Stockport Public Transport

A few months ago I complained on here about disabled transport in the Stockport area, mainly taxis for disabled use. I have reported to my MP who put a Councilor on the job and after a month took a outdated list of transport numbers down off Stockport website. He also told me that because of not having a black cab company in Stockport I should “befriend” some drivers at the station and get individual numbers of cabs that can take Debbie.

It did annoy me a bit but I’m so used to the response in Stockport that you have to do it yourself. If we lived in most of the other areas in Manchester we could call a Black Cab number but in Stockport we can’t. It’s like living in 1826. There is no response that we should have disabled access available in Stockport jay all.

I have bought a disabled vehicle but some days we can’t use so need an alternative.

Today was such a day and I called a disabled access cab and told him details. He turned up 20mins late! and Debbies head was pushed against the roof of the cab. We were a little late for the hospitial appointment,

Christmas Carers 

For the past 3 years we’ve had some bad times at Christmas. Firstly because any carers always want to be with family at Christmas and it’s been very dIfficult to find anyone who wants to work Christmas or Boxing Day let alone Christmas week. We have had some carers over Christmas but because of desperation we couldn’t check them out properly and one of them stole some of Debbie’s drugs. 

Secondly most people’s houses are not wheelchair friendly so going somewhere else is a real struggle. We did manage to book a place at the “March Hare” last year and that was great for a few hours. I’m afraid we’re too late to book there. 

This year we have a new carer agency and they are promising to give us carers over the holidays. I believe she’s Muslim so doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Mind you I have known Muslim Carers want Christmas off to be with family. 

So I’m contemplating cooking Christmas dinner now for Debbie and I at home. This next 2 weeks will prove out our care plan for Christmas so fingers crossed this might be a real Holiday 🙂 

Here we go…

So here we go we’re going to try and raise money for a wet room for Debbie. We’ve had a quote and it’s going to cost  £4K. 

Applications are going in for part of budgets to be covered by MS society and other charity’s. Once underway we will  be asking council to contribute also. 

I’ve booked back on the Manchester 10k in 2017 even though it nearly killed me in 16 I’m hoping this will help. If people think I could die seems to help donations. It did when I climbed Kilimanjaro 10 years ago. 

I will be posting link to just giving page later or tomorrow. 

Craige 07968 146210

The Not So Wet Room

I haven’t updated this blog for a while as I wanted issues to have progressed before I put anything in writing. 

When we were forced to move to Stockport we were told that we could get a ramp to the front of the buliding and a wet room for Debbie but soon after adaptions in Stockport said they had ran out of money and they could not bulid anything. 

With Debbie being so poorly they did offer for us to get already adapted housing. We have maximum points you can get for adapted housing but In 18 months we have only seen 3 houses which are either tiny and we can’t even have a washing machine or Debbie in the living room. Also they don’t allow dogs and we’re not getting rid of biscuit.

This month we have had a ramp fitted and it has made life a lot easier as we don’t have to struggle with temporary ramps in and out of the house. Also front garden is not all mud as we turn wheel chair in the front garden. It’s fantastic. 

For Debbie to be able to shower we have been traveling to a small Hospitial on the other side of the A6. It’s a problem organising dates and it can be up to 6 weeks between showers. Stockport still say they have no money so I’m looking at building a wet room ourselves.

So as of December I will be starting a get “Debbie a Wet Room” campaign. I will be trying to get money from charity’s and crowd sourcing and I’m running again in the Manchester 10k. Seeing last year it nearly killed me and I had to spend 2 weeks in Hospitial I hope to raise a bit off that. Once under way i will go back to the council and try and get top up. 
This is how Debbie has to spen 22 hours per day.

Watch this space 
Craige Barker


Christmas update 

Debbie and Me are preparing for Christmas. Our main live in carer Lucia has gone back to Romania for Christmas and new year so we have been trying to sort external carers. The agency’s have not been much help but a Gumtree advert may have given us what we need. Usual daily struggle with disease and usual ineffectual calls from NHS departments. On the good side I’ve booked us in to The March Hare for Christmas Day diner and we love it in there. Family is coming round Boxing Day and I’m cooking which may be terrible for them.Love Craige xxx  

Carers Limbo Again

  You have to have bags of patience in dealing with local government, NHS and government departments. We moved nearly a month ago now and although most areas have gone well I have had to hide away a lot of issues from Debbie. I don’t like hiding things from my sick wife but when the decisions taken by these agency’s could effect her health I am forced to. As I stated before in Trafford I had no help in finding properties to care for Debbie but now we’ve moved to Stockport they seem a lot more involved and although this is great I just wish for more help before. 

So we have moved into our new house with all it’s failings and advantages. Stockport council have been quick in getting involved in the changes required to the property. When I was looking at moving the property I had made sure enough space for Debbie’s Wet Room. At our new house there is the space and the woman from the council agreed but when she took the proposal to the council board it was knocked back. I have to now look at already adapted properties in the Stockport area that might suit Debbie. 

I’m off to look at new houses, no it’s not worth asking a woman of Debbie’s problems to consider a new house. She was only just getting used to this one.  Trafford have a lot to answer for.

Long Time no Hear 

Sorry it’s been so long for an update but so much has been going on and yet so little. We were waiting for so many things to be decided and I didn’t want to negatively influence anything. 


Fistly we have now sold the house (yahoo) and we complete at the end of June. This is a bitter sweet conclusion as we really wanted to stay here but all efforts have failed and at least we will walk away with no debts. We tried lots of different avenues including Kate Green the MP for this area but we are not even allowed to have a named Social worker in this Conservative ran Council. We have tried charity’s Housing Assciations, estate agents, letting agencies, FSA,  building society’s and the list goes on and all to no avail. 

A couple of months ago I was picking up another great curry from “The Princess of Hearts” in Ashton on Mersey. Taz the owner, who knows the background asked what area we were looking for.  I said beggars can’t be choosers and he offered a house in Cheadle Hulme. I went to look at it the next day and though it looked OK was way off the area for NHS, social work and family. This next move is for 5 years and I did hesitate. I was hoping for a last minute save to keep us in the area but in the end I had to give up and Taz has become our saviour. 

We move in at end of month and the house is being prepared at present but we need still need a wet room fitted and ramps etc. I need to register with social services. NHS and other services in the next couple of weeks to enable the Hospitial bed and hoist to be in place.

The big news in the last few months is that Debbie has been awarded “Continuing Health Care” which does mean that long term, Debbie’s care should be sorted what ever happens in the future. This decision is so important for both of us and should help us build a care plan for her. 

Lots of people have volunteered to help us move and at the next update will be during the move.  See you all soon.

This pic is of Kaleb our Grandson writing stories with his Nana in her Hospitial bed in the living room. 


New Year a New plan

I know it’s been a while since I updated this blog but I’ve been waiting for the world to wake after the Holidays, which seems to get longer every year.

As I said in the last update we are in a state of limbo waiting for decisions from all parties and I really wanted to write about progress.

Just before the break the building society said we had to see an advisor from a separate company that would represent us in the best light to the Halifax. To me it smelt of debt collector and when I told Citizens Advice they said the same. I called this guy from a company In Manchester and he swore that he was not part of any debt collection company so I agreed to risk him and let him in.

When he arrived he seemed really nice and he saw Debbie in her sick bed, house for sale sign up and said he was going to recommend to the Halifax that they take Interest only for a few months while the house sells. Relieved I settled back to get through Christmas.

On the Saturday between Christmas and New Year I got 2 letters from the Halifax. First one said they were going to start proceedings against us in 15 days. The second letter was a bill for the bloke I saw for a £150. To say I was devastated was an understatement. I had to wait until the Monday to speak to Halifax staff as to what the hell some bloke they sent to at my house, why they had ignored his recommendations, why I had a bill for a £150 and how could they do this to us.

My call was answered by Angelina, the first of my Christmas “Angels”. After I explained everything she zapped my bill to zero, pinged our mortgage to interest only and then dropped £20 into the account just because they had been a bunch of gits! Wow I couldn’t have asked for more. Well maybe a £50 gift but really a great result. Watch for future “Angels”

We received a letter from DWP that they had changed Debbie’s status from “return to work” to support. Yehaaaaa this was massive, Debbie could now in the future make claims for benefits without me. It was incredible that for the past 4 years they had insisted that Debbie was on a return to work strategy.

Today we have had 2 meetings regarding “Continuing Health Care” this is where Debbie’s care is moved from council social care to NHS care. This is a massive a change and stops the fight for individual incidents with council employees to an overall care plan for Debbie with Health staff. I can not stress enough how much this means to me for us to get “CHC” status. Today we’re the final meetings prior to the report being taken to board for approval. It’s very involved and its split into 2 meetings so some of the negative parts of the meeting don’t have to be in front of Debs.

The next and final stage of this work is to take place on the 10th of Feb, fingers crossed everyone on that day. This is a massive change to Debbie’s care and means more than money.

This would mean a whole new plan!

Happy new Year everybody!

Limbo Christmas

Three weeks to go to Christmas and I haven’t bought one present or put any decorations up.

We’re still waiting for Debbie’s benefits decision so I chased last week with DWP. They told me that there could be a up to a year for ATOS to perform the medical. ATOS are doing what they were employed for. I asked what we’re supposed to live on? I was told Debbie could apply for “Application Status” and sent another form. I’ve filled that out and sent it back so we are now waiting for “Continuing Healthcare” decision and the DWP decision.

House is on the market and we have already had an offer. I couldn’t believe that we got an offer first week. It was a little low so knocked back at the moment. We have some more viewings this weekend so fingers crossed.

We are trying to sort Christmas day but we can’t leave the house. We have planned around most of Debbie’s new problems but still have a couple to sort. So I may have to do a small diner here for my daughter and grandkids here.

Think it’s time for “It’s a Wonderful Life” see if Clarence can give me some ideas.