Going to Downing Street to hand in our petition
Lizzie, who leads our campaigns, tells us about a trip to Downing Street.
Last month, a few of us from Sense joined with some passionate Sense campaigners to visit Number 10 Downing Street. We were there to hand in our petition calling for disabled people to be heard in this year’s public inquiry into Covid-19.
38,931 people signed the petition – an incredible number, and we’re hopeful it’ll make a difference. If you’re one of the nearly 39,000 people: thank you!
The petition calls for three things:
- Disabled people to be heard in the inquiry and called to give evidence
- Disabled people to be represented on the panel leading the inquiry
- The inquiry to be run in an accessible way
Sense campaigners Saihan, Emma, Hugo and his mum Claire, all have experience of the challenges disabled people have faced throughout the pandemic. They travelled to Parliament to hand our petition to Number 10.
Channel 5 news spoke to 11-year-old Hugo who has CHARGE syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects different areas of your body. His mum Claire spoke about the challenges their family has faced throughout the pandemic.
“Overnight, all of Hugo’s usual care that we get at home stopped, and we were left with no support.”
“The Covid Inquiry is really important to us. As one of the hardest-hit groups, disabled people should be at the heart of the Inquiry. For us it’s important that disabled people’s needs are looked at when the inquiry starts.”
At the end of 2020, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that of the Covid-19 deaths that happened between January to November, 6 in 10 deaths were of disabled people.
On the way to Downing Street, we stopped at the National Covid Memorial Wall to remember the many people who’ve lost their lives throughout the pandemic.
Emma has congenital rubella syndrome. She said she hasn’t felt supported by the government.
“We’ve been isolated and lonely and not had the support we need. I want to see this acknowledged during the inquiry and make sure that disabled people are represented and included.”
Handing our petition to Government means that we’re step closer to making sure disabled people are heard in the upcoming public inquiry. This is not over yet. We’ll be continuing to campaign on this issue in the coming weeks to make sure disabled people’s needs are prioritised in future.