A PETITION demanding better pay for social care workers has been taken to the Treasury by a Shipston man with learning disabilities.
Brian Steel is supported by Heart of England Mencap, which provides care for around 200 people with learning disabilities across south Warwickshire.
The charity is part of the ‘BetterPay4SocialCare’ coalition, which is fighting to win at least £9.50 per hour – the real living wage minimum – for social care workers. Almost three quarters of the workforce in social care in England earn below this, while the average UK wage is closer to £15 an hour.
The campaign is urging the government to increase funding to local authorities so workers are paid what they deserve – bringing the social care sector more in line with the NHS.
More than 9,000 people have signed the petition.
And it was recently taken to HM Treasury by a group of coalition representatives, including Brian, who lives in Heart of England Mencap’s Supported Living setting in Shipston, which enables him to live freely and independently with support from the charity.
Brian, who was joined on his journey to London by his support worker, Bev Bromwich, wanted to play his part in the BetterPay4SocialCare campaign because he believes paying his support team the wage they deserve is critical.
Charity chief executive Helena Wallis said: “Covid-19 has revealed just how much we rely on our social care workers – and the risks that they take to do their job.
“It has provided a focus on the incredible work they undertake, and the skills required to deliver social care and support to the highest of standards.
“But the pay our social care colleagues take home does not reflect the expertise, commitment and vital importance of their roles.
“We are actively supporting the BetterPay4SocialCare campaign in the hope we can action real change, urging the government to increase funding to local authorities to allow for an increase in pay.
“We were proud to be represented by Brian in London. He’s supported by an incredibly dedicated and passionate team that work together to make the lives of the people they support as meaningful and fulfilling as possible – enabling them to enjoy the ordinary things in life that many of us take for granted.”
Visit www.betterpay4socialcare.org for more information.