Blog Archive

June 2013

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    Horticultural Mental Healing for Ex-Service Veterans

    CHT Home Base is a charity that provides housing and therapy for ex-service veterans while Gardening Leave (which will work with the veterans to embrace the NHS 5 steps to mental wellbeing) caters to the hurt of veterans with mental health issues of conflict by providing horticultural therapy.Although, It is uncommon to see charities and commercial companies working together to create green...

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    Council Cuts and Rented Housing Regulations

    The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) commented that:"This will have a serious impact on the ability of already hard pressed councils to enforce existing regulations for the private rented sector."The RLA has also advised that:"Fresh spending cuts to local authorities will threaten the ability of local authorities to enforce the regulations protecting tenants from bad...

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    Comprehensive Spending Review 2013

    Chancellor George Osborne has today unveiled £11.5 billion of cuts to public spending. The 2013 Comprehensive Spending Review has three principles: growth, reform and fairness which Osborne referred to throughout his announcement.So how will this review impact the health and social care sector?The health budget in 2015-16 will be £110 billion. A significant amount of the health and social care...

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    Children's Minister Speaks about Reforms in Residential Child Care

    He made it clear that children's homes will need to meet higher standards of safety and quality. A seven-month investigation into children's homes by BBC Panorama discovered that one in four children are placed in homes rated 'inadequate' or 'adequate' by Ofsted, and over half of children in residential care are placed away from their local area.Edward Timpson alleged that:"Children's...

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    Cuts to local authority budgets? Social Workers Respond

     It has been reported that Chancellor George Osborne is planning to a 10% cut to 2015-2016 local authority budgets.The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) surveyed a total of 638 of its members on their concerns surrounding these local authority cuts. The survey, which was open from 21st June to 24th June, revealed responses such as:Further cuts means greater risks and it will be...

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    Clare's Law: Prevention from Domestic Violence Against Women.

    The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) is nicknamed Clare's Law, after Clare Wood from Salford who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton in February 2009.Clare and Appleton had met on Facebook.She did not know his history of domestic violence such as repeated harassment, threats and knifepoint kidnapping of an ex-girlfriend on gun point.She had complained several times to the...

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    Towns across England to receive £91m to refurbish over 6,000 empty homes.

    The funding will be spent on refurbishment in areas where empty properties have commonly led to problems such as squatting, rat infestation and collapsing house prices which consequently drives remaining residents away.Communities Minister Don Foster has announced the following:The government is doing everything possible to tackle the problem of empty homes and urban blight. I'm announcing we're...

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    Ministers Target More Troubled Families

    Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the treasury said:"£200 million will be committed to fund the work in 2015/16, which is intended to start a 5 year extension to the scheme."He further commented that:"Reforming how services are delivered is going to be a central part of this week's spending round. The troubled families programme is a radical example of how, by spending a bit more in certain...

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    CQC Inspections are 'Not Good Enough'

     Following a review of the CQC, Jeremy Hunt has said that the quality of the regulator's work is not good enough.Following allegations that the two former bosses of the CQC suppressed a report on their failings, there is a new management team in place.Mr Hunt says they are moving quickly to turn the standard of inspections around.He has acknowledged serious flaws with the way in which the CQC...

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    19% of People Have Mild Mental Health Problems

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says women are more likely to suffer mild mental illness, and people between ages 50-54 are more likely.The ONS figures from their Measuring National Wellbeing programme, surveyed 40,000 households between 2010 and 2011, and showed that 19% of people aged 16 or over have anxiety or depression, with 21% of women reporting the symptoms and 16% of...

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    Soaring Food Poverty to Grow More with Benefit Cuts

     A Labour MP from the Midlands has said that the cuts to benefits have resulted in soaring food poverty, and will force the figures higher as the changes take effect.Trussell Trust figures show that 350,000 people used their food banks across Britain last year, and the figure for all those receiving food aid from all churches, charities and organisations is estimated around 500,000.This is...

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    800% increase in those needing emergency payments

     Following the welfare changes, Wales have seen an increase in the need for emergency housing payments rise by up to 800% in some areas.Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are one off top-up payments for people who are struggling to pay their rent, and are requested by people on housing benefits in an emergency.Councils have seen a huge rise in applications, and is likely to run out of the...

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    £1m Funding Helps Teenagers Tackle Gang Crime

    Circle is one of the largest groups of housing associations in the UK. It provides affordable housing and related services including supported and sheltered housing in England.Their mission is to enhance the life chances of its residents by providing high-quality homes and reliable services, and building sustainable communities.Merton Priory Homes, one of the housing associations in the group,...

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    Google Creates System to Eradicate Child Abuse Images

    Pressure was on the company to do something about the problem after it emerged that men convicted of murdering Tia Sharp, aged 12, and April Jones, aged 5, had been viewing the indecent images online before hand.The new system will use new technology to allow search engines to track images of children being raped and abused, so they can be immediately wiped in bulk from the internet and will be...

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    Lamb Asks For Help Improve Home Care

     Norman Lamb held a summit yesterday with home care providers and care workers on how to improve standards across the home care sector.He is hoping this will help improve the quality of care as well as the working conditions for staff. The current system is encouraging the standards to slip as poor care, low wages and neglect are all linked.Using a recent BBC broadcast where a woman's family...

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    DWP Say An Extra Million People Below Poverty Line

    The report released by the DWP shows that the average income is at the lowest level it has been at since the early 2000's.The main causes of this are pay freezes and austerity measures after a second year of sharp falls in inflations-adjusted pay, and have resulted in sharp falls in living standards.The decrease in the last two years has over-ridden any small gains made in the previous 8 years,...

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    Issues With Work Capability Assessments By Atos

    Mr Rolph is a disabled man with post-traumatic stress disorder from suffering domestic abuse.Earlier this year he had his benefits cancelled after an assessment with Atos. As a campaigner for men suffering domestic violence, this instigated him to start a hunger strike to highlight the injustice of this.After the start of his protest, the Department of Work and Pensions admitted fault and...

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    Councils want Bedroom Tax Abolished

    Labour councillors representing Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford and 30 other cities have expressed their concern at the damage they say is being caused by the reduction in housing benefit.At a summit held at Manchester Town Hall, officials expressed concerns about families being forced to leave their homes, people getting into negative debt cycles, and more people...

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    Council fined £4k for housing family in B&B for 4 months

     Birmingham Council have been told to pay almost £4,000 to a family as it was decided they handled their housing situation poorly.A woman and her four children were housed in a one-bedroom bed and breakfast for over four months, after she applied to the council as homeless.She had to leave her home due to harassment and threats of violence in June 2010, and applied for herself and her family to...

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    Female Genital Mutilation: Soher Ebrahim's Story...

    The World Health Organisation defines Female Genital Mutilation as including procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.This may ultimately lead to excessive bleeding, difficulty in urination, infections and difficulty in child birth among other things."This procedure was banned by the Egyptian parliament in June 2008, with those...

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    Social Media and the Anti-Domestic Abuse Campaign

    According to the National Family Safety Program (NFSP), 3 out of 10 women in Saudi Arabia are subjected to domestic violence."There are presently no laws against domestic violence there and it ranked 130th out of 134 countries for gender parity in 2009."Most of the youth featured in the campaign are popular Saudi tweeps and YouTube hosts, who express their views on domestic violence in their own...

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    Young Carers Require More Attention

    Most young carers are oblivious of the fact that they are carers in the first instance and are left to fight their battles for too long.Their schools and health concerns becomes least important to them.Although, they may lonley, confused and scared but may not talk about this or reveal this to the public for the fear that they may be taken away from their families or the people they care...

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    Committee says Local Councils Close to Collapse

    There are dozens of local authorities that are close to financial collapse and ministers have so far failed to come up with adequate contingency plans to prop up vital services.The public accounts committee have released a report warning that urgent support is needed says in a report that the coalition government does not fully understand the impact of significant cuts to council budgets.If it...

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    Birmingham Request Almost Triple Their Allocated Bedroom Tax DHPs

    The council has already awarded 887 DHP payments to tenants hit by the bedroom tax. This has used up £300,000 of the £716,000 the Department for Work and Pensions has suggested the council set aside from its £3.8 million DHP allocation to help tenants affected by the under-occupation penalty.The council is therefore looking for other ways to help the 8,500 council tenants affected by the...

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    Pilot Project Shows Social Enterprises Can Tackle Local Problems

    The JRF pilot project in Bradford shows the untapped potential that locally based social enterprises have to solve local problems.The report also says that local authorities should place a higher importance on this as a way to help the problems, and be willing to take the risk to back them.The Bradford Social Future Awards is a pilot scheme in partnership between JRF, UnLtd and Bradford...

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    Labours Welfare Reform Plans Outlined

    The leader of the Labour party announces the party's proposals for the welfare reform, and how they will ensure welfare is not a substitute for good employment.His main proposals were for councils to have power to negotiate rents for housing benefit tenants, and would give them cash back on the savings to put into house building.Miliband also wants councils to have a larger role in getting people...

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    NCVO Pointers on PASC Review of Charity Act

    The report on the implementation of the Charities Act 2006 says the Charity Commission is being asked to do too much, with too little.The charitable sector is at the heart of UK society, involving millions of people and £9.3 billion received in donations in 2011/2012. Around 25 new applications for charitable status are received by the Charity Commission every working day.Summary of the PASC...

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    Report Shows Long Term Problems with Bedroom Tax

    The report has been published by East 7, which is a group of nine prominent housing associations from the East of England, and the figures are based on findings in this area.The long term problems with the bedroom tax that research found is a large gap between the number of tenants requiring one-bedroom homes (nearly 30,000) and the number of lettings available each year (less than 4,000).This...

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    Disabled Man on Hunger Strike over Benefit Cuts

     Mr Rolph, was wrongly classed as fit to work from an assessment by Atos, and has gone on a hunger strike out of protest.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have now admitted the error and reinstated the benefit, after months of struggle without it.However, Rolph is continuing the strike so that people hear his anger towards Atos and the government for the treatment of the disabled, the...

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    How Councils Can Improve Home Care

    Read the full article at Community Care.Southwark council has agreed in principle to Unison's ethical home care charter and is working with local providers to find out how they could raise pay and conditions for this group of staff.So often when the subject of pay and conditions for home care workers is raised, providers, councils and central government officers go on the offensive,...

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    CIH Say Government Should Review DHP

     Later this month, George Osborne will be announcing the government's spending plans, which will include the allocation of funds to discretionary housing payments (DHP).DHP are available to those struggling to pay their rent, and have been used a lot following changes to housing benefits with the introduction of the bedroom tax.The current allocation for 2013/14 for DHP is £155 million, but the...

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    Urged to Attend NHS "Shake-Up" Meetings to Query Proposals

     The changes are expected to include cutting specialist departments and restricting A&E services as they say currently they are spread too thinly, but the plans have been met with public and political opposition.NHS leaders believe services are currently spread too thinly and have warned that some specialist hospital services could collapse unless big changes are made to the way they are...

Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I found the event informative and timely it helped me to complete our response to DWP without which I would have struggled." S.S. - Safe House

 

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