Starting a Business With A Disability & Deciding On A Domain Name.
If you are starting out or already established you should get domains that are an exact match of searchable keywords or phrases. The reason for this is people will more likely to click on an exact match keyword than an acronym or brandable site (made up word) furthermore it is far easier to index and rank using keywords. If you are set on a brandable or acronym you must take into account that it will take you a lot longer to be visible on the first pages of search engines unless you do extensive, advertising. marketing and pr.
If you already have one website you should consider setting up an SEO link wheel and drive traffic from different directions especially if you offer more than one service. A person looking for marketing may not think to check your web design website. Or if you are a hairdresser but also offer beauty therapy, a customer may search for a beauty therapist rather than hairdressers, you could capture traffic using another site linked to yours.
I will keep this post short but we have listed some domain names which are at auction on Godaddy. You can also find them on Afternic.
Obviously, if you are starting out you have to decide if you are going to be a sole trade, partnership, or limited company. You have to make a business plan and work out your finances. You have to decide on the products and services you will be selling and you have to learn all the legal stuff, such as licenses, permits, and trademarks. You have to sort out branding and marketing. For the full spec of things to do the following link will give you a low down: https://www.gov.uk/set-up-business If you are unemployed or disabled you must contact HMRC, they may even give you tax credits. Remember PIP is not means-tested so regardless if you are working or not it makes no difference but you still have to mention it in your tax returns.
The list of the featured domains can be found here:
If you are interested in another niche industry location just shoot us an email and we will send you some recommendations, if your domain is available on the registrar’s marketplaces we will not buy them and then cyber-squat them. We will just tell you what is available and our recommendations including what we also may have on our books that may help you. We won’t find a domain name, buy it for $10 and slap a hefty price tag on it unless we are using a domain for our own purposes such as affiliate marketing and advertising. In some cases, we may point domain names to articles we have written such as www.germawareness.co.uk and www.ocd.cymru.
If you are looking for a domain and it is not available we also offer an acquisition service.
Suicide is at a record high and people like Yee-King Ho, known as ‘Fion’ to friends and family, came to live in London from Hong Kong in April 2022, moving to a flat in Richmond in what family hoped would be an exciting chapter in her life, felt there is no way out which resulted in her taking their own life.
***Warning Sensitive Material***
In Loving Memory -RIP
‘Intelligent, dedicated’ woman, 27, takes her own life after struggling to afford £900-a-month rent and having to choose which meal to eat
Here are a few comments that were with the article below:
james moss This is what is wrong with a low-paid economy, people do not want to just survive, people want to have a life, where they can save, and save for a pension, as well as find a home they can afford whether single or families people need proper wages to be a full member of our society, the conservative governments have broken the link between low pay and social homes, we were told that private renting would self-regulate, instead, the rental market has driven the housing market to the crisis we are now suffering, the young woman in question was like many people in this country drowning in the cost of a place to survive, and that is what she was trying to do survive, to live in the UK today and cover the costs 35K is needed, with less than that people are surviving on the crumbs and it is sadly wrong, 2 people on minimum wage can manage, but again it is marginal.
Example of Living On Universal Tax Credits & Housing Benefit For a Single Person Over the Age of 35 (Unemployed)
Here is an example of a single person living on Housing Benefits and Universal Tax Credits.
Housing Benefit £590 even though their rent is £650
Universal Tax Credit £334.91
Total = £924.91 ( Equals £5.78 an hour based on 40 hours per week)
So if you continue with the calculations:
Opening Balance: £924.91
Closing Balance: £274.91 (or £68.72 per week divided by a 40-hour week = £1.71 per hour to live on)/
If a person lives on £274.91 and just pays their utility bills there is nothing left over to pay for food.
Arguably people who are disabled or on the sick may get £247.40 PIP per month (lower rate) Personal Independence Payment (PIP): How much you’ll get – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) but people who are unemployed because small businesses are not hiring, do not want to spend money on services that they will try and do themselves to cut costs. Even the likes of Elon Musk closed down many offices around the world and laid off people, so how are people supposed to live when they can’t find suitable employment? Small businesses are also struggling.
If you have suicidal thoughts, talk to someone about them, don’t bottle things up. If you do not have any friends or family, reach out to the Samaritans on 116 123 For Free. Sometimes talking to a stranger can help you put things into perspective and helps you tackle daily challenges. Arrange an appointment with your local doctor and explain how you are feeling. Do not drink alcohol or take recreational drugs as this may make the matter worse. Seek professional help asap.
Volunteering is working for free for a good cause. It is a voluntary act by an individual or group freely giving their own time and labour for community service. Some volunteers use their own skills to integrate their services, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Others serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster or fundraising.
Volunteering can be rewarding, you are helping people and spreading brand awareness.
Volunteering helps to promote physical and mental health and well-being; it gives the volunteer more confidence. By volunteering, you may learn new skills and get valuable work experience. Volunteering brings people together and gives the volunteer a sense of connection to others in the community.
Volunteering brings in new opportunities and is rewarding because you as an individual are giving something back to the community. Not only this you are learning new skills, whilst making new friends.
Volunteering can be therapeutic.
If you are feeling lonely or are going through grief and you do not want to be alone, you may find volunteering a welcoming distraction.
Mental and physical health and wellbeing
Around 80 percent of volunteers admit that volunteering has helped to improve their mental health and overall physical well-being. By volunteering you have a sense of purpose not just for yourself but for everyone else you are helping.
Giving something back
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ or to give something back if you feel you have been blessed. Volunteering gives a sense of empowerment and encourages others to volunteer with you whilst being grateful for what they have in their own lives.
Improving your confidence
Volunteering gives you a chance to improve your confidence, where perhaps you felt uneasy interacting with people, volunteering can boost your confidence.
Reason For Volunteering
People have their own personal reasons for volunteering. It could be work placement or it could be a willingness to help people in general. It may be if God can see you helping, he may in return bless you and your family. It does not have to be for religious reasons, not everyone is religious it may just be for personal gain and to improve the lifestyle of the individual. It could be you genuinely want to be a caregiver and want to help vulnerable people. There’s no right way or wrong way for volunteering, it’s all about exploring the opportunities on offer and finding the one that suits you best whilst fundamentally making it worthwhile, satisfying, and feeling happy.
When volunteering especially if your set goal is to work with social media, the important key is to grow followers and use the platforms to spread brand awareness.
Volunteer management techniques should include:
Volunteer Engagement (Working in Teams)
Volunteer Recruitment (Encourage People to Volunteer)
Donor Recruitment (Have Volunteers Donate and Get Others to Donate)
Community Awareness (Wear Branded Clothing & use social media)
Connect With Influencers
Grow Your Network of Followers and Connections
Post Engaging Content Regularly
Use Hashtags (not just on Twitter but on all social media platforms)
Create an SEO Link Wheel and Connect All Social Media Platforms Together
Use Visual Marketing from Videos to Photos
Write blog posts and post them on social media
Guest Post on places like Quora, Reddit, Disqus, Medium, etc
Make It Personal, Show Your Personality.
Ask businesses to sponsor you.
Build an Email List
Get people to subscribe
Send out newsletters
Offer free advertising on your website in exchange for free advertising on someone else’s.
Have Bake-offs #fundraisercakes #fundraiderbakeoff #fundraisercupcakes and donate the proceeds to the charity
Invite budding photographers and motivational story writers to submit a photo and their best work which will be printed in a photo book or nonfiction book that you sell whilst giving free credits to the photographer/poet/writer. (Free Publicity), you then mention all the photographers in your posts, whom no doubt will share with their network.
Be creative, get volunteers to make things, and donate them for sale. You are only limited by your imagination.
Offer free backlinks in exchange for backlinks (some internet marketers charge £30 per backlink). This could be a backlink to an article on someone’s blog.
Set up a farmer’s market stall and have volunteers stop passers-by.
Have a charity fashion show.
Organise an auction.
Do a competition, and get people to buy tickets to win a prize.
Give out brochures and leaflets on busy high-streets
Collaborate with a photographer and for every photoshoot, he/she does a percentage that goes to charity. Booking gets done through you so you can track sales. You then give the photographer some advertising space, free of charge.
Collaborate with content writers and you post their content on your blog with a credit to the source.
Ideas For Volunteer Programs Can Use social media
To make your posts get seen you need to follow people and participate in their feeds. You should grow your network and post consistently valuable content. Social media optimisation involves posting on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. However, if you are looking for donations you should use LinkedIn as this is where businesses hang out and may want to make donations, especially towards the end of the tax year. Social media is a useful tool for updates, announcements, or even just fun posts to get interactions from the community!
Volunteering Through social media
As with all businesses, you should keep your private accounts separate from your business ones including non-profits, unless you are an influencer of course where you may want to do shout-outs.
For social media engagement to work effectively, you will need to join forces with everyone in your organisation and get your volunteers to follow and share posts.
Some social media post ideas:
Run a Competition – Get your volunteers to post a photo of them doing work and ask them to submit it. You can make this as detailed or as basic as you would like. This can be weekly or monthly and the best submissions get a reward for the most likes and shares.
Volunteer Event Poll – Market research helps organisations to gather insight and information on their volunteers and target audience.
Volunteer Shoutout – Celebrate milestones and special events, do a Volunteer Shoutout on social media in your volunteer organization. This could be birthdays, or when volunteers reach their goal such as how many hours they have volunteered.
Connect With People – Write their story
Volunteering takes time and energy and can be difficult to find recruits.
By offering incentives in exchange for spare time, a volunteer could do something that could prove beneficial for their own personal improvement whilst helping people to what the organisation is designed. A volunteer may only be able to spare an hour a day, so be mindful of this and use your resources wisely.
Incentives could mean free advertising and publicity for people who want to make a name for themselves, from book writers, artists, and photographers, it could also be a company that is willing to advertise your organisation in return for advertising theirs.
Another way a volunteer could be encouraged to sign up is if they run workshops and get organisations to donate equipment or office space.
Volunteers may also not be interactive but could donate a portion of their profits to charity, especially if the charity resonates with them, specifically if they have written a book or sold some artwork etc.
Recruiting volunteers could help the volunteer make a name for themselves if say they are a photographer who offers his/her work for free in the name of the charity he/she is volunteering for. Mainstream media always like stories that warm people’s hearts.
Encourage volunteers to share their stories and a photo they would like to be posted on the organization’s social media.
Utilizing Your Website & social media Pages & Groups
Engage with groups that are part of your organisation is about. If your organisation is mental health start interacting but do, consider their rules. Try to share stories rather than simply advertise. Like, follow, and share.
Map out your SEO Link Wheel and connect your social media platforms, pages, groups, blogs, and websites together. Your aim is to drive traffic from multiple directions to your organisation.
Update your volunteers and your audience on all the coming events, through your website, blog, and social media pages.
Use a free tool like Canva to create fun graphics for announcements like this.
Donors may wish to see where their money is being spent so it is always a good idea to announce what you have done and what you are aiming to achieve.
You could encourage donors to donate money or equipment in exchange for free advertising. Social media is a great fundraising tool for your organization.
Goal Chart – keep your audience well informed of the money you are trying to raise and what you have raised. Post a couple of times a month to let followers know that you are working towards a goal.
Hashtags are not just for Twitter; they are highlighted keywords or phrases such as #FundraisingFriday You can make up hashtags (#) that will resonate with your community to get the attention of potential donors, volunteers, and fundraisers. These posts can be anecdotes about a fundraising event or updates on your upcoming fundraisers!
Start An Online Fundraiser
Start an online fundraiser and get your connection to get involved. You can share this with your organisation but also with your friends, family, and the public. Ask them to share the fundraiser for a good cause. This is an excellent way to get the word out about your organization and to collect donations digitally.
If you recruit a volunteer they will, on average, provide more than £2,000 in equivalent social value for your organization. Two-thirds of volunteers also give money to organizations, but they also give an average of ten times as much money as non-volunteers. Not all volunteers are active on social media and may not want to share their interests, therefore connecting with like-minded people in groups and pages will inspire others to get involved.
If you write engaging content, people are more likely to like, follow, share and subscribe.
Make sure your Web pages are SEO optimized. Your website is the mothership and is the heart of your digital strategy.
Make sure you have a volunteer page and a donations page. Make sure volunteering is present in your navigation menu.
Listen to what people say. Be engaged in your community and with what supporters and prospective supporters feel passionate about.
Have a chat plugin or widget on your site so you can interact with every visitor.
Established calls to action.
Utilise infographics and keywords.
Leverage stories. People love to read true stories. Storytelling is the best way to engage with people by tapping their emotions.
Optimize your presence. Build a large network of followers, you can adapt this to any social media platform by using keywords that match the organization/niche you are promoting.
Create valuable engaging shareable content. People love videos and pictures. Create content that people will want to share with their friends and family.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Telephone Assessment
Written by the Editor Renata M Barnes.
Today my daughter had her PIP assessment over the phone. My daughter told me she had four reminder text messages saying that her phone call appointment was scheduled for 09.15 hrs yet the assessor phoned at 08.45 am and when my daughter did not pick up phoned again at 09.10 am (where is that 09.15 may I ask, did the assessor have cognitive impairment to not phone at the scheduled time)?
The assessor was made aware I was listening in as the call was on loudspeaker.
The duration of the call lasted one hour and ten minutes and in that time my daughter was asked the same questions which were on the questionnaire she submitted.
Breach of GDPR
The caller never said the call was being recorded even though by law they have to say. Furthermore, the assessor did not offer a copy of the call recording which means that the assessor may have been working from home or the call was not recorded at all.
My daughter suffers from Multiple Sclerosis which is a progressive disorder that there is no cure.
There is (HSCT) hematopoietic stem cell transplantation currently not available on the NHS, which aims to wipe out and regrow the immune system similar to Lemtrada Alemtuzumab treatment which my daughter had last year.
The assessor asked the same questions as what was on the form but went into some very alarming questions, some of which were so sensitive that could have caused a trigger in mental health patients, like have you ever had any suicidal thoughts or wanting to self-harm.
No one should be in a position to answer such a question because:
It can cause a trigger and the person may not have had those thoughts before, but may now have a seed planted in their head to do it sometime in the future. When asking such a question you should not put those words directly into a person’s thoughts. It should be handled in a way of “how low do you feel on any given day” and “how do you feel when you are feeling low“? You should not say “have you had suicidal thoughts”?This is a TRIGGER. This type of questioning should only be done by a qualified professional, face-to-face (not over the phone).
Secondly, the person being interviewed may not be truthful if there are many people present. Perhaps the person may not want to admit those thoughts in front of their carer, parent, or a total stranger. Someone who is feeling low and that question is asked, could theoretically not tell the truth to the person asking, yet the option would be there in their minds. One should never plant a seed in someone’s head. Only a professional psychologist or psychotherapist would assess a person’s mental health, not a complete stranger.
The assessor should go by the medical evidence from the doctor’s reports and not ask these questions directly (by asking this question it is deemed as reversed psychology). Only a mental health professional should ask these questions. Talking about suicide is a taboo topic that is very sensitive, one needs to build trust between the person asking and the patient. People with suicidal thoughts may sometimes never admit to having them, so it is best to ask “how low a person is feeling” or “has ever felt” and open up a dialogue, rather than ask that question directly.
Asking the person if they can wipe their posterior is degradingespecially when admitting if one can or can’t to a stranger.
What has that got to do with my daughter’s condition she is not in a wheelchair which was made clear at the beginning and is on her medical records. I understand that these questions may be asked but should be directed to the clinician and not the patient.
Work & Studying
PIP is a non-means tested benefit and when deciding a person’s eligibility for support their disability or condition and how it affects their life is taken into account. So what with the twenty questions such as “what is content marketing” etc? (what I have written now is called content).
When my daughter was asked how she gets to university she said she takes a taxi. I noticed a pause from the assessor. So unless she was thinking that would cost an arm and leg, don’t tell me because I already know that is why I help my daughter pay for transportation. So despite telling the assessor my daughter does not walk far, why in the next line of questioning does the assessor ask how far can she walk in terms of a length of a bus? (I thought these questions were not relevant and were no longer being asked).
When asked what work she does my daughter said marketing and how many hours per week. My daughter is the assistant editor of this website so she may work two hours one week or 16 hours the next. It depends on the assignments I give her. My daughter is not self-employed unlike myself. The assessor continued so what is my daughter’s role which she replied writing blog posts. Blog posts can take an hour or can take a whole day to do and it all depends on how many words are written and for what purpose. I have more than one website www.irenata.com I use a link wheel of websites to drive traffic from multiple directions. www.mrketingcardiff.com and www.ukcontentwriters.com to name a few.
My daughter then was asked a question if there was a fire at the university how long would it take her to get out of the building? (How would she know that if she has never had a fire evacuation? The assessor continued to say this was a hypothetical question. This is ridiculous as how would my daughter know where she was at any given point in a worst-case scenario if the lifts did not work it would take her longer? How long is a piece of string? She could be on the top floor. (So does that mean if you escape a fire you have no problem with mobility).
My daughter was never asked about her stress levels although she did mention the frustration of her disability. Stress and frustration can coincide together but they can also have different meanings. The assessor did not go into too much detail other than how my daughter remembers to take her medication and who feeds the cat (yes that was asked). https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/stress-cognitive-function/
Stress is a complicated disorder in itself. Stress can be prolonged whilst frustration is short-term. The stress of rewriting a blog post or assignment due to a lack of concentration or increased fatigue can cause frustration.
My daughter was asked what medication she was on and the one medication the assessor said and I quote “Hold on I need to Google it“, this is no word of a lie and I can prove this was said, just don’t ask me how.
. Who lives with you (why is that relevant)?
How many bedrooms have you got? (and the point is what)?
Who pays the bills?
How long have you done online grocery shopping?
So you have a cat, who feeds the cat, and why?
Final Thoughts From the Editor
I am really looking forward to my assessment because it will open a can of worms regarding the GP support I have not had.
My daughter’s call lasted over an hour, this is not going to happen with me as time is money and I already wasted one hour today listening in to a call that was pointless.
“The assessor insinuated because my daughter has a part-time job and is studying it may look like there is nothing wrong with her even though it is her physical well-beingthat is affected and not her mental health.
I did not think this should be used as a fit for work assessment, but more so as a health and well-being assessment and the prognosis of the ability to function from day to day.
I have disabilities but I still can work by managing my health in such a way it does not hinder me. It is the outside world I have a problem with, because of my OCD and social disconnection issues. However, if I was put in a situation where it was an emergency and had to leave my home, I would worry about the consequences of my disorder afterward. I have literally thrown away things I have not been able to salvage or disinfect. I am the happiest in my own company with my own surroundings.
I run several businesses online for my clients but that does not make me fit to work in the physical world. One should not draw conclusions about a person’s ability because from one day to the next the ability to function can be impaired.
For my own assessment, I have given them enough information, that I envisage my call will be halved. I most certainly will not answer questions like what my daughter was asked today, because they have enough evidence on file. I am not going to answer questions such as am I capable of wiping my own ar#e?
My daughter should have stated she documents her health online but for some reason omitted this. We will have to wait on the decision in 8 weeks’ time.
Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that attacks healthy white cells. The lesions that can affect the brain and spinal cord can cause a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation, or balance. It is an incurable disease with lifelong symptoms that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild. The average life expectancy is slightly reduced for people with MS and symptoms can be alleviated with different courses of treatments. In most cases, people get diagnosed in their 20s or 30s but it has been known that patients have shown symptoms as young as 15 years of age. In fact, it can develop at any age. It’s about 2 to 3 times more common in women than men.
MS is one of the most common causes of disability in younger adults.
Other than fatigue, vision, numbness, and pain nothing else was discussed in the above list or the fact that stress and anxiety can cause MS relapses.
So why is the government somehow wanting people with disabilities to jump through hoops (quite literally) to prove they are disabled when their medical records should suffice?
I would have put a stop to the questioning and said so what do you know about multiple sclerosis or in my case OCD & cerebellar atrophy. Secondly, I would have said… so I gave you access to my medical records but clearly, you have not read them.
I reckon these assessors have to do something to sift through the scammers in this world, but the people that genuinely need help, are made to feel belittled, degraded, and inadequate just to get the extra bit of help.
If the cost of living was not bad enough with people freezing and ambulances not getting to people on time there should be no surprise to have another spanner thrown into the works with the dreaded C###d word making the rounds again. The (C) word was never eradicated but it was stable through herd immunity, so reading the following statement has got my mind blown…
The Transport Secretary Mark Harper has said that even though those traveling from China will have to have a negative test, those who are positive will not have to quarantine upon entry into the UK, despite Beijing admitting there have been many deaths.
UK will allow Chinese travelers with positive Covid tests to enter the UK and not quarantine despite in ‘Shanghai 70% having the virus.
The advice, issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is warning that it is “likely” that Covid, flu, and scarlet fever will continue to rise in the coming weeks.
The UKHSA are advising parents who have a child with a high temperature of 38C or higher to keep them out of school.
Professor Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at UKHSA, said adults should “try to stay home when unwell” and those who venture out should “wear a face covering” to prevent the spread of infection.
As always is the case “it wasn’t us, it was you” scenario I read today that a GP surgery was trashed in Derby and the bad press surrounding poor GP management is to blame.
My thoughts, there are two sides to every story.
I am not saying it was right to vandalize a surgery by any means and I find writing and publishing can do more damage than physical interactions. Anyone thinking of taking out their frustrations through physical interactions will face dire consequences. A GP practice is a small business that depends on people to come to them, as that is how they make their money. Obviously, they are subsidised by the NHS but the pharmaceutical companies also pay them.
So when I read the latest on another surgery being trashed there is obviously more to this than meets the eye.
According to the GP Shehla Imtiaz-Umer @drshehlaiu published on Twitter on Dec 30, 2022
“The anti-GP violence, abuse & aggression continues unabated. This is our waiting room @wilsonstsurgery y’day after a patient trashed it. The negative media narrative, anti-GP rhetoric, unrelenting demand & unrealistic expectations lead to this level of violence. Where will it end”?
From a personal perspective if GPs managed their workloads better this would never happen. Yet I can cite medical negligence from my own surgery on the following faults.
Two letters were written marked private and confidential, both letters were confirmed to be put on the system and both times I was told that a clinician would get back in touch with me, and did not. Furthermore, on an annual medical assessment, a cluster pharmacist confirmed she had read my letter which I quote she said “it was very thorough and that’s what doctors like. Everything I do is documented and published and will be used in evidence. https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/gp-doctor-negligence-evidence/
On another occasion, my daughter prior to being diagnosed with MS the GP prescribed her Gaviscon because the doctor did not really know what was wrong with her. So I took my daughter to A&E and after an MRI scan, it was found my daughter has Multiple Sclerosis.
Recent interaction by my daughter who had medication prescribed by a neurologist was refused the medication until my daughter arranged a consultation with the GP. When the doctor phoned her back the doctor did not know what she was phoning my daughter for.
Monthly monitoring of my daughter’s blood has only been done once since her treatment. When my daughter tried to chase it up she was told to phone the neurologist’s secretary. It is cited on the government websitethat monthly blood tests have to be done, yet the neurologist has not flagged this up.
People who are frustrated with the way their GP Surgery performs should gather evidence in writing and then start legal action. The last thing you need is to owe money to a doctor as in the case of the recent incident in Derby and instead hit them where it hurts in their pockets if they show medical negligence.
There are more incidents similar to the one published today by simply doing a Google search.
Looking into the Google Reviews of this surgery that was targeted speaks volumes:
Whenever I write articles I always back them up with evidence and sources.
I have simply done a Google search for the search term “Surgery Vandalised” Obviously I am not Google and won’t list them all, but there must be something a miss when there is civil disobedience.
“If you have an issue with your surgery do not take it out on the staff or the furniture but instead, start legal action”.
I have a list of links you can use to get started.
If you need our help writing letters we can draft a document (you do not need to disclose any personal information), we will send you a generic template and you can edit it and fill in the blanks, which you can then send to relevant organizations.
Do not simply send an email instead attach a letter on headed paper to make it more official.
You should also find a solicitor in your area or contact citizens’ advice for legal advice. If you have a story to tell and want to share it with our readers just use the form below and we will publish it for you after it is reviewed by one of our team.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Remember there is always a solution to every problem.
A health professional will carry out your assessment, write a report and send it to the DWP.
Talking about how your condition affects you
A helpful guide on the Citizens Advice website says that you should be prepared to talk about how your condition affects you even if you have already detailed it on your PIP claim form.
This can be hard to do, but it will really help if you can talk about:
the kind of things you have difficulty with, or can’t do at all – for example, walking up steps without help or remembering to go to appointments
how your condition affects you from day to day
what a bad day is like for you – for example, ‘On a bad day, I can’t walk at all because my injured leg hurts so much’ or ‘On a bad day, I’m so depressed I can’t concentrate on anything
It is a good idea to have your own copy of your PIP claim form with you for telephone assessment, that way you can refer back to it.
I strongly suggest on headed paper write a concise report detailing your illness without leaving out a single thing.
A disabled lawyer launched a ground-breaking legal case against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over his claim that it deliberately discriminated against him in rejecting his claim for disability benefits. Daniel Donaldson founder of the Scottish social enterprise law firm Legal Spark, believed DWP chose to discriminate against him and other people with mental health conditions in the way it has dealt with their personal independence payment (PIP) claims.
This is very worrying if the DWP has discriminated against a lawyer. Although the article about Donal Donaldson was published in 2018 it is very worrying how the government is playing God with people’s lives who genuinely need help.
Daniel ended up taking the DWP to Glasgow Sheriff Court and was seeking nearly £5,000 in damages, to cover bank charges, the removal of his bus pass, and £4,000 in compensation for the discrimination.
Donaldson sued the DWP Equality Act against the Scottish government because it failed to take on responsibility for PIP from DWP when it had the powers to do so in 2016.
A Scottish government spokesman said:
“We have repeatedly called on the UK government to halt the roll-out of PIP in Scotland, most recently following the report of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which called for a review of PIP due to the damage it is causing people”.
Donaldson said the “UK government had created “a hostile and degrading environment for disabled people” by “using public policy to strip people of their statutory entitlement to benefits”, including PIP and employment and support allowance (ESA)”.
My Concerns about the up-and-coming assessment for my daughter
My concern is my daughter who has Multiple Sclerosis and is also the assistant editor of ‘Disabled Entrepreneur – Disability UK Journal’, according to the MS Society, the DWP is making it even more difficult to claim. PIP fails | MS Society
It is soul-destroying having to justify you have an illness. People should not have to be made to perform like circus monkeys to prove they are ill. The assessment is on the 5th of January 2023. I will be listening to the call.
My daughter has already expressed anxiety and stress and is worried about taking the call.
PIP Email Address
I have advised my daughter to write a letter and attach it to an email prior to the assessment call, this adds extra weight to your claim and creates a carbon footprint of evidence.
PIP say they do not have an email address even though they do😂 : firstname.lastname@example.org
“Medical evidence should suffice. A primary neurologist consultant is far more qualified than any PIP assessor”.
An Assessors Qualifications
According to Capita’s, website to be an assessor you may be a nurse, occupational therapist, paramedic, physiotherapist, pharmacist, speech and language therapist, or clinical psychologist who is looking for a change, for new opportunities.
As a Disability Assessor, you’ll:
be a fully qualified healthcare professional
have a minimum of one year’s post-full registration experience
be fully registered with a relevant UK regulatory body (NMC/HCPC/GPhC or other), without restriction or conditions and with a valid PIN
live and be based in the UK
have sound written communication skills
be able to manage conversations and ask questions effectively
All registered nurses must choose from one of four specialisms as part of their nursing degree – adult nursing, children’s nursing, mental health nursing, or learning disability nursing. It’s possible to change after graduating, but this doesn’t mean your career is decided.
Adult nurses work with patients over 18. They can work in hospitals or in community settings such as people’s homes, health centers or nursing homes. Once qualified, they can take extra courses to specialize in areas such as cancer care, women’s health, accident and emergency, critical care, practice nursing, health visiting or school nursing.
Children’s nurses work with children and young people up to 19 years old and can work in a variety of settings, from specialist baby care units to adolescent units. Children react to illness in a very different way from adults, and children’s nurses are specially trained to understand their needs. Children’s nurses also support, advise and educate parents and carers. Once qualified, they can specialize in areas such as health visiting, school nursing, intensive care, child safeguarding, and cancer care.
You cannot confuse a nurse with a doctor or specialist. A nurse will not have the same qualifications as a doctor, neurologist, consultant, or psychiatrist.
What is Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, neurodegenerative condition for which there is currently no cure.
In MS, the body’s immune system attacks myelin, the protective cover around nerve fibers. Damage, which can occur anywhere in the central nervous system, interferes with messages traveling from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body. Symptoms are many and varied but unique to each person. They can include problems with balance, vision, the bladder, bowel, speech, memory, fatigue, and painful muscle spasms, among many other things. MS affects over 100,000 people in the UK, many of whom experience their first symptoms during the peak of their working lives, in their 20s and 30s. MS is both a fluctuating and progressive condition. While the progression and symptoms of MS vary from individual to individual, primary progressive MS affects around 10 to 15% of people with MS. This is progressive from the very first symptoms. The remaining 85% of people with MS are initially diagnosed with relapsing forms of MS, where people have distinct attacks of symptoms with the underlying damage building up over time.
Many people with MS will go on to develop secondary progressive MS within 15 years of being diagnosed.
“Having MS is debilitating – it shouldn’t be made harder by a welfare system that is humiliating, degrading, and adds more stress which can lead to relapses. Stressing an individual out to the point that they relapse could consequently make that person lose their mobility and become bedridden”.
If a person with Multiple Sclerosis relapses because of the stress they endure fighting for something that should help them, then the government should be made accountable.
From a personal perspective, my daughter did actually relapse after being frustrated with her laptop not booting up consequently hurling it across the room. So stress is definitely a factor, that should not be ignored.
Traveling abroad can be stressful at the best of times, but when it comes to traveling and being disabled you are automatically on another playing field. For people with disabilities, there are many obstacles that they may have to overcome, Getting from the car or coach to the airport, queuing to check in luggage, scanning passports, going through security, and then finding the terminal to queue once again before going to the boarding gate.
Abled-bodied people, especially if they are in a hurry will push and shove, especially if they are running late. It, therefore, makes sense to get assistance without standing out like a ‘Belisha Beacon’ to get from A to B. When arriving at the airport you should go to an assistance point. An assistant point can be inside or outside of the terminal. Assistance points will usually have some type of disability-related logo, and include a buzzer or telephone to enable you to call for assistance should they not be staffed at that time.
It is reported that for around 22% of the population, traveling can be a difficult, even frightening, experience.
Thankfully many airports in the UK and around the globe are waking up to the needs of these passengers. For physically disabled persons there has for some time now been help available in the form of transportation around the airport. This is now being extended to passengers with other challenges.
Airports are now adopting a meet-and-greet policy to help aid people with disabilities.
The OCS Group provides special assistance at the Airport, and local Dementia, Autism, and Alzheimer charities in developing invisible disabilities assistance cards in addition to the lanyard scheme.
The card, which is the size of a business card, acts as a discreet sign to airport staff to identify passengers who may need additional support or assistance as they travel through the airport. The card can be handed discreetly to airport staff along with the passenger’s boarding pass or passport.
The special assistance card advises staff that a passenger may need more time to process information, help in avoiding crowded places, or extra assistance in reading departure boards or flight information, for example. The card also encourages airport staff to use clear language when giving instructions. Airport staff will also be aware that passengers carrying a card may need to remain with a family member or companion at all times.
In addition to the lanyard initiative, people with physical disabilities, as well as people with hidden disabilities will have a specialized team on hand to help passengers prepare for a journey and give additional guidance where need be.
Training and awareness program was adopted throughout all airports in the UK in 2017 where customers facing difficulties traveling can get assistance without the journey becoming stressful.
What is Airport Assistance Services
Airport assistance services can also be provided for abled-bodied travelers through this link: https://airportassistance.com/services/ This could be for businesses where CEOs prefer to have a concierge service and have peace of mind.
Coordinate with ground transportation
Personal curbside greet
Baggage and porter service
Escort to departure lounge
Personal escort to the boarding gate
Personal arrival greet
Baggage and porter assistance
Check-in assistance to onward flight
Escort to departure lounge
Personal escort to the boarding gate
Coordinate with ground transportation
Personal arrival greet
Baggage and porter assistance
Escort out to chauffeur
For disabled customers arriving at the airport in a wheelchair or mobility scooter, there is usually a very efficient service in place. However, customers are advised to pre-book early, at least 48 hours before departure to avoid any unnecessary delays. The disabled traveler may use their own equipment prior to checking in, after which time they will be provided with a wheelchair or transportation to the aircraft, depending on their specific needs.
Airline Policy on Assistance Dogs
The Civil Aviation Authority states that all airlines must allow assistance dogs on board with their owners, free of charge. There are certain stipulations to be aware of:
Owners must inform the airline in advance of travel
If a dog is too big to go on the floor in front of the owner, then an extra ticket may need to be purchased
Owners must supply a harness, food, and a blanket for the dog to lie on
The airline may ask if the dog is suitably trained for air travel with a certificate from an authorized trainer as proof
Some airlines won’t carry certain breeds of dog at all (for example pit bull terriers, mastiffs, etc)
Assistance dogs need to comply with the UK Government Pet Travel Scheme. For more information, visit the gov.uk website.
Emotional Support Animals on Planes
Current legislation in the UK will only accept dogs as emotional support animals, although not all airlines recognize this. For example, Thomas Cook and British Airways won’t allow you to carry them on board with you. However, Virgin, Ryanair, and EasyJet will allow emotional support dogs on the plane, so it may be worth checking this prior to booking your flight. Of course, all dogs must comply with the UK Government Pet Travel Scheme.
Finally, new schemes are being rolled out by some airlines all the time to ensure that the impact of a flight for customers with ‘hidden disabilities’ is as stress-free as possible. Virgin Atlantic has a dedicated special assistance team in place to help with the needs of these customers, from the initial check-in right through the duration of the flight.
AIRPORT PARKING MEET & GREET SERVICES is Available For All Disabled Travelers. (Please note advertising below consists of affiliate links where we may get a commission).
I phoned my GP today after waiting two months for a prescription that my neurologist consultant had prescribed for my unbearable pain which is caused as a result of my multiple sclerosis and yet, to this day I have not had the medication.
When I queried it today, the receptionist I spoke with stated that he was not ‘medically trained’ to read the letter sent from the neurologist at the hospital and that I would have to wait for the doctor to read it and approve. This goes to show the mentality of the receptionists at my GP as mentioned previously, he stated he couldn’t read my letter as he was not ‘medically trained’, when in reality, he shouldn’t be reading my letter at all as that would breach Data Protection Act 2015. None the less, I gave the GP the benefit of the doubt and continued to wait for my medication.
A few weeks go by and I get a call from the GP, although to my surprise it is not the doctor but a different receptionist. The woman I spoke with informed me that she was passing on a message from the doctor stating I had to have a consultation to discuss the medication at hand. When I questioned why I would need to discuss the medication when I had already done so with my consultant, she could not reply. As a result of this, it meant that I would have to ring up the GP at 8am the following day to fight for an appointment to then have to wait all day for a doctor to give me a call back.
Why do I need a consultation with the GP when my consultant who is a qualified neurologist has prescribed them?
I believe this is to test people and for them to beg to get medication. So am I to believe my general practitioner doctor is more qualified than the neurologist?This is now causing me anxiety and stress. Stress can lead to MS relapse.
So they cannot book an appointment at the time of the phone call, you have to be a good soldier and do as they ask.
When I told my mother who is also my carer, she said she would intervene and write a letter (which never gets answered, may I add) demanding that I have the medication otherwise my mother would take it up with the ombudsman.
I am worried I will get kicked out of the surgery as I am dependent on my drugs for the excruciating pain I endure, so told her not to pursue it. I have been threatened by this surgery before regarding not agreeing with some of the things they say. Both my mother and I have agreed that I contact my primary neurologist and explain not only have I fallen through the gaps regarding getting my monthly blood as stipulated on the Lemtrada website but my GP is refusing to give me the medication that the consultant requested.
This is Medical Negligence!
I am documenting this as evidence that my quality of life is being compromised because of my GP not giving me my medication and my concerns that my blood is not being tested to monitor any changes to catch them early.
This will be forwarded to PIP (Personal Independence Payments).
I will update again once I get further information.
I phoned my GP to book a consultation under duress otherwise I would have had hope in hell to get my medication, even though it was prescribed by a neurologist.
The doctor did phone me back only to ask me what I needed to talk about…OMG.
When I said about my medication she continued to ask which medication I was referring to, even though supposedly there was a message on my notes. She then asked if I am capable to take them…..what the hell?
What a waste of time and resources.
The doctor did not even know why she was ringing me other than me requesting a callback which I was put on the spot to do, otherwise, I would not have had my meds.
And people wonder why they struggle to get a GP appointment, this is a perfect example as to how the GP waste resources, time and effort. This appointment could have been utilised for someone who actually needed it, not for a chit chat.
After losing my patience waiting for my non-existence letter to arrive to notify me to have my blood test done, I decided to contact my primary neurologist by email. Baring in mind I am supposed to have a blood test done every month to prevent/pick up early, transfusion related conditions such as Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), kidney problems/anti-GBM disease and problems of the thyroid gland (hypo/hyperthyroidism). As I am writing this, it has been 7 weeks since my last blood test and yet my primary consultant could not care less, he is obviously happy I have lined his pockets ready for Christmas.
Granted he was quick to respond.
The unfortunate thing is, had I of not emailed him, he would have been none the wiser that I had not had any blood work done. Surely, as my primary consultant, it is his responsibility to ensure that as his patient, I am having the necessary tests to ensure I am ok.
Not only that, he confirmed my blood test on the 2nd November was okay, would he have not noticed that I was not scheduled for a repeat test for the following month? Would he have not spoken with the other neurologist that I saw last? Do people within the hospital even communicate with one another, or is that my responsibility too?
I did mention that I understood Royal Mail was on strike and the nurses and emergency service are following suit. I was concerned that I have not had any blood tests done and my neurologist replied to sort it out myself and phone his secretary.
Why should I go out of my way to chase blood tests?
I have always had my blood taken at the hospital so why suggest I have them done at my GP who is also as useful as a chocolate fireguard?
Why move the goalposts? Why try to fix something that is not broken, meaning continue to have my blood taken at the hospital?
It is the responsibility of the consultant to make sure I have a blood test done and not down to me to do their job for them.
I can see pound signs of their lack of empathy and aftercare for their patient.
If something is found that could have been prevented all hell will break loose, mark my words.
What the Government Has to Say:
Lemtrada▼ (alemtuzumab): updated restrictions and strengthened monitoring requirements following a review of serious cardiovascular and immune-mediated reactions
A review of the benefits and risks of alemtuzumab (including fatal reactions) in the treatment of multiple sclerosis has now concluded and recommended a revised indication, additional contraindications, and strengthened monitoring requirements before, during, and after treatment. Patients offered alemtuzumab should be alerted to the early risks of cardiovascular events and thrombocytopenia around the time of infusion and to the delayed risk of immune-mediated reactions. Healthcare professionals should inform patients what to do if they develop any symptoms of these disorders.
Article Written and Published 9th December 2022 19.45 pm
This is a health update on how I am feeling today. It started off with Evri supposedly delivering two expensive parcels to my property with a photo of what looked like the side of a package and the pavement.
When I received the email I immediately went downstairs because I live in a First Floor Flat only to find nothing in the communal area, so my initial thought was to buzz my neighbor to see if they heard the buzzer go (seeing as I am partially deaf) and the woman said she did not hear anything. I then went outside and could not see anything.
So now I am starting to panic, I could feel my heart pumping faster and I started to shake.
Although this post is not entirely a medical guide I will still include a few links should you need to research further.
The symptoms I had were:
Shortness of breath or hyperventilating
Feeling ill and lightheaded
Feeling out of control or like you’re about to die (a distinctive sign of a panic attack!)
Tingling sensation in your fingers or lips
Shaking and sweating
Feeling out of control
Fear, Anxiety & Panic Attacks
I continued the small talk and asked if they had sorted the problem with British Gas chasing them for £2K even though they have only lived in the property for two months if that. Now, this is the bit that started alarm bells ringing because I am in communication with British Gas who have said my address has been reverted back to Ground Floor on the 8th of November 2022 where the debt is (which has nothing to do with me). I was even told by British Gas that my meter was associated with the building rather than the flat according to the national database. I have not had any problems for 23 years and all of a sudden I am.
I am feeling very anxious over a lot of things right now. My brother and his wife and son are coming to the UK for Christmas and although it would be nice to see them, I am anxious because I do not know how well I can cope with my OCD. Furthermore, they expect me to travel which is a journey of 3 hours and I need to go to the loo every hour. Public toilets are out of the question. I can cope with my disability at home but doing what I do is humiliating and embarrassing when it’s done in front of other people that do not understand.
I feel anxious just in case they make a diversion and want to come to my home, I have anxiety issues when workmen and contractors come in let alone anyone else. If I had more money I would make the place look more liveable but as it stands it’s I place I work and lay my head to sleep.
Although I have agreed to meet with my brother, he does not realize the ordeal I have to go through to get from A to B, It is stressing me because he is not taking my disability seriously. I am already leaving my comfort zone and am testing my OCD thresh-hold. My daughter said if I do this now I won’t have to go through this again for a while. So fingers crossed on how well I cope with my disorder.
So going back to my missing parcels they were wedged between the pavement and the bin where anyone passing by could have swiped. Nice one Evri part of the Hermes group shower of company.
I feel very on edge and feel very tearful. My tolerance levels are nil. I have no patience and am very irritable. Put it this way I found one last valium that I saved in case of emergencies which was prescribed donkey years ago. I still feel my heart racing and the valium pill did jack sh#t 💩 to calm me down.
A few hours have now passed since the fiasco with the courier this afternoon and writing how I feel down has actually helped to a certain extent.
It’s easy to say don’t worry, or things will be ok, but unless you are walking in my shoes it’s hypocritical for someone to judge.
“I will continue carrying on, one step at a time, until one day the universe manifests my desires”.
I believe one day I will have everything I dreamed of. I believe nothing stays in the same place forever. I continue to keep myself busy, to stop myself from thinking about my past. I have set myself goals that I will strive to achieve and from this, I will be able to eradicate my memories. I will be able to help others to also put their past behind them and learn to overcome their fears. Everyone has down days even the richest people on the planet and everyone has a story to tell. The trick is learning to love, respect yourself and learn to forgive. My therapy is called “writing”, this can be a letter, a diary, a blog, or a book.
Writing releases the tension and puts it out to the universe, it is up to God to punish the perpetrators that have hurt you, whilst allowing you to rebuild your life.
“I carry a battlefield of wounds and from my own personal experiences will tell my story”.
My Book Is Coming Out In 2023
“Like a Pheonix, From the ashes, I will rise and God help anyone that stands in my way. I am a survivor warrior and am iRenata”.
Two-thirds of adults are worried they cannot afford Christmas dinner
With the cost of living on the rise and energy bills going through the roof, not only will be people feeling the pitch this Christmas they will also be feeling the cold.
As Christmas is approaching, people are worried about how they will be able to afford Christmas.
Stress and anxiety are the main factors that can affect people’s mental health.
People who worry end up having depression. Entrepreneurs and business owners struggling to get business usually carry the world on their shoulders.
Christmas is the time of year for added expenditure, buying presents for all family and friends, hosting Christmas parties and looking your best for the office do’s.
However, two-thirds of adults are very concerned that they will not be able to afford Christmas dinner or buy presents for their children, according to a survey.
The survey, commissioned by the Salvation Army, calculated the cost of Christmas dinner at £7.50 per head but – as the price of food is continuing to rise – the cost has increased since the survey was carried out on 22 October.
The concern is greater among those aged 65 and over – 81% – and those in the east of England – 80%.
Doing the maths
According to www.wikipedia.org UK is the 5th richest country in the world whilst there is a cost of living crisis at the expense of its people, how does that make sense?
Some 16% are planning to use a food bank to get items for their meal, while 38% are likely to skip meals if they have an unexpected expense such as a broken boiler.
The Salvation Army’s Lieutenant Colonel Dean Pallant said: “Christmas should be the season of joy, not sorrow. If so many people are worried they can’t even afford one of the most important meals of the year, it’s a red flag that poverty is creeping further into our communities.”
The poll also found that 14% of people cannot afford to buy their children a present this Christmas, and 18% expect to spend time in a building that is free to visit – just so they can keep warm.
Lt Col Pallant said measures announced in the autumn statement show the government is trying to help, but “its ability to stop the creep of poverty has been dangerously reduced due to rising inflation and the overall bleak economic outlook”.
He continued:“We expect this Christmas to be one of our busiest ever and are providing as many emergency food parcels as possible for those in urgent need and Christmas dinner for isolated older people and our Present Appeal is giving gifts to children who would otherwise have nothing to open on Christmas Day. We also offer a warm space in many of our buildings to people who can’t afford to heat their homes and will support rough sleepers so they aren’t forced to spend a cold Christmas on the streets.”
This comes against a background of tax hikes and inflation that is rapidly outpacing wages.
A government spokeswoman said: “We recognize people are struggling with rising prices which is why we’re protecting millions of the most vulnerable households through our £37bn package of support, including at least £1,200 of direct payments and saving households an average of £900 on their energy bills this winter, in addition to £150 of extra support for disabled people and £300 per household for pensioners. Vulnerable families in England are being supported by the government’s Household Support Fund – which was boosted by £500m – to help pay for essentials.”
Remember Christmas is just a religious event celebrated by Christians, it is very commercialized, and get this Jesus was not even born on the 25th of December, as researched by scholars.
Realistically, shepherds would not have been tending their flocks in December when the weather was cold; they would have continued shepherding no later than October. “We can approximate the month of Jesus’ birth to be around the time of Tishri (mid to late September). To arrive at this date, start at the conception of John the Baptist, Sivan (June), count forward six months to arrive at Gabriel’s announcement of the conception of Jesus, Kislev (December), then count forward nine more months, the time it takes for human gestation, to reach Tishri (September), when Jesus was born.”Source:https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/when-was-jesus-born.html
Do not get stressed over Christmas, for me it’s just another day.
Yes, I believe in a higher power, although I am more inclined to draw myself closer to science rather than religion. I believe there might have been a Jesus with special powers and a God that has more power. The book (the Bible) would not have survived for centuries if it did not have some meaning. There is definitely something about the bible but the dates are questionable.
As for Christmas do not think you have to impress people.
You do not have to have the Christmas shebang you can celebrate modestly without the Christmas crackers which are a waste of money, in my opinion, never mind the wrapping paper which gets disregarded, imagine how many trees we would save sending digital products instead. Reuse Christmas decorations rather than buy new ones. Accessorize your old dress rather than buy a new outfit.
I get that Christmas is a time for family reunions but consider the people that may be spending home alone this year. Check on your neighbors and if you can afford it offer them a mince pie or a small box of chocolates, let people know you care. If you cannot travel for whatever reason arrange to Facetime or Skype your relatives and friends. Let people know that they are not alone and that you are thinking of them.
As for gifting if you cannot afford anything expensive this year put in the Christmas card registration of a domain name, you can buy domain names for as little as £1 which could be worth hundreds or thousands. This could then be the start of a new opportunity, a new beginning, or a continuation of a hobby which the recipient could make money from. https://www.ionos.co.uk/domains/domain-names
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