Merton CIL News

Merton CIL believes that the Coronavirus Bill presents a threat to the health and wellbeing of Disabled people at this difficult time, and in the most serious circumstances could threaten people's lives.

It is with great regret that following the latest government advice, we have decided to close the Merton CIL office to the public and cancel our Craftivism and Chat group until further notice. Disabled people are among the most vulnerable to coronavirus. We have taken this decision to protect our staff, service users, members and supporters. 

We are closed to all new advice and advocacy cases. We are developing new ways of working with current service users that minimise face to face contact. 

Please do get in touch if you have any queries or concerns. You can give us a call on 0203 397 3119 or email us at

We will continue to follow Government advice and keep you updated. 


If you or a loved one is Disabled, you may be wondering what coronavirus means for you/them. There are increasing cases of coronavirus in the UK. Some Disabled people may be at higher risk of coronavirus. We have some tips to avoid catching or spreading germs 

At our Craftivism and Chat group that was held on 6th March 2020, Disabled people responded to the Improving Healthcare Together 2020 - 2030 consultation. In September 2019, NHS Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton CCGs were allocated £500 million to improve the current buildings at Epsom and St Helier hospitals as well as build a new specialist emergency care hospital on one of the three sites – Epsom, St Helier or Sutton. Their preferred option is Sutton Hospital. We asked our members to respond to the consultation on the proposed changes to our local NHS services, so that Disabled voices are heard.

Merton CIL hopes to raise over £1,000 to continue their Craftivism and Chat project that aims to reduce isolation and loneliness in local Deaf and Disabled people over the next two years.

Merton Centre for Independent Living (Merton CIL) is seeking a new Treasurer with expertise in Finance to join our Board of Trustees, currently made up of ten members, eight identifying as Deaf or Disabled.

We will close for Christmas on Tuesday 24th Dec 2019 at 3pm. We will reopen on Thursday 2nd Jan 2020 from 9am.

We want all Deaf and Disabled People to have their say and sign up to vote. We have written a short guide on how to register to vote and the voting process.

In celebration of Purple Tuesday (12th Nov 2019), an international call-to-action, focused on changing the customer experience for Disabled people, Centre Court Wimbledon and Merton CIL are asking retailers based in the Centre Court shopping centre to get involved in an ‘independence contest’, so that the benefits of Purple Tuesday can be felt all year long.

Welcome to the August edition of CIL Matters. This CIL Matters newsletter follows on from what we discussed at this years My Voice Matters event. We want you to have your say and help us to develop our Independent Living Toolkit. We also have lots of Merton CIL news to update you on. We have a new CEO Tom Lichy. 

This is a great opportunity to join our dynamic user-led Deaf and Disabled people's organisation in Merton and to support our continued growth, strategic direction and governance on the trustee board.

On June 25th 2019, Merton CIL held its annual event ‘My Voice Matters’ at the New Horizons Centre in Mitcham. Deaf and Disabled People came together with the local community to talk about what we need to live an independent life.

This trainee role is a great opportunity to develop core information, advice and advocacy knowledge and experience while working with and supporting our committed team of caseworkers. You will be focusing on Personal Independence Payment applications, from form-filling to representation at the First-tier Tribunal and social care (Care Act 2014) assessments, reassessments and reviews.

Merton Centre for Independent Living (Merton CIL) are pleased to announce that Tom Lichy will be joining them as Chief Executive Officer from 12th August 2019.

Merton CIL has started a review of housing for Deaf and Disabled people in the borough and we want to hear people's views and experiences.

In May, the government has confirmed its decision to go ahead with the plastic straw ban despite the strong objections of Disabled people including members of Merton CIL. We used the consultation to tell the government that banning the general use of plastic straws would add to the barriers Disabled people have to deal with but they're going ahead with it anyway," says Michael Turner, Merton CIL Policy and Strategy Manager.

This CIL Matters newsletter is focused around 'togetherness'. We have articles on co-production, we speak about ways that you can get involved at Merton CIL and much more. We are also very excited to invite you all to this years My Voice Matters event in June. We hope you enjoy reading it!

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is consulting on whether to introduce deposit return schemes to improve recycling. This broadly means that bottles may cost a little more to buy, but you can get money back if you return them. Our members raised concerns about whether Disabled People who need support to live independently might find that they are paying more for goods, and they are unable to get back to shops or reverse vending machines to get money back.

Merton CIL are looking for a new CEO, as their current CEO is moving overseas. This role is an exciting challenge for someone who is self-motivated and enjoys a varied and strategic role. It will be a demanding role combining day-to-day management of this user-led Deaf and Disabled People's Organisation, with accountability to the trustee board and responsibility for supervision and development of the senior management team.

A big thank you to all our members who came to the recent Craftivism and Chat group to talk about sex! Specifically, we gave feedback on Merton's planned Sexual Health Strategy. The London Borough of Merton and Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS), working alongside NHS England, are responsible for commissioning sexual health services in Merton. They are currently developing a joint 5 year sexual health strategy. This strategy aims to set out how everyone in Merton has good access to sexual health services and is supported to be healthy.