Game of Thrones hero Kit Harington has paused in his crusade to save the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros to yield his sword against government cuts.
The actor, who plays Jon ‘King in the North’ Snow in the HBO fantasy epic, has backed a campaign to stop people with learning disabilities from losing their carers.
New guidance on payments for “sleep-in” carers means charities that provide the service could be faced with a back-pay bill of £400m.
We need to act now
“Just having a carer stay overnight in their home makes a huge difference to someone with a serious learning disability,” said Harington, before warning many charities could go bankrupt if the changes were enforced.
“This is a reality – the most vulnerable people in our society will be left without care. We need to act now.”
Mencap chief executive Jan Tregelles described the payments dispute as “the most critical issue that Mencap has faced in 70 years”.
Harington also talked about his cousin Laurent, who has Down’s syndrome and autism, and the care he received.
“The special relationship I have had with my cousin Laurent has given me a privileged understanding of learning disability and the critical role that organisations like Mencap play in providing the care that makes an independent life possible,” said the actor.
“It saddens me that there is still such a stigma attached to learning disability,” he added.
“I want to help shine a spotlight on the vital work that Mencap and other providers do. It makes such a difference to hundreds of thousands of ordinary families across the UK.”
For more on the #StopSleepInCrisis: www.mencap.org.uk/sleep-ins-petition