Jack, 24, from the London Borough of Havering, is on a work experience placement as part of the Trailblazers Moving Up project. He writes about his trip to the Houses of Parliament to discuss changes to the disability benefit Personal Independence Payments.
On the 7th June I attended the Houses of Parliament for an All Part Parliamentary Group ‘APPG’ regarding Personal Independence Payments, ‘PIP’. I was asked whether I would like to attend the APPG as part of my work experience placement on the Moving Up project at Muscular Dystrophy UK. I thought the opportunity to be part of a meeting at the Houses of Parliament was too good to refuse!
During my time working in the Care and Support team at MDUK, I have worked on a lot of cases regarding PIP. I’ve seen the difficulties that people are facing with PIP such as delays in assessments, people being awarded the wrong level and having vital equipment taken away as a result of mistakes made during assessments. Therefore, I know there’s a lot of work to be done to make PIP better and was interested to learn about any changes they’re making! I had the opportunity to see a draft copy of the report that MDUK produced and was able to put forward some ideas for questions to ask the DWP and the assessors that would be at the APPG.
The APPG itself was extremely interesting. It was good to see the DWP, ATOS and Capita answer the questions put forward by politicians, MDUK and members of the public. Representatives from the charity and others asked attendees how they intended to improve their knowledge of muscle wasting conditions. Whilst they all said they’d work to improve their knowledge, we’ll only see the actual answer when we hear about their treatment of people with muscle wasting conditions going forward!
Hopefully both the report and the APPG will result in a positive outcome for those going through the PIP process in the future. During my time with Muscular Dystrophy UK I have been part of many exciting projects and opportunities; the APPG at the House of Parliament is another one to add to the long list. The only downside was getting caught in the rain on the way back to the office!
If you’d like to read more about Jack’s experience on the project you can read his blog on his time with the Care, Advocacy and Information department here. If you’d like to do a placement or find out more about our other employment opportunities you can fill in a survey here. Our next employment skills workshop is coming up on the 9th July, you can read more about it here.