Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 13:38 UK

Carers in call for more support

Michael McGimpsey
Three adults with a learning disability will hand in a letter for Mr McGimpsey

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has been urged to do more to support parents of children with learning disabilities.

The Equal Lives Action Group held a rally at Stormont on Tuesday where they met with MLAs.

The group's chair, Sandra Harris, has cared for her daughter for 39 years.

"Traditionally our sons and daughters have got a very poor deal in life here. They often do not have the vital support they need," she said.

"They are not able to get involved doing the many things which the rest of us can take for granted."

Mrs Harris said that many parents had to cope on their own, well into their 80s.

"Among the needs are properly funded and imaginative day services, a substantial increase in respite services and appropriate support to allow people with a learning disability to have their voices heard," she said.

The Equal Lives Action Group was set up in January 2006 following a meeting attended by more that 80 parents from south and east Belfast.

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