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Blog - Nick Lewis

Take that!

Watercolour painting of a statue

Watercolour, 1997 Florence. Image © Nick Lewis

There were some very positive moments at London Disability News. A man with MS, John Jevvons, called me and asked me to report on the way he was being treated by his local authority in South London.  He got around his flat in Walworth using a walker that looked very like a supermarket trolley.

When he answered his door, he was in the process of loading the trolley up with bags of garbage.  We talked as he did this:

“They keep sending so-called helpers who don’t know me, and they don’t know my needs.  They come from different agencies and they’re different ones every time.”

His particular dispute this time was that they wouldn’t take out the rubbish from his flat.  They said it wasn’t part of their job.  Well, I could see that he could open the door of his flat and push the rubbish out, but wasn’t sure whether he would be able to get it in the bin.  But the point as I saw it was that anything like that would tire him out.  Social Services should have understood that.

When he’d finished loading the trolley he pushed it to the lift, and then along Walworth Road until we got to the Town Hall.  There was a ramp to the entrance, and he then tipped all rubbish out of trolley in front of the vestibule.  I took a photograph, and then we went our separate ways.  He to his lonely flat and I to my employer (where as a disabled person, I felt I could do a useful job) to write up a report.

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I think we all have very similar experiences