1 FM — 10:00 am Rony Robinson — call 01142 796 699
BBC Radio Shropshire 96 FM — 9:00 am Jim Hawkins — call 01743 248 321
BBC Radio Shropshire 96 FM — 12:00 pm Colin Young’s Lunchbox — call 01743 248 321
BBC Radio Solent 96.1 FM — 10:00 am Alex Dyke — call 03453 030 961
BBC Radio Solent 96.1 FM — 4:00 pm Steve Harris — call 03453 030 961
BBC Radio Stoke 94.6, 104.1 FM — 10:00 am Mid-morning with Lee Thomas — call 01782 208080
BBC Radio Stoke 94.6, 104.1 FM — 1:00 pm The afternoon show with Paul White — call 01782 208080
BBC Radio Suffolk 95.5, 104.6 FM — 10:00 pm Nick Risby — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Suffolk 95.5, 104.6 FM — 9:00 am Mark Murphy — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Tees 95 FM — 9:00 am Mike Parr — call 01642 225511
BBC Three Counties Radio 95.5, 103.8, 104.5 FM — 10:00 pm Nick Risby — call 08453 050 007
BBC Three Counties Radio 95.5, 103.8, 104.5 FM — 9:00 am The JVS Show — call 08453 050 007
BBC Radio Wiltshire 103.5, 104.3 FM — 9:00 am Mark O’Donell — call 08459 513366
BBC Radio West Midlands 95.6 FM — 9:00 am Adrian Goldberg — call 08453 00 99 56
BBC Radio West Midlands 95.6 FM — 10:00 pm Graham Torrington — call 08453 00 99 56
BBC Radio York 103.7, 95.5 FM — 9:00 am Jonathan Cowap — call 01904 641641
BBC Radio York 103.7, 95.5 FM — 22:00 pm Georgey Spanwick — call 01904 641641

12.Bottom of Form

13. Upload a picture to show you dare with an ‘I dare’ photo tohttp://www.britaincares.co.uk/ better send a copy to us by email too so we can publishmail@dpac.uk.net or just tweet or FB it and share it with us see www.dpac.uk.net  for why we’re doing the ‘I dare’
14. Play DPAC ‘Caption It!’-see http://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/dpac-caption-it/
-we’ll publish the best after the week of action
15. Tweet/share the DPAC official anti-Atos song far and widehttp://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/dpac-official-anti-atos-song-condem-love/
16. Join DPAC as a member https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?pli=1&formkey=dFE5dmRsQVFVS29XYU13NFVWY3ExRHc6MQ#gid=0
Or email mail@dpac.uk.net
17. Donate or affiliate to dpac mail@dpac.uk.net
18. Just donate www.dpac.uk.net
19. Right click to copy and save this pic to use as a meme, to spread, tweet, share 
Special day stuff
1.    29th August all of the above and Tweet, share publicise from www.dpac.uk.net
2.    29th August -Join us for A collective online recital of famous Government, DWP and other quotes by the LTB group (lying thieving bastards) across social media-here’s some to get you going –sure you can think of lots more:
‘Disabled People get better’ Esther McVey when challenged on PIP
‘This must be presented as a reform not a cut’ DWP on ILF closure declassified memos
‘We spend more money on disability than other OECD countries’ Esther and chums
‘I have a belief I am right’ IDS when lying on statistics and challenged (again) by the Gov statistics watchdog
Use #dpacrof #ltb
3.    30th August Spread the word on local protests in your area and do your own online one
4.    31st August Promote your own rebellion art or that of others, tweet our Dpac slideshow pics
5.    Reclaiming the Social model http://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/reclaiming-the-social-model-the-social-model-in-the-21st-century/ 1st Sept
Watch on livestreamhttp://bambuser.com/channel/Bencavanna#sthash.Ml28qwqz.dpuf
Send comments and questions throughout the day to us email: mail@dpac.uk.et and to twitter @dis_ppl_protest
6.    Twitter event with Liz Crow  using http://inactualfact.org.uk/ for  Monday September 2nd – See more at: http://dpac.uk.net/2013/08/dpacrof-reclaiming-our-futures-local-actions/#sthash.NK3OpukK.dpuf
7.    Watch social media to see what other surprises we have coming up for this day 2nd Sept
8.    3rd Sept ‘I Dare’ day see our twitter account (@dis_ppl_protest) for tweets also send ‘I dare’ photos to SCOPE to help them with their campaign –see number 13 above for details, plus other surprises
9.    RT, share posts and pics from our 4th Sept lobby and protests outside different government buildings

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller in Norwich area – 26 July 2013

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard following a cold calling incident in Norwich yesterday (Thursday 25 July) which nearly saw one elderly householder lose thousands of pounds for work that didn’t need doing.


The Norwich householder answered a knock at the door from a man who claimed that the property’s drains were blocked by tree roots, showing a mobile phone photograph which he claimed was taken at the house and proved there was a problem.

The caller then persuaded the resident to sign a cheque for £3,800 and that he would return later to carry out the work.


After the man left, the resident had second thoughts and contacted a family member who in turn raised the alarm with Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards and cancelled the cheque.

Officers from Trading Standards and Operation RADAR, Norfolk Constabulary’s team dedicated to tackling rural and doorstep crime, visited the resident at their property within one hour of receiving the alert. An investigation has been launched and the team is continuing to provide support and advice to the resident and family.


Trading Standards advises never to deal with anyone who turns up at your door offering to do work or trying to sell items. Always deal with reputable companies which you have hired yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.


Anyone concerned about rogue trader activity can contact Trading Standards through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or by telephone on 08454 04 05 06 or call Norfolk Police on 101


Looking for a Trader you can Trust ? Norfolk Trusted Trader offers a list of accredited traders covering everything from plumbing to gardening. For more information or to see our online directory click here.