He doesn’t just ignore unpaid carers, he runs away from us, literally.
Last month i was invited to a recognising carer’s voices event in Chelmsford.
I got there and we were put upstairs as they weren’t ready for us, offered food and drinks.
We then went downstairs into the room where the event would be held. I was set out in a classroom type setup, with large tables dotted around.
Cllr John Spence started with a speech, most of which was regarding what he had done that day which had nothing to do with the even that we were at. It came across as bragging that he was so great that he’d been to other places that day.
He said that both himself and Nick Presmeg, the Executive Director who deals with adult social care, would work their way around the tables so they could talk to all of us.
At my table we consisted of parents caring for adult children. Nick Presmeg came and sat at our table. We all told our story’s, there were plenty of tears, and plenty of describing thoughts of suicide by everyone present because the struggle to get any help with the caring role is overwhelming.
To be fair, Nick Presmeg did at least have the decency to look utterly mortified. One person at our table described how she had emailed him before with no response, he muttered something about that she should email him again and hopefully it will get through the filter.
So there is your proof that officers at Essex County Council purposefully don’t read emails from the members of the public they serve. When you are working for the public it is part of your job to listen to the public. Nick Presmeg is paid £169,104 per year to fulfill his role, yet by his own admission, he filters incoming emails.
He was witness to me crying and I told my story and how I get zero help, and how I have had feelings of not wanting to be here. A lady there, I don’t know her name, but she said she usually works in children’s services, stated she would look into my case and what happened with my carers assessment and get back to me.
That was over three weeks ago, not that I am shocked at all, it’s what I expected. I won’t hear anything.
Cllr John Spence did not visit our table or speak to us, he must have been made aware that we were all crying, he probably heard some of us, not to mention it is his job to make sure he is aware if there is a group of carers crying their eyes out because they are being failed.
He had an assistant with him at all times, if she didn’t inform him that there was a group of carers crying then that is on him, not her, because it is his duty to make sure that he knows what is going on with the people he is meant to serve, especially when he is in the same room as him.
He left, didn’t say goodbye to anyone, just attempted to sneak out, when I say sneak out he couldn’t get out of there fast enough. There was still quite a bit of time left when he left, but i’m guessing he was told carers were upset and he couldn’t be bothered to deal with that because he just doesn’t care.
He opened the event and he should have closed it. I felt really bad for some of the other ECC employees there as they were left to close the event and with how upset some of us were, it was awkward for them.
It was just so awkward, the whole thing.
Cllr John Spence doesn’t care about carers, he made that very clear, his opening speech was all about him, it was in incredibly poor taste, it was literally talking about his busy day and where he’d been, think we were meant to feel grateful he spent his precious time on us.
I was thinking of going to the local press with my story, but someone else beat me to it with theirs.
Not to mention that whole even would have cost over £500. We all got hampers to say thank you for coming, i’d much rather have the help that i’m entitled to under law, but they seem to think a hamper will do.
I actually don’t really care anymore, i’m so depressed and worn down by my caring role that I don’t care, i’m barely functioning, it’s awful. I often wish that I wasn’t here anymore, because I feel there is no hope left for me to ever have anything even remotely resembling a normal life.
I can’t do the things that others can do, I can’t even have a relationship with anyone, I can’t have friendships, it’s just non stop doing everything. I have reached the point where I can’t even do anything about it myself, as all my energy is going on just getting through the day. The only reason i’m still here is because there is no way i’m putting my children through the loss of their mother, and there is nobody else who can care for them.
This is the raw reality of being a carer in Essex, this is the reality, forget about the procedures, forget about the law, forget about all the promises they make, they do nothing, they do not care about carers.
They care greatly about looking good, which is what all these events and listening to our voices is all about, it’s not about creating change, it’s about looking like they are listening. When they don’t even act upon the information they get from the carers they say they are learning from, it shows how little they actually care.
I know that there are funding problems, I know the Tories have cut funding down to record low levels, something that Tory Essex County Council obviously won’t ever admit to.
That said, I don’t care. I don’t even care that we are not getting help, I don’t even care that i’ve been lied to repeatedly and gaslighted repeatedly, i’m so past all of that and I am in such a bad way that i’m just kind of meh about the whole thing.
I am way past caring, the only people who have cared are the Samaritans and they can’t help. I don’t need mental health help, I don’t need medication, I don’t need to talk to someone, none of that is going to help. Back in April I was told by the two social workers who were here that certain things would happen, and that two of my children would be given social workers. That was 7 months ago and nothing.
I’ll write another blog listing what was said on that occassion, if I can be bothered.
Veronica, who was a student when I met with her about my carers assessment, was here in April with someone who I presume was her boss.
I’m not going to harm myself, but my life has come to the point of hopelessness where I sometimes really wish I wasn’t here any more. I can’t get any privacy, I can’t get any quiet time, I wake up every single morning in physical pain, and I just don’t care any more.
It’s a hopeless case, whatever they say Essex County Council are not going to support carers, they really don’t care. They care about making good nominations to the Social Work Awards and they care about getting kudos for that, but when it comes to the actual people, the human beings who need help, they couldn’t care less.
We are nothing to them, they know we will carry on caring regardless, no matter the damage to our physical and mental health, no matter the damage to those we care for.
As well as sometimes wishing I wasn’t here, i’m having to share the living room with one of my children who vocalises regularly that they wish they weren’t here any more, because they get no help, their mental health was terrible to begin with and it’s getting worse and worse.
So this is my life, this is what it is like being a carer in Essex, it doesn’t matter what the law says, it doesn’t matter what they promise. I was promised that someone would look into my assessment and what became of it. What became of it was that a student social worker looked at it.
The same student social worker, who, without informing me she was a student, then lied on multiple occasions as to why she couldn’t give me her mobile number. My favourite being that she has fine motor control problems after I sat there and saw her write copious handwritten notes.
As I said, lies and gaslighting.
I wasn’t going to send this to anyone, just publish it, but I may send it to Nick Presmeg to see if it gets through ‘the filter’. I’m guessing the filter is solely to stop any emails from the public getting to him, and that it probably isn’t a proper filter but either himself, or someone working for him but under his instruction, just deletes any emails from the public asking for him to help them.
I’m not asking for anything in this blog, I first asked for help as a carer two years ago. I last had contact with a social worker 7 months ago. I am absolutely done, they have failed us horrendously and i’d rather not listen to their utter rubbish any more.
Their whole cares commitment is a load of rubbish, they listened to how us carers, and those we care for, are suffering, and came up with with a load of rubbish about what they are going to do to improve, while doing nothing for the carers who poured their hearts out to them.
Oh wait, I got a a hamper, that sums ECC up completely, don’t bother helping, but chuck you a hamper to make themselves look good.