A Blue Badge Campaign
We are two mums who both have children that have a condition called Hip Dysplasia.
My daughter Mia has just turned two and had her first operation in September. Jessica is eleven months and has recently had her operation. After the operation they are placed in a hip spica cast which goes from the chest down to the ankles, legs at right angles with a bar in between. These casts are extremely heavy and wide and render the children completely immobile.
We were amazed when we found out that our children weren't eligible for a Blue Badge despite the fact that it was completely impossible to get them in or out of a car in a normal car parking space.
Children under the age of two do not fit the current criteria as it is argued they can be carried in much the same way as a child without special needs. Also those who have a disability lasting less than three years are not eligible. We feel as do many others that our children are being discriminated against because of their age. Most children are walking independently by the age of two.
Kelli and I started the campaign to try and get the government and the Department for Transport to look at their criteria and to ask them to carry out the promises they made in accepting these changes over four years ago.
We have the backing of our local MP Maria Miller who has tabled an Early Day Motion (no.413) we are currently asking for those who feel strongly enough to write to their MP's and ask for their support in signing this.
Maria Miller has also requested a ten-minute rule bill and also a debate in Westminster Hall.
We need all the support we can get to make a change for all those families like ourselves.
We have got cross party support from over sixty MP's who have already signed.
Kelli and I started the campaign in October last year and we have been getting the same answers from the Department for Transport, that they are consulting, that there are reviews ongoing. We want them to stop consulting and start doing to help those families like ourselves who are in great need of a Blue Badge regardless of the age of the child or the type of disability.
Since starting our campaign we have been shocked and saddened by the amount of families / children with differing special needs who cannot get the help they need.
We have had families with serious heart defects, talipes, cerebral palsy, children on constant oxygen and children with feeding tubes who cannot get the help they need simply because of their age or type of disability.
We have been in disability now magazine as well as Best and we're due to be in Mother and baby magazine in March. We have also been interviewed live on channel 5 news and have also appeared on our local two news stations as well as our local newspapers. Last week we were contacted by Watchdog who are going to run the story.
We currently have over two thousand signatures. But more are needed.
You can find and support the petition at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/blue_badge
Helen Grindrod and Kelli-Ann Rushton
You can write to your MP at:
House of Commons
If you know your MP's name, you may be able to email them, a list of contact details for MPs, by name, is avilable here: Alphabetical List of Members of Parliament