My brother James is 25 years old and has Down's Syndrome. In October he faced eviction from his home as cuts to local social care budgets meant he would no longer get the care he needed to live there independently.
James requires help on a daily basis to take medication and assist him to do things like washing clothes and cooking his food. If there was a fire or an accident James would not know how to cope. He needs the 24-hour support. We campaigned to make sure James will get the support he needs but many disabled people across the UK face an uncertain future. That's why I'm now campaigning for the party leaders to commit to protect care for all disabled and older people who need it.
144,000 people signed my petition for my brother to be able to stay in his home and keep his independence. We presented it to David Cameron - who happens to be my brother's local MP. When my family met with David Cameron he seemed genuine in his support for independently living. Now thanks to the petition, and support from David Cameron, we have worked with our local council and are well on our way to finding a long-term solution so that James can live both independently and securely.
Through the course of our petition we were contacted by so many people with touching messages of support. We also received messages from many people whose family or friends were also worried that the care that they rely on may be taken away from them.
MPs from all parties are about to debate the Care Bill, which will decide the future of social care in the UK.
This bill is vital in making sure that people like my brother can access the services that they need to lead independent, fulfilling lives. But the bill will do nothing to help too many people who are being denied social care altogether because the bar of who qualifies for care is set too high.
Many people who used to receive care are being told they no longer qualify for it. I believe if disabled and older people need support to live independently then we must provide it.
That's why I'm calling on David Cameron and the other party leaders to make a pledge to commit their party to making sure no more disabled and older people fall out of the care system.
Just as many people supported us to get #JusticeForJames please help us to ensure disabled and older people get the support they need to live independently, remind the party leaders that it must be a priority for a civilised country.
Sign my petition #SpeakOut4Care
Alana Inness started this petition with a single signature, and now has 51,167 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.