‘Give It Back’ letter signed by over 11,000 people

Gogglebox’s Steph and Dom, and Carrie and David Grant, add their names to the campaign by the Disabled Children’s Partnership and The Sun.

Steph and Dom
Credit: Steph and Dom Parker
The campaign, Give it back, is calling for people to sign an open letter demanding the government fills the £434 million funding gap for support for disabled children and their families. It was launched last week by the Disabled Children’s Partnership and The Sun and current signatures have topped 11.3k. Gogglebox stars and TalkRadio hosts Steph and Dom Parker, who care for their disabled son Max, have backed the campaign. They have featured in The Sun and spoke about the letter (written by mum Vickey) on Talk Radio saying: "I will do it now, I'll sign it immediately. "There are too many families being torn apart and relationships breaking because they can't handle the pressure." Steph and Dom’s teenage son Max suffers from severe epilepsy and autism and can have over 100 seizures a day. The couple shared their story on Channel 4 earlier this year talking about caring for Max and how he takes several drugs to help control the seizures and is autistic with the mental age of a six-year-old. The Channel 4 documentary Can Cannabis Save Our Son? explored the use of medicinal cannabis to help ease Max's symptoms.

Carrie and David Grant back the campaign

The One Show’s Carrie Grant also explained to The Sun why she, and husband David Grant, have backed the campaign. Their 13-year-old daughter Imogen, who is autistic, has been at home every day for 18 months waiting for a school place. The gap in schooling follows Imogen securing a place at a specialist secondary school in September 2017 – only for her parents to learn that she was spending a lot of time with only a teaching assistant for company. Carrie told The Sun how she received a text from Imogen six weeks in saying: ‘Please help me, Mummy. They keep putting me in this room on my own, I’m not allowed to play with anyone, please help me.’ Carrie explained the headteacher soon decided the girls’ school could no longer provide for Imogen and she has been at home ever since. As reported in The Sun Carrie said: “It’s going to cost the Government so much more in the long run than £434 million because the damage done in the waiting — for assessments, diagnosis, appointments, counselling, a school – is so profound and so acute that it will cost gazillions more than the money saved by cutting that amount. “Children have to live day in, day out without that access to services. That has a profound effect on a child’s mental health — and their family.”

The Give It Back campaign

The Give It Back campaign is asking for:
  • The Government to give back £434 million of funding which has been cut
  • People to sign a letter to put pressure on the Government to Give It Back.
Amanda Batten, Chair of the Disabled Children’s Partnership, said: “Services for disabled children have never been perfect. But cuts to budgets combined with a 33% increase in the number of disabled children over the last decade means we have reached a critical point – one where we need to decide what kind of country we want to be. We’re talking about some of the most vulnerable children in society. “And that’s why we’ve partnered with The Sun to launch our Give It Back campaign today, calling on the Chancellor to give back the £434 million missing from vital services that help families care safely for their disabled child. “This isn’t just about doing the right thing, there is also an economic case here too. Without putting back funding into disabled children’s services, we can guarantee that the tax payer will be faced with a bigger bill in the long-term. That’s because when families break down, expensive crisis interventions are needed from local councils or the NHS.”
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