‘Game of Thrones’ Star Battles for Campaign to Save Disability Services
Apple| | By Jason Owen
A Game of Thrones star is throwing his weight behind a campaign to help save disability services that benefit millions of disabled in Britain. Kit Harington, who plays lead Jon Snow on the hit HBO show, is asking his fans to support a petition asking the U.K. government to relieve the debt of British charities that provide care services to the disabled. Harington’s cousin, Laurent, has Down’s syndrome and autism and receives care from professionals who provide overnight “sleep-in” services.
Harington is also an ambassador for Mencap, one of the organizations facing financial difficulties. The financial troubles for the groups began in July when Mencap bosses lost a legal dispute between the overnight care assistants who asked for higher pay for their “sleep-in” services. Mencap and other organizations now owe $525 million in back pay to the overnight carers. “Many of the providers of this essential, ‘sleep-in’ service, face bankruptcy,” Harington said in a press release. “And some of the most vulnerable people in our society will be left, without care, without hope and without an independent future.” Harington added:
“The special relationship I have had with my cousin Laurent, throughout my life, has given me a privileged understanding of learning disability and the critical role that organizations like Mencap play in providing the care that makes an independent life possible. Overnight ‘sleep-ins’ are an essential part of that 24/7 care service.”As of August 4, the petition had received over 7,500 signatures. Game of Thrones has been in the news a lot this week, for more than its 30 million fans speculating on who will die next. On Tuesday, it was revealed HBO servers had been breached and on Thursday night Sunday’s upcoming episode, “The Spoils of War,” was leaked online. It remains to be seen if the hackers were able to acquire more files of future episodes to leak and whether this would prompt HBO to simply release the rest of the season online rather than wait for the normal premiere schedule. Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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