A Ramsgate mum, councillor and businesswoman has marked Learning Disability Awareness Week (June 16-25) with local group East Kent Mencap while also calling for better conditions for the nation’s care workers
Raushan Ara is mum to 24-year-old Junayd who is autistic with global needs. She says care workers need better pay and conditions and families also need to be made aware of the help that is available.
She said: “As awareness of disabilities both seen and unseen is growing, more support is needed for caregivers and their families.
“Parenting a child or adult with disabilities can be challenging, especially alone. Many parents and carers are unaware that there is help available. Without the work of care workers and volunteers, our own family would struggle to care for my son, who has global needs.
“Care workers have a low wage and low status for such an important role. Without them we as a nation would be lost. We need to demand better pay and conditions for all care workers.
“When we work together as a society to support families and individuals with disabilities, we ensure that they go from surviving to thriving.
“Mencap is one of the devoted adult services, which support the families of people with disabilities. Day services and respite give parents and siblings a well needed rest and provide community and support to individuals with disabilities.
“We as a family would like to thank the many dedicated staff professionals and care workers, who have supported us over the years.
“Our heartfelt thanks goes to the staff and volunteers of Forelands School, Stone Bay School and East Kent Mencap and our friends and family whose help is always invaluable.”
East Kent Mencap offers a service for people with a learning disability who live in Thanet, Canterbury, Ashford, Swale and Shepway districts.
The organisation fights for the changes that people with a learning disability and their families and carers want and need, provides information and advice and gives people with a learning disability a voice and advocates for them to be treated equally.