Jenny Morrison and Diane Mayhew launched Rights For Residents in September 2020. In response to the cruel and inhumane visiting policies placed on care home residents, they mobilised the families of those directly affected into actively campaigning on behalf of their loved ones, whose voices can’t be heard.  Many care homes continue to deny residents their human right to a family life.

The rights of children, young adults and the elderly, in residential settings, have been severely eroded and we must continue to end this discrimination.

Throughout the pandemic residents would tell their families they would rather die than carry on “existing” in isolation. Relatives are plagued by feelings of guilt for what their loved ones endured. They found themselves wishing their loved one would pass away, rather than continue to decline, often in a state of anxiety and distress, while they were unable to comfort them. 

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What’s been achieved so far?

 The Rights For Residents campaign has been hugely successful. In response to the immense pressure from campaigners and their supporters in the media and in Parliament, the government have been forced to limit all restrictions on visiting other than outbreak management. 

Residents should now be free to enjoy visits out of the home, even during outbreaks, subject to a risk assessment.

Ministers have acknowledged the devastating consequences of keeping vulnerable residents apart from those they love.  

As a result, thousands of residents across the country have been reunited with their loved ones and are enjoying vital family contact. While this is cause for celebration, we continue to campaign for residents to have their right to receive visits enshrined in law.

If you or a loved one has benefited from the work of Rights for Residents, or may do so in the future, please donate to ensure our work can continue. 



Care home residents are no longer guaranteed the basic freedoms enjoyed by those in wider society. Like everyone else, care home staff are free to go on holiday, to pubs, clubs, cinemas, festivals, large events, football matches, family celebrations etc while providing personal care to our loved ones. These are all high-risk activities that inevitably lead to Covid outbreaks in care homes. Yet, some care homes view relatives as the only source of potential infection.

The Government must intervene to end the postcode lottery, in which some care companies follow official guidance while others choose to disregard it.

Protecting people’s “right to life” has focused on protecting people from the risks posed by the virus – to the exclusion of other risks to life. The damage to people’s mental health and well being, during periods of separation, has not been deemed a priority and yet many residents have simply given up the will to live throughout the pandemic.  Some local Public Health Directors are once again advising care homes to stop all visits, including essential visits, both during an outbreak and also when cases rise in the community. This advice is completely at odds with the official visiting guidance and is going unchallenged.

The right to a family life has been consistently denied by far too many care providers and the Government has failed to provide adequate guidance to safeguard this right. Being prioritised for the vaccine has not brought about the same return of freedoms and rights enjoyed by the wider population. The disparity and discrimination is staggering. 

Petition Delivery and Protest Day 16th September 2021

Hundreds of members of Rights for Residents held a protest outside the Gates of Downing Street, calling on the Government to give care home residents the legal right to an essential visitor / care supporter. It was an amazing turnout and the sea of blue RFR Campaign tops was a sight to behold.

This unique opportunity brought together families from all over the country, affected by the visiting restrictions. Many of those in attendance continue to campaign in memory of their loved ones, who died after prolonged periods of separation.

During the protest members of the Rights for Residents Team, including their ambassador Ruthie Henshall and the Shadow Minister for Care, Liz Kendall handed in a petition with over 270,000 signatures calling for “Gloria’s Law”.

“Thank you so much for what you have done and continue to do.

Most of us would not be where we are in looking after our loved ones as ECGs if it wasn’t for Rights for Residents and their continued support “

“Just want to say thank you for all the efforts of this campaign.

I realise outcomes for different homes are variable, but in my case I was able to become an essential care giver very easily which means I can still visit Mum while there are Covid cases. This means a huge amount as Mum really benefits from regular visits. I don’t think the ECG option would be there without RfR.”

“Thank you everyone for your help and advice regarding ECG. I am now included on my mother’s plan as ECG.

I can’t thank this group enough as I was totally unaware of ECG as new to the care home system.”

Even the most vulnerable living in the community, who have been fully vaccinated, can enjoy endless opportunities to mingle if they so wish. They are free to make their own decisions and manage their own risk, in the knowledge that the level of protection provided by the vaccine is as good as it gets. The same principle must be applied to those living in care settings as there is no risk free solution for any of us. Many are in their last months, days and weeks of life and the quality of life is just as important as the quantity. The risks are now minimal and must be balanced against the huge risks of people giving up the will to live due to loneliness and isolation.

Family members are not “just” visitors, they offer an essential component of care that has been removed during the pandemic. No matter how wonderful care staff are they can not provide the emotional support that can only come from a family member. We are the eyes, ears, voices and memories of our loved ones.

We are calling on the Government to pass legislation that would enshrine in law the right of every resident to have the support of at least one Essential Visitor / Care Supporter who would continue to visit during an outbreak, as stated in their own advisory guidance. 

From children separated from their parents, to young adults and the elderly, their distress is unimaginable. The majority of residents are living with conditions that prevent them from understanding what is happening and why.  We are campaigning for a law that’s fair for all those in care.



We are urging the Government to pass legislation that would give those in health and care settings a legal right to receive visitors.

Family members offer an essential component of care that is critical to mental health and well being. Their support is not an optional extra.

Throughout the pandemic some families have been asked to move their loved one to another home if they dare to challenge the home’s visiting policy. These evictions are potentially life threatening. The risks of moving vulnerable residents can lead to transfer trauma, particularly in those living with Dementia, learning disabilities or other conditions where continuity is essential to their care. 



What we want the Government to do 

We’re calling on the Government to take the following urgent action before more lives are lost through loneliness and isolation: 


  • Force care homes return to pre Covid, unrestricted visiting arrangements, without the need for appointments, limits on time, frequency or the number of visitors.                                                                          
  • Pass legislation (Gloria’s law) that gives all those in health and care setting the legal right, to at least one Care Supporter, that can visit them in ALL circumstances.                                                                             

About Us

Our Roles as Campaign Managers

To organise, rally, motivate and challenge others to fight on behalf of those living in care homes to ensure their voices are heard.

To liaise with other interested groups to ensure that efforts and pressure applied have maximum impact. Network, lobby and gain the support of larger charities, organisations, politicians and also the media.

To grow our membership in order to increase the number of grass roots actions that can be taken using our Facebook Group, Twitter feed and website.

To support group members in taking individual actions (large and small) that will help achieve our campaign aims and to give them the tools to do this.

To raise sufficient funds for two people, to manage the campaign full-time

If you or a loved one has benefited from the work of Rights for Residents, or may do so in the future, please donate to ensure our work can continue. 



Jenny Morrison

Diane Mayhew

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