The Pinder family becomes the second family to benefit from the Seven Families Project
Daniel Pinder was born deaf in November 1964 (he turns 50 this month) and was also diagnosed with epilepsy while young, neither of which stopped him from working as a rehabilitation officer.
In 2009, however, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. “Many years earlier I had briefly lost sight in my left eye and experienced different short term episodes until I originally thought I suffered a stroke. When the confirmation finally came in July 2009 that it was MS it came as a relief, because until then nobody could tell me what was really happening.” Daniel said.
“The Seven Families campaign is an excellent way of raising public awareness of the real impact of health conditions. The money we received from the project will be used to improve our standard of living as well as training for future employment that is hopefully suited to my skills and abilities. I may also obtain specialist equipment that will aid me to be more independent whether socially or in employment.”
Seven Families is a charity-led campaign to raise public awareness of the financial impact of long term illness or disability. The ground-breaking campaign, which is backed by some of the biggest companies in the UK, will provide financial support for one year to the breadwinners of seven families who are currently unable to work through ill health or accident.
The families are based in different parts of the country, come from various backgrounds and are experiencing the impacts of a range of different health conditions and injuries.
Commenting on the project, Peter Le Beau MBE and spokesperson for the campaign said: “We are trying to highlight the need for people to plan financially in case they become too ill to earn. The campaign provides a tax-free income for one year and Daniel will receive £700pm.
“It is the first campaign of its kind and it is probably the first time so many major companies have worked together for a common purpose and got widespread support for doing so. However, it is not just about the money as each family will also have the opportunity to benefit from independent living, rehabilitation and counselling services.”
Speaking about the project, Liz Sayce, CEO of Disability Rights UK said: “DR UK is involved in the Seven Families project because we want to test the difference it can make to get fast, effective support when you unexpectedly become disabled or develop a serious health condition, so you can get your life on track. Our campaign is for improved social security and independent living rights, for everyone – not the 2-tier system we have at present.”
Peter Le Beau added: “Each family will also have access to basic financial advice, from a range of volunteering financial advisers, to help with basic finances and budgeting.”
Jason Jaspal from Disability Rights UK also commented: “We campaign constantly for much faster and more effective support when somebody’s life changes through an accident or health condition.
“We hear from people daily who have to wait months for assessments (for Personal Independence Payment), while receiving ineffective or no support to resume work. This project will help us learn how different it can be when people do have resources, information and access to support on their own terms. We plan to draw on this learning to campaign for changes in social security and independent living support, which is in line with our aim to strengthen the voice of disabled people.”