The Big Question

If just one of your dreams for 2007 could come true, which would it be?

I would like to see the government show more humanity to the downtrodden and deprived. More money should be invested in welfare provision and care for disabled and disadvantaged people. There is more official recognition of carers now, but the carers allowance is a mere £46 a week, which is nowhere near in line with the minimum wage.

RICHARD WEST – Inspired Services
I really want to see better services for carers with learning difficulties and carers for partners and families have to be recognised. We have set up a “who cares for us?” network. I would like to be nominated for some awards for all the hard work I have done for government. Other dreams include DJ-ing around the world and flying to Australia.

JEAN STOGDON – Grandparents Plus
We need a redefinition of the family. There’s a saying: it takes a village to raise a child. Grandparents provide £3.5bn a year of free child care and they should get more recognition. I went to see Norman Glass, instigator of Sure Start, and asked why no one had considered the role of grandparents. He said nobody ever mentioned it.

LEN SMITH – Gypsy activist
Much of the friction in our society is driven by bile-ridden elements within the popular press who earn their shekels through peddling fear and prejudice. So my big wish for 2007 would be that all of us could recognise and respect each other’s humanity and equality of rights. That might sound trite, but I believe that only then will we live at peace with our fellow man.


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