Blog Archive

November 2014

  • Read More

    Creating a safe space for your social organisation and the people it works with through social media

    In this blog post, we want to discuss just a couple of ways social organisations can create a safe space for the people they work with, and fully embrace social media. 1)      Create a closed Facebook Group - Many are scared to use Facebook, at least in their own name, for fear they could be found. This means it's highly unlikely that the people you work with will communicate with you on...

  • Read More

    A large number of jobless Eastern Europeans aren't receiving housing benefit

    A survey by the Department for Work and Pensions into the impact of the government's decision to withdraw housing benefit from Eastern European jobseekers has found that very few were claiming it in the first place, reports 24dash.The figures help to dispel the myth that Eastern European migrants are a key factor behind the UK's £160 billion annual benefits bill. The survey reports: "The survey...

  • Read More

    Eviction review by council after court judgement

    The London authority have criticised the High Court judgement which found four of its staff amounted to a conspiracy to unlawfully evict a tenant. In the report, the council states that, in its view, ‘the conclusions on conspiracy and misfeasance were clearly wrong' and that ‘the trial itself was unjust', reports Inside Housing.The council have said it won't be appealing due to it being...

  • Read More

    NHS backing "kitemark" for health apps

    After previously saying that it wants to be "paperless" by 2018 and give patients access to health records, the NHS are making plans for "kitemark", reports the BBC.Due to the rapid growth of health-related apps for mobile phones and other personal devices, an NHS "kitemark" is to be introduced to validate those deemed to be safe for patients to use. With the new authentication process, doctors...

  • Read More

    Record calls to charity for help due to homelessness

    Homelessness charity Shelter is urgently calling for support after its advisers spoke to over 51,000 callers in the last year who were facing homelessness, reports 24dash. The charity also believes that due to the shortage of affordable homes they're expecting even more families to be in desperate need of help this Christmas.Shelter helpline adviser Nadeem Khan said: "It's so heart-breaking to...

  • Read More

    Report finds councils are failing to prevent young people becoming homeless

    Research by homeless charity Homeless Link has found, via a survey of over 200 English charity and council homeless agencies, that local authorities are preventing homeless amongst young people in just 19% of cases, reports Inside Housing. Homelessness prevention can mean assisting people to stay in their own homes or help to find an alternative means of accommodation.Rick Henderson, chief...

  • Read More

    How social organisations can begin on social media

    Social media is a great and powerful tool, which could soon become integral to your social organisation. Starting social media can be a scary process that's why we're here to help. Here are our some of our top tips for getting your social organisation started on social media.-          Start small: Before you go setting up an account on every platform available, stop and think first...

  • Read More

    Court challenge on ‘panic room' housing benefit change

    The High Court is set to consider a judicial review challenge into what critics call the "bedroom tax", reports the BBC.Ministers say that millions of pounds have been made available to allow for council help.One woman being used for the case, known as "A" has been violently assaulted by an ex-partner and is now part of a Sanctuary Scheme. This means that she and her son live in a three-bedroom...

  • Read More

    Church of England passes motion against bedroom tax

    The motion on the bedroom tax has been passed with 249 in favour, none against and three abstentions, reports 24dash.It stated: "That this Synod, noting the rise in the number and seriousness of reported concerns about the impact of the Spare Room Subsidy (the 'Bedroom Tax') on the vulnerable and others, call on the Mission and Public Affairs Council:(a) to evaluate the findings of research into...

  • Read More

    Site to help educate young people on mental health and medications

    Created by Mental Health charity Young Minds, HeadMeds has been created to give information about medications which can help people with their mental health. The information gathered by HeadMeds has been compiled using Patient Information Leaflets and Summary of Product Characteristics. In order to make the site as useful as possible Young Minds held focus groups with young people to find out...

  • Read More

    Research has found that only one in ten people will live in social housing by 2040

    Forecasts for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have predicted that the current generation of primary school children are facing private rents that will cost 90% higher than the cost of renting at the start of the recession, reports 24dash. By 2040, just one in 10 will be living in social housing, down from the current figure of 8.2 million to 5.7 million in 2040. Meanwhile, social rents will...

  • Read More

    MPs are calling for ‘Help to Move' support for older people

    Within the ‘Help to Move' shceme would be a stamp duty exemption for older people buying homes worth up to £250,000, an equity loan offer and comprehensive advice linked to new pensions freedoms, reports Inside Housing. The recommendations come out of an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People.Anaylsis by the think-tank Demos, has found that...

  • Read More

    A housing association is creating a home swap app

    Viridian Housing Association is in the process of building a prototype phone app which will allow tenants to downsize or upsize their homes by looking at other households in the same area they're looking to move to, reports Inside Housing. The app, called Move Maker, is set to be in competition with web-based sites such as HomeSwapper and aims to replicate the interface of the social platform...

  • Read More

    Young people are using food banks due to benefit sanctions

    New research has found that the vast majority of YMCAs in England have to refer young people to food banks in order for them to be able to eat. Over the last year 5,000 young people with vulnerabilities were referred to food banks, reports 24dash. The ‘Food for Thought' report by YMCA England shows how this situation is due to failings in the welfare system. 79% of YMCA referrals are directly...

  • Read More

    20% benefit deduction for tenants who fall into arrears

    The Department for Work and Pensions has said that they will now be able to deduct 20% of a tenant's universal credit payment, if the claimant falls into rent arrears. This 20% would then be paid directly to the Landlord, reports Inside Housing.The department could previously deduct 5& of the universal credit payment. However landlords have expressed concern that tenants will struggle to pay...

  • Read More

    #ICare Twitter campaign launched by JustGiving

    Many celebrities are already taking part, and Twitter users are encouraged to copy a sample tweet which includes the name of the charity they support, an image of them making a heart shape with their hands and a friends Twitter handle asking them who they support to keep momentum going."With just a month to go until Giving Tuesday (December 2nd), the global day of giving, we're encouraging people...

  • Read More

    Teenager's campaign on mental health

    Struggling with mental health problems throughout her teenage years, and after spending six months in an adolescent psychiatric unit, Miriam Jarvis is launching a campaign to show people that recovery from mental health is possible, reports Western Morning News. Currently studying at Plymouth university to become a mental health nurse she said:"I feel a lot more positive about my life. Now I can...

  • Read More

    Charity says more support is needed for homeless LGBTQ young people

    It's been revealed that 30% of homeless young people in the UK could be LGBTQ however there is little specialist housing provision for this group. In their report, Porchligh discusses the numerous reasons for LGBTQ youth homelessness and makes a number of recommendations as to how housing providers can support this vulnerable and stigmatised group, reports 24dash.The report also highlights the...

  • Read More

    Twitter partners with non-profit to tackle online harrassment

    Twitters response to harassment has often been criticised, however hopes have been lifted after news has broken that they've developed a partnership with non-profit Women, Action and the Media.  With this new partnership comes a pilot project which will see WAM verifying and forwarding reported gender harassment to Twitter. WAM will then track Twitter's responses and once the project has...

  • Read More

    Older people in the UK are worried about the cost of staying warm this winter

    Age UK has found that high energy bills and fuel poverty in conjunction with hard to heat energy efficient homes are weighing on the minds of older people, reports 24dash. Their ‘Older, not colder' report has found that every winter an older person dies every seven minutes due to cold weather. The report has also found that almost a million older people living in fuel poverty cannot afford to...

  • Read More

    Almost 24,000 people with disabilities in wheelchairs are waiting for social housing

    Aspire has published research which shows that just over 5,000 homes accessible for wheelchairs were built in 2013, reports Inside Housing.The research also found that 14% of people with spinal cord injuries are discharged to a permanent accessible property after completing their rehabilitation with the NHS.By matching freedom of information responses on wheelchair accessible properties to...

  • Read More

    How nonprofits and charities can use social media internally

    Whilst social media is great at connecting you with the outside world and people you work with, it also presents new and cheap ways to communicate internally too. Here are just a few ways to communicate internally via social media: 1)      A Facebook Group - A private Facebook group with all of your employees included is a great way to utilise this Facebook function. If the group is set to...

  • Read More

    The number of people using food banks has risen by 1,468%

    Latest figures by the Trussell Trust show that 913,138 adults and children have received three day's emergency food and support from its food banks over 103/14 which is an increase of 346,992 since last year, reports 24dash. Welfare reform minister Lord Freud claimed last year that the rapid expansion in food banks was being driven by people who wanted a free meal, and not by growing poverty and...

  • Read More

    Quality of life for older people in care homes is called unacceptable

    Research published by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales has found that older people in some care homes became institutionalised and lost control over their own lives, reports Inside Housing.The report found that ‘some of the most basic health care needs of older people living in care homes are not properly recognised or responded to' and that there was a lack of specialist support for...

  • Read More

    People with visual impairments can navigate a city via their smartphone

    Microsoft have developed a headset which will help to guide people with visual impairments around cities.It is currently only compatible with Windows phones and uses location and navigation data along with a network of information beacons in urban areas to describe routes, reports the BBC.The headset has been tested on a journey from Reading to London which included a shopping trip along with bus...

  • Read More

    Over 20,000 homes are no longer facing a benefit cap

    From April 2013 and August 2014, 51,200 households had their housing benefit capped, reveals the Department for Work and Pensions. By August 2014 this number had dropped to 27,200 households. 40% of households no longer subjected to the cap are exempt with an open Working Tax Credit, reports Inside Housing.The statistics also revealed that 46% of benefit capped households were in London and of...

  • Read More

    Young people need tailored mental health treatment

    Psychologists at the University of Reading have said that current childhood therapies are just being adapted for teenagers and argue that adolescents face distinct issues which all for tailored treatments to address them, reports the BBC. Anxiety affects almost 300,000 young people in the UK and charities say that adolescent and child mental health services are at breaking point and need to...

  • Read More

    Blogging to support people with their mental health

    Social Spider, with funding from Public Health England, is encouraging people suffering with their mental health to blog about their feelings for four days out of a year.Whilst anyone can read these posts they will remain anonymous and people can search for blog posts via theme or category.The aim of this project is to get people talking about mental health, and raise awareness of what it's like...

  • Read More

    In the past year one in five young people slept rough

    A Comre Poll commissioned by homelessness charity Centrepoint has found that 18% of 2,011 people between sixteen and 25 slept in ‘unsafe' places over the past year due to them feeling like they had nowhere else to go, reports Inside Housing.42% of people surveyed with experience of rough sleeping said they spent one night doing so, with 33% saying they spent between one night and a week...

  • Read More

    Work programme failed to help people with vulnerabilities into employment

    These findings confirm complaints from social landlords that ‘harder-to-help' claimants have been forgotten by contractors, reports Inside Housing.The report also found that almost 90% of people claiming employment and support allowance have not moved onto jobs.Margaret Hodge, the committee's chair, said: "Evidence shows that differential payments have not stopped contractors from focusing on...

  • Read More

    A homeless shelter has launched a social media campaign to help people in need

    Shelter from the Storm, based in Islington, is hoping to raise awareness and funds to help people in need via their #bedless campaign. The campaign encourages social media users to photograph themselves or friends sleeping in "weird and wonderful places", reports the Mirror.Shelter from the Storm hope that by getting people to post their photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag...

  • Read More

    Poor NHS care for people with learning disabilities

    Poor care of patients with learning disabilities is being attributed to a lack of awareness and training reports, CareHome.The chief executive of Mencap, Jan Tregelles said: "With winter fast approaching, we must ask the Government how it plans to care for the most vulnerable individuals in our society during this time. In recent years, the NHS has struggled to cope with the pressures that winter...

  • Read More

    New scheme to help people with mental health issues

    South Central Ambulance Service is currently in talks of hiring a mental health practitioner to take emergency calls, reports the Daily Echo. This will mean callers will go through to a specially-trained mental health nurse based in the ambulance service control centre. A spokesperson for SCAS has said it will offer dedicated and focused support for people who are in need."Mental health patients...

  • Read More

    How a Facebook Group could benefit your social organisation

    In this post we look at the benefits that having a Facebook group can have for your organisation. 1)      Private space for the people you work with to connect - A Facebook group is a great way to communicate with the people you work with without having the world and his wife seeing. Creating a group with the privacy settings on means that only people you invite can join, keeping information...

  • Read More

    Mental health services for young people are called ‘unfit'

    The Health Select Committee has said the whole system has issues, from prevention through to inpatient services, reports the BBC. The government has said it's launched a taskforce to drive up standards and is investing money into mental health services.Sarah Brennan, chief executive of Young Minds, said: "We have been told countless times of the intense frustration of mental health professionals...

  • Read More

    Over a million working people are claiming housing benefit

    These figures reveal that of the 4.99 million people who received housing benefit in May 2014, 21% were in employment, reports 24dash.Responding to the figures, a DWP spokesperson said: "Since May 2010, the number of out-of-work housing benefit claimants has fallen. It is better that people are in work, paying taxes, contributing to their rents and with the prospect of increasing their earnings....

  • Read More

    App allows you to donate to charities just by a logo

    SnapDonate is powered by the platform JustGiving and allows you to make payments of a minimum of £2 via PayPal or credit card.Currently over 130 charities are involved and recognised by the app. Some of these include Amnesty International, Cancer Research UK, HelpAge International, Oxfam and more.SnapDonate will also work offline and allows donations for any of the 13,000 charities registered on...

  • Read More

    CIH Scotland says Scotland needs power in order to ‘wipe out welfare reform'

    In a submission to Lord Robert Smith's commission on extra devolved powers for Scotland, the CIH have suggested that the country receives baseline social security system from Westminister but also has the power to top-up housing benefit with ‘Scottish-raised revenue', reports Inside Housing."All Scotland would need is a power to enhance the Westminster baseline benefit up to the level of the...

  • Read More

    People with vulnerabilities are not protected by welfare reform concessions

    Mary McManus of East Belfast Independent Advice Centre told a conference in Belfast: "It's like throwing a bucket of water at a massive fire. It's not going to help," reports the BBC.Steve Cullen, the chief executive of Warrington Citizens Advice Bureau, who are currently trailing universal credit has said there are significant problems with the system, and he does not believe it is ready for a...

  • Read More

    Using social media to find and support people with vulnerabilities

    The Samaritans have partnered with a digital agency called Jam, to develop an app that helps Twitter users find people who are vulnerable in their network and support them in times of need.The app is called Samaritans Radar and is a free web application that monitors tweets and can alert you if a friend is posting tweets that could cause concern.The app will use an algorithm which will search for...

  • Read More

    Almost half of UK social housing tenants have no money left after bills

    A report from Real Life Reform has found that an increasing number of households are growing increasingly concerned about falling into further debt, whilst many are reducing repayments in an attempt to make ends meet each week, reports 24dash. The report reveals that:•         Average household debt is now £3,931 - a 71.8% increase since the research started in July...

  • Read More

    Highest level of homeless children since 2011

    Homelessness charity Shelter, have found that over 90,000 children in the UK are without a permanent home, reports the BBC. The charity's chief executive Campbell Robb said the "heart-breaking" figures suggest the equivalent of three children in every school are homeless.Calculations by the charity suggest that in the second quarter of 2014 there were 90,569 children living in temporary...

Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful.  I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9.  In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd

 

Briefing Signup