2015 Election – Having Our Say
Community Integrated Care’s in-house Quality team is leading an important project, aimed at empowering the people we support to understand the upcoming election and make an informed choice about whether they wish to participate in it.
Our charity is committed to ensuring that the people we support live full lives, where they have the same rights as everyone else in society. With over 60% of people with learning disabilities across England and Scotland not registering to take part in the 2010 general election, and older people living in care homes being recognised as being a significantly underrepresented electoral group, encouraging the participation of the people we support is a key priority.
During the run up to the election on May 7th, Community Integrated Care’s Quality Team have been sharing advice and accessible resources aimed at helping the people we support to understand how and why to vote, and to independently decide the right political party for them. This effort has been furthered by our regional teams and services hosting sessions for our colleagues and the people we support, to prepare them for the big day.
Services from across our charity have eagerly backed our campaign. Many people we support have been assisted to understand voting and to decide if they wish to cast their ballot at sessions like their person centred reviews. Several of our larger care homes have also worked with their local Electoral Registration Officers to ensure that the people they support are registered to vote, if they wish.
The lead of this project, Gary Dixon, Quality Lead for Community Integrated Care, says: “Too many people who access care and support are excluded from participating in elections, by not being given the right support, advice and encouragement. It’s important to us that this isn’t the case at Community Integrated Care.”
He continues, “Whichever political party gets in, decisions will be made that have an impact on care providers like Community Integrated Care and, more importantly, the people we support. It’s incredibly important that they are enabled to have their say like every other citizen, so we have given this campaign our full efforts.”
Neil Matthewman, Chief Executive of Community Integrated Care, says: “Voting gives the people we support a voice, a choice and helps them feel valued, by making a major decision along with the rest of the country. For all of us, this election is an opportunity to have a say on important things – from roads and recycling, to education and the NHS. We’re pleased that so many of the people we support will be able to have their say in deciding Britain’s next government.”
In the days running up to May 7th, we will be sharing stories from the people we support about how they will be preparing to take part in the election.