We Won't Be Forgotten

Dear Prime Minister,

Coronavirus has devastated people's lives, and amongst the hardest hit are the UK’s 14 million disabled people. Almost two thirds of people who have died because of Coronavirus were disabled. And now, with a looming recession and disabled people at the sharp end of poverty, we need the Government to take urgent action.

Months of feeling forgotten is taking its toll. Disabled people and their families have disproportionately faced loneliness and worsening mental health. Shielding may be pausing, but for millions of disabled people there is no pause button on their anxieties.

Before coronavirus, life for disabled people and their families was tough. The Government’s recovery plan has forgotten about disabled people, and risks making their lives even tougher. An equal society shouldn’t treat millions of disabled people as an afterthought.

Earlier this year, you wrote to all government departments instructing them to find ways to address inequalities and make the greatest contribution to the lives of disabled people. It is vital now that government delivers on this ambition.

Economic recovery is key, and disabled people must be included in this. The Government needs to safely support people back into work. The commitment to tackle the disability employment gap set out in the Conservative manifesto must be upheld. For those unable to work, the Government must guarantee a safety net which supports rather than punishes, without fear of ineffective sanctions.

We are calling on the Government to work with us to:

• Factor disabled people’s needs into every plan and change in regulations around the easing of lockdown from the start.

• Prioritise the vital National Disability Strategy. Ensure it provides a clear plan to mitigate existing inequalities the pandemic has further magnified.

It is crucial the Government provides a new deal for disabled people to show they won’t be forgotten in the Government’s recovery plan, and beyond. After enduring months of lockdown, disabled people must not be locked out of society.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hodgkinson
Chief Executive


Also supported by:

Baroness Jane Campbell

Stephen Timms MP, Chair, Work and Pension Select Committee

Sara Llewellin, CEO, Barrow Cadbury Trust

Kathryn Scott, Director of Policy, British Psychological Society

Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive, Business Disability Forum

Kamran Mallick, Chief Executive, Disability Rights UK

Phil Lee, Chief Executive, Epilepsy Action

Liz Barclay, Steering Group Chair, Fair by Design

Neil Heslop, Chief Executive, Leonard Cheshire Disability


Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind

Chris James, Director of External Affairs, MND Association

Caroline Stevens, Chief Executive, National Autistic Society

Steve Ford, CEO, Parkinsons UK


Charles Colquhoun, CEO, Thomas Pocklington Trust

Deirdre Costigan, National Officer for Disability Equality, Unison

Anela Anwar, Chief Executive, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust

Alex Brooker, TV Presenter, Journalist and Comedian

Juliette Burton, Performer, Writer and Broadcaster

Sarah Crawford

Ben Elton, Comedian, Author, Playwright, Performer and Scope Patron

Richard Herring, Comedian, Writer, Broadcaster and Scope patron

Lottie Jackson, Journalist

Mark Lane, Garden Designer, Gardeners’ World Presenter

Sophie Morgan, Disability Rights Advocate, Broadcaster, Social Entrepreneur and Scope patron

Georgie Morrell, Comedian, Actor and Writer

Adam Pearson, Actor, Presenter and Disability Campaigner

Christopher Stevens, Journalist

Samantha Renke, Actor, Disability Campaigner and Scope Ambassador

Lee Ridley, Comedian, Disability Campaigner and Scope Ambassador

Shaun Pye, Actor, Comedian and Writer