DVLA News, Why I’m worried about my son & The #FoodBankChallenge boom

It’s been too long since I’ve given everyone an update on what’s going on with me, so here we go.

DVLA Progress?

On the 29th of May I finally received the elusive forms the DVLA claimed to have sent me in April. It transpires, going by the form, that the DWP Work Capability Assessor reported something to do with my mental health. I say this as all the questions were regarding this. I still haven’t received a reply to my correspondence on the 19th of May asking for answers.

Anyway, I filled in the forms and, as my parents came to take me out, I asked my father to post it for me. I then called the DVLA Medical Group over the space of 4 hours trying to get through. Each time until I eventually got throught I was greeted with the response; “due to exceptional call volumes we are unable to take your call, please call back later”. 4 hours…

When I got through and passed security I spoke to a this time, very helpful agent. I explained the situation and, she could she my email had been received and was being looked in to. I asked since I had now replied was I allowed to continue to drive under section 88 of the road traffic act whilst they carry out their enquiries. If I had gotten the forms originally I would have been allowed to, it is only as they failed to use the correct address that I didn’t reply.

Well some good news. Well maybe. She spoke to her manager and advised me that once the forms are received and scanned onto the system they may reinstate my licence based on what I have written, but she couldn’t promise anything. However if nothing has changed, (it hasn’t), it’s likely to be reissued while they ask for medical reports. Hooray.

What have I been up to?

I haven’t posted much myself this week as I haven’t been feeling very well. I suffer for Crohns’ Disease, amongst other things as you know, and it has been affecting me pretty badly this week. Also because of my medication I don’t cope with the heat too well. Bar going to my parents on the 29th, I’ve been in bed. I know lazy. I have my sons on Saturday and Sunday so I’m looking forward to that. I then have my 3 year old until Wednesday too.

Worried about my youngest

The reason I have only my 3 year old Monday to Wednesday is because my youngest son who was born in January has to travel to Edinburgh Sick Childrens Hospital to see a specialist Neurosurgeon. He was born with a condition called Craniosynostosis.

“Craniosynostosis is a rare condition where a baby’s skull doesn’t grow properly and their head becomes an unusual shape. It doesn’t always need to be treated, but surgery can help if it’s severe.” – NHS Choices

When a baby are born, their skull is a series of plates which are not connected. This allows the skull to grow. They have a soft spot which highlights this and the gaps are called sutures.. In my sons case all of those sutures are fused. This means that as his brain grows his skull cannot develop properly. It’s early enough that it’s not causing any major issues but i will require an operation soon. Living in the Highlands we have no specialists for this so Edinburgh, a 200 mile trip is the closest.

His mother is taking him for the appointment on Tuesday and then coming back up. I cannot really afford to go due to the hotel and transport costs involved. She’s going down the day before.

I must mention that he is an incredibly happy baby who is still hitting his development goals as they call them. I just worry a lot. The thought of my 6 month old having his skull sawed open, no matter how “routine” it is, upsets me. However I have to stay strong.

PIP Transition

I sent the forms I had to complete to transition to Personal Independence Payment, (PIP) back and received an acknowledgement by text that they had received it and will let me know if I’m required to attend an assessment. After my Universal Credit assessment I am dreading this one. If I am not awarded PIP I will lose my motability car and therefore my only form of transport. No bus here despite my local community council pressuring them lately.

I will keep you all informed on how this is going.

#FoodBankChallenge and my plans going forward

The #FoodBankChallenge has really taken off this week. The number of people donating to their local foodbank has soared. Hugh Grant appeared again regarding the challenge when he made a surprise donation to Airdrie Foodbank after they put an appeal out for supplies when they ran out. A link to an article on this is in the Links and Useful Articles section of my page. It also appeared in the Daily Record and Scottish Sun Newspapers and made mention of the challenge which is fantastic.

So may people are learning about food poverty and what is causing it. Everyone should be so proud of themselves for making a difference. It is you and not me who own this.

All I ask is you keep on sharing it and telling people about the challenges some face.

What next?

I plan to start writing more articles, the first, Jackie’s Story is already out. I want to get more personal stories and share them to show that I am not in a unique situation. More and more people are taking notice.

I want to thank the people who message and tweet everyday and encourage me not to give up. I really do appreciate it as current circumstances are getting to me a bit.

Anyway, I hope to continue to give up to date and useful information to everyone and to grow my readership so more people can understand how the governments welfare reform is failing us all.

Take care and have a good weekend.

Alex and the boys x @RespectIsVital

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I don’t get paid for what I do, but if you’d like to make a donation to help me continue to research, write and campaign, I would be eternally grateful to you. I don’t like asking but I am finding it difficult to support myself and my sons whilst keeping to my commitments financially. You can donate via paypal below