'We were forgotten' - St Neots' mum backs Covid disability campaign

Claire Reece is mum to Hugo, who has CHARGE syndrome. They are backing Sense's petition.

Claire Reece is mum to Hugo, who has CHARGE syndrome. They are backing Sense's petition. - Credit: Simon Murrell Photography

A St Neots’ mum – whose 12-year-old son has complex disabilities – says families like theirs have been “forgotten” during the pandemic. 

Claire Reece, 41, is mum to Hugo, who has CHARGE syndrome, is deafblind and has respiratory problems.  

Hugo and his family had to shield during the pandemic, and since Hugo’s external care support was taken away in March 2020 – it has still not been fully reinstated.    

Claire is speaking out as part of the national disability charity Sense’s petition calling on the government to put disabled people at the heart of next year’s Covid inquiry. 

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“Disabled people and their families have been forgotten in this pandemic. Overnight we had to stop all of Hugo’s care and we were left with no support,” Claire explained. 

“Even now 18 months later we still have reduced care. 

“We are not free at the moment; we are constantly looking over our shoulder and nervous that Hugo will catch Covid.    

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“The government did not and still does not take into consideration how many families and individuals are still scared and suffering out there.  

“Disabled people and their families must be at the heart of this inquiry, they are the most vulnerable and the government failed to protect them.”    

Sense has supported Hugo since he was just five-months-old. 

Six out of every 10 people who have died from Covid in 2020 are disabled, while making up 22 per cent of the population. 

From their latest findings, the charity found that nearly three quarters of disabled people believe their needs have been ignored; effecting physical and mental health. 

Sense has now launched a petition calling on disabled people to be put at the heart of the inquiry.  

Richard Kramer, Sense chief executive, said: “Never again should disabled people have to experience the lack of information, support and consideration that they have during this crisis.   

“We must learn from the mistakes that have been made and ensure disabled people are no longer and will never again be treated like second class citizens.”  

 For more information and to sign the petition visit www.sense.org.uk/CovidInquiry