2012: The Big Care Debate

On Friday 7 December students from schools and colleges across the UK came together with members of the University of the Third Age (U3A) for The Big Care Debate in the House of Lords chamber – an inter-generational debate on social care.

The question we asked at The Big Care Debate was:

  • Who should be responsible for providing support to the vulnerable in our society?

The debate focused on how our society should treat its most vulnerable members. It tackled the pressing social, economic and ethical questions that arise out of how we care for the disabled, support children living in care and address the impact of an ageing population.

It was the first chamber event on social care policy, and aimed to encourage an inter-generational exchange of ideas and experiences. The debate also highlighted how different generations are affected by social policies and the options for improving the environment for those most in need.

The debate is the latest event in the House of Lords outreach programme that aims to raise awareness of the role and work of the Lords.

On the day

The House of Lords worked with the English Speaking Union (ESU) to devise and deliver the debate. The ESU trained three teams to each lead on a different view in the debate, with each team also receiving assistance from a mentor member of the Lords.

After a lively debate the participants voted on who they thought should provide support to the vulnerable. The results were:

  • The state (local/national/devolved government): 138 votes
  • The family (with a focus on inter-generational issues): 48 votes 
  • The third sector (with a focus on the role of religious and voluntary organisations): 21 votes

Find out more about participating schools and U3A members.

Live broadcast

The debate was broadcast live. You can catch up on the debate on Parliament TV or watch the debate on YouTube.

Social media

Further information

Image: House of Lords 2012/Photography Roger Harris