November 2023: Engage Britain has now merged with Demos. You can still find all our work from 2019-2023 here, but to get in touch or find out about our new ventures, go to

"When the first lockdown started, I was okay for a bit. But unfortunately my grandmother suffers from cognitive impairment. And she will press her little button to say, ‘I need help.’ You help her, you then go back, and a few moments later she presses the button again, and asks for exactly the same help again. So by the end of April, I just couldn't tolerate it any longer. And so I rang the council and said ‘I am awfully sorry to bother you, but I’d like to speak to someone in regard to respite and care. Otherwise, I might do something silly.’ I was told ‘Certainly, someone will get back to you’. It took me seven days of constantly ringing them up every single day, and just repeating that message, before someone came back. And the first question they asked was ‘What’s this silly thing you want to do?’ ‘Oh I’ll just phone the police and ask how to section myself’. It was only then that things started moving, and I was granted respite in June of that year. I don’t want to be on my last wick, if you’ll pardon the expression, before help comes."