Blog Archive

April 2015

  • Read More

    39% increase in homeless families living in Surrey in the past year

    The reasons for homelessness vary from tenancy loss to rent arrears, which has seen an increase in the number of families needing emergency accommodation, reports the Surrey Mirror.The amount of homeless families and rising B&B bills has prompted the council to review its housing policy.Simon Rosser, the authority's housing and welfare manager, said: "There is a growing number of families at risk...

  • Read More

    Increase in older people being carers

    Age UK and Carers UK have found that 1.2m carers are over the age of 65, which is a 25% rise in the past decade. The number of carers aged over 85 has doubled to 87,000, reports the BBC.The charities are calling for better support for these older people.The research by the charities - based on Census data from 2001 and 2011 and their own analysis - estimated the care provided by older carers was...

  • Read More

    Supported housing helps keep mental health patients out of hospital

    The intensive enablement project has been run by Essex council, the local mental health trust and the Metropolitan housing association.  It helps people to manage their medication along with learning basic living skills such as cooking and managing a budget, with the hopes of people becoming fully independent within 18 months, reports the Guardian.Chris Powell can testify to that. He spent six...

  • Read More

    Scottish Welfare Fund grants see a 13% rise in applications

    Data from the Scottish Government has shown that the number of applications to councils under the Scottish Welfare Fund has increased by 13% in just the last year, reports The Courier.Over the most recent quarter, October to December 2014, a total of 23,715 grants were awarded, which was a 10% rise in the same period of the previous year.Local authorities awarded £1.7 million in crisis grants,...

  • Read More

    Bedroom tax campaigners save man from eviction in Coventry

    Campaigners from Coventry Against the Bedroom Tax helped Mr Millar stay in his home after falling into rent arrears, after seeing his benefits reduced due to the bedroom tax, reports the Coventry Telegraph.Mr Millar lives in a family home which he used to share with his mother, who passed away a few years ago. He used to receive £72 a week in benefits, however due to the bedroom tax is left with...

  • Read More

    Young people who are bullied are more likely to suffer with their mental health

    A paper published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry believes that bullying needs to be taken more seriously, as it found young people who were bullied were five times more likely to experience anxiety and twice as likely to talk of suffering depression and self-harm than those who were maltreated at home, reports the Guardian. "Until now, governments have focused their efforts and resources on...

  • Read More

    Charities believe UK housing breaches human rights

    A group of housing charities have warned that the UK is in breach of its own United Nations human rights commitment to provide people with adequate homes as the housing crisis is so serious. They cite soaring housing rental costs, unhealthy conditions in homes, and rising levels of homelessness and warn of "profound issues of lack of supply, increasing housing costs, lack of security of tenure...

  • Read More

    Charity and NHS work together to offer mental health wellbeing courses

    People in Durham are now being offered to attend mental health wellbeing courses with tutors who have experienced mental health problems, in a bid to reduce the stigmas surrounding mental health, reports the Chronicle Live. They are expanding the range of courses on offer at the Arch Recovery College where people with mental health issues, their carers and staff can enrol as students to learn...

  • Read More

    Law now in force to prevent homelessness

    Now all authorities must take "all reasonable steps" to prevent someone from losing their home within 56 days, following changes to the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, reports the BBC.The Welsh government said it is "the most fundamental reform to homelessness legislation in over 30 years".The move has been welcomed by housing charity Shelter Cymru whose director John Puzey has said homelessness "can...

  • Read More

    Scheme to reduce suicide stigma by the NHS

    Figures show that 6,000 people kill themselves in the UK and Ireland each year. Now the NHS is funding a number of pilot projects to help reduce suicides after seeing a programme in Detroit reduce suicides by 82%, reports the Guardian. The UK scheme wishes to reduce the stigma attached to suicide and encourage people to talk more openly about it.Aly Anderson, the director of development at Mind...

  • Read More

    Research looks at financial struggles of social housing tenants

    The survey carried out by the national charity Turn2us has found that a quarter of social housing tenants have also seen their debts increase over the last 12 months, reports 24dash.The research has been released to coincide with Benefits Awareness Month and also looks into the financial struggles of households that have experience the onset of illnesses or disability, a change in working hours,...

  • Read More

    Young people struggling with their mental health placed in prison cells

    Figures found by The Independent have found that police in England and Wales have detained 202 young people under the Mental Health Act.Responding to the figures, Marjorie Wallace, the chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, said: "It is quite unacceptable that anyone suffering from a mental health condition, especially a young person, should treated as a criminal. Nothing could be...

  • Read More

    Fostering services facing more pressure due to welfare reforms

    MSPs on the Welfare Reform Committee have been told of children as young as seven are needed to be placed in homes due to the lack of available foster parents, reports The Courier.Benefit changes are placing an increased pressure on families and is resulting in further demands being placed on social care and health services, the committee were told.Labour MSP Margaret McDougall asked about the...

  • Read More

    Bedroom tax evidence to be given by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

    The SFHA are being asked to testify on the efficacy of the Scottish Government's decision to lessen the impact of the bedroom tax in Scotland whilst also looking at how the move has worked in practise, reports Scottish Housing News. Jeremy Hewer, SFHA housing policy advisor, said: "Over the past couple of years, the Scottish Government has exercised its financial powers to mitigate the effect of...

  • Read More

    Older people looking into start-ups due to reforms on their pensions

    Research by AXA Wealth has found that one in ten of the UK's older people due to retire in the next eighteen months are looking into putting their pensions into starting a small business are going into consultancy, reports Small Business.  The trend of ‘later life entrepreneurs' could see nearly half a million older people turn to starting up their own business rather than heading into...

  • Read More

    Older people's commissioner to be appointed

    In Labour's older people's manifesto, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves will promise to ensure the voice of older people is heard in government, reports the Yorkshire Post.Labour plans to place Miriam O'Reilly as an independent adviser.Ms O'Reilly said: "Older people have a vital role to play in our society, yet I constantly hear from older people that they are frightened of the...

  • Read More

    19% year on year rise of food bank users

    Over a million people have had to use food banks in the last twelve months. Latest figures from the Trussell Trust, show a 19% year on year increase in food bank users and reveal that hunger, debt and poverty are continuing to affect large numbers of people, reports the Guardian. Nearly 1.1 million people received at least three days of emergency food from the trust's 445 food banks in 2014-15 -...

  • Read More

    Councils leave people with disabilities stranded in their homes

    People with disabilities are stranded in their homes due to a "culture of law-breaking" within the local government over obligations to adapt homes, making them more accessible, reports the Independent.New research by The Leonard Cheshire Charity has found that two thirds of councils are failing to complete home adaptations within the one year legal limit and that almost half are making people...

  • Read More

    Volunteers build sensory garden for people with additional needs

    Wolverhampton Homes - the Arms-Length Management Organisation, who manage over 23,000 council houses on behalf of the council, is using its £10,000 grant to deliver a sensory garden with the help of volunteers form its workforce, reports 24dash. The garden is aimed to help older people, especially people living with dementia.With over than 3,600 people in Wolverhampton estimated to be living...

  • Read More

    People suffering from depression could find help from mindfulness therapy

    Scientists have tested out mindfulness therapy  against anti-depressant pills for people at risk of relapse and found it has worked just as well, reports the BBC.Through the therapy people are trained to focus their minds and understand that negative thoughts come and go. Doctors are already encouraged to offer this therapy to patients.For the study scientists in the UK enrolled 212 people at...

  • Read More

    Universal credit claimants now up to 47,000

    Figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions on Friday 12th March revealed that 46,920 people were claiming universal credit, reports Inside Housing.This means that the number of people claiming universal credit will have to more than double in the next two months if the goal of 100,000 people is to be met.DWP Minister Mark Harper has stated that as recently as February the...

  • Read More

    Housing charities concerned over difficulties councils find in housing tenants

    Shortage of social housing means that councils are offering landlords cash payments of up to £4,000 to accommodate homeless families, reports the Guardian.Councils in the south-east of England and London are now advertising cash incentives to private landlords to get them to agree to let council-vetted tenants for two years.In Haringey in north London and the nearby borough of Barnet , private...

  • Read More

    Young people supporting older people to improve their online knowledge

    Twelve students aged 16-19 are providing free one-to-one support as part of work experience placements organised by training provider Develop, reports 24dash.The training is helping residents in a Norwich sheltered housing scheme, which is run by care provider Centra Care and Support, gain new IT skills and access online services.Centra Care and Support hopes to help more older people in its...

  • Read More

    Social landlords in Wales hope to save the NHS £1.7m

    The savings will come from housing 33 patients under the care of the Aneurin Bevan University health board, through a project called ‘In One Place.' This project places patients who have a mental illness or learning disability into specially designed homes provided by housing associations with rents paid by housing benefit, reports Inside Housing.Eight housing associations and five councils are...

  • Read More

    New supported housing service for people needing care after hospital

    The service will provide supported accommodation for people who no longer need specialist medical care, but who are no longer able to return home due to changes in their home care needs. It is hoped that this will help reduce the strain placed on hospitals, reports 24dash. The supported accommodation is also accessible for people who require suitable accommodation to prevent unnecessary...

  • Read More

    Police in Redditch receive mental health training

    New action plans have been published by West Mercia and Warwickshire Police outlining how they will work with partners to improve support for people with vulnerabilities that end up in their custody, reports The Redditch Standard. A wide range of areas are being focused on which includes mental health services, the quality of treatment and improving responses when people are detained under the...

  • Read More

    Support for veterans to return to work

    Places for People hopes to support veterans into the workplace and also benefit from the skills and experience they have to offer, reports 24dash.All veterans applying for jobs in Places for People's Property Maintenance Division through the CTP will be guaranteed an interview as long as they meet the minimum role requirements. Roles include, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, team leaders,...

  • Read More

    Inquiry wishes for domestic violence education taught at primary school

    A survey by Birmingham's Community Safety Partnership found that in 2013 there were 25,000 cases of domestic violence in the city, however over the same period police only recorded 8,657, reports the Birmingham Mail.It was also revealed that young people are particularly at risk of abuse, which includes manipulation and emotional abuse by a controlling partner.Councillor Mariam Khan (Lab,...

  • Read More

    Mental health issues could be treated by ‘love hormone'

    Research has found that oxytocin can play a large and important role in manipulating how the brain processes social information. The researchers working on the project believe the results could lead to new ways of using the hormone as a drug to treat a wide range of psychological problems related to social behaviour, reports the Independent."Our findings redefine oxytocin as something completely...

  • Read More

    Anti-homeless protesters head to Downing Street

    Part of March for the Homeless 2015, the protest is linked to international action to raise awareness of the treatment of homeless people in the UK, Ireland and worldwide, reports 24dash. Organisers said homelessness had risen "by a staggering 55% since David Cameron became prime minister in 2010, with 742 people sleeping rough every night in the capital alone - a 37% increase on...

  • Read More

    Proposal for an extension on the integration of health and social care in Staffordshire

    Staffordshire County Council wishes to agree on a new deal which will help to improve integration between health and social care for its residents, reports ITV.The deal, if agreed, will extend the partnership between the council and the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust for a further three years initially.The original agreement was proposed in 2012 and saw the transfer of...

  • Read More

    Proposal for people with mental health problems to carry ID

    Chamali Fernando, a Cambridge Conservative, has said that the choice of carrying a card or wearing a visible indicator should be a matter of choice, reports the BBC.At a Cambridge hustings event called Keep Our NHS Public, Ms Fernando said wider use of identification would help to prevent any misunderstandings."Police, social services or hospitals dealing with people with conditions that affect...

  • Read More

    Tenants in Derby in fear of losing their homes due to benefit changes

    Derby Homes is warning tenants that payments through the new universal credit system will me made four weeks in arrears. This will mean that they will need to wait four weeks for their first payment and will now need to begin to save extra money to cover their rent for that period, reports the Derby Telegraph.Councillor Paul Bayliss has said that some tenants will be unable to afford the extra...

  • Read More

    Homeless people in Liverpool helped to find employment

    The event is part of National Employment Fortnight which is run by Crisis and attendees will learn about local job opportunities and have the chance to take part in workshops offering practical skills, mock interviews and advice on what employers are looking for, reports the Liverpool Echo.Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: "Being out of work is both a major cause and consequence of...

  • Read More

    Funding cuts are meaning over a million older people are left without basic social care

    Age UK have estimated that last year 900,000 people aged between 65 and 89 have unmet social care needs, however now believe it's closer to one million, reports The Independent.Age UK's chief executive Caroline Abrahams has said that the issue of social care is the most important issue for voters in the next election.40% of cuts to government funding for local councils, who provide the majority...

  • Read More

    Support for rough sleepers in Crewe

    The ‘No Second Night Out' service which the council launched in 2012 has been funded in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council. So far 140 residents have been saved from having to spend more than one night out sleeping rough, reports the Crewe Guardian. The services has now been commissioned and passed on to YMCA Crewe.Through No Second Night Out accommodation is provided for...

  • Read More

    New supported living accommodation opens for people with mental health issues in Bodmin

    Developed by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, a new complex of one bedroom flats, called Chynoweth, have been built on a former supported housing facility, reports the Cornish Guardian.The creation of the eight new homes, costing almost £1 million, was overseen by landlords Advance, a national organisation with a local office in Camborne. Advance provides housing, support and...

  • Read More

    Campaign to change the images the media use to present mental health

    The images in question are the ones containing a solitary figure with their head in their hands, often in dark sombre lighting. These are often referred to as the "headclutcher", reports the BBC.Charities and campaigners argue that people with mental illnesses do not always "look" depressed, and images should not depict this."One in four of us will have a mental health problem in any year - and...

  • Read More

    Rough sleeping ban proposed by council

    Using the new Public Spaces Protection Orders which came into force last October, Oxford City Council are putting forward proposals to prevent people from sleeping rough, reports Inside Housing.PSPOs were introduced under the anti-social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and allow councils to prohibit activities they consider detrimental to local communities. A breach of a PSPO is classed as...

  • Read More

    Patients helped to stay at home with housing associations new scheme

    Peaks and Plains are working with the North West Ambulance Service to create a TrustLink service which receives referrals from patients who have previously called for an ambulance after a fall, reports 24dash.TrustLink will send a specialist ‘Falls Advisor' to visit a patient at home in order to assess their risks and give advice to prevent future falls. Following that the advisor will then...

  • Read More

    Benefit sanctions are increasing the need for food banks

    Oxford University research has found that austerity policies such as benefit cuts are increasing the need for food banks across the UK. The research shows that food banks are mainly in areas that see high levels of unemployment and benefit sanctions, reports the Guardian.Their report says "More food banks are opening in areas experiencing greater cuts in spending on local services and central...

  • Read More

    Social housing applicants facing tougher tests

    A snap poll by Inside Housing has found that a total of ten out of thirteen housing associations who manage 185,400 homes have taken on a tougher stance on potential tenants since 2010, and seven had brought in income checks for applicants.Reasons for the new rules include the affordable rent regime and welfare reforms, with landlords saying it's bad for both tenants and landlords in they're...

  • Read More

    Rise in court summons due to cuts in council tax support

    Research by False Economy has found that there has been an annual increase of over 500,000 court summonses in England, which is largely driven by low income working-age households who've been affected by the £490m cut to council tax support, reports 24dash.False Economy also believe that the situation is likely to worsen over the new tax year as one in seven local authorities are set to further...

  • Read More

    Suicide prevention in Bolton receives funding

    A high priority for Bolton health chiefs this year is reducing the number of premature deaths of patients suffering with their mental health. Therefor bosses at NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group have given an extra £450,000 in funding for mental health treatment, reports The Bolton News. Part of the funding will go towards supporting The Sanctuary - a crisis centre in Trinity House which...

  • Read More

    Landmark court case sees council reviewing DHP awards

    Following a High Court ruling that routinely considering DLA when calculating DHP awards is unlawful, councils are reviewing all of the awards made for discretionary housing payments to disability living allowance recipients, reports Inside Housing. The judgment saw the court quashing Sandwell Council's decision to lower its DHP award to a bedroom-tax hit couple due to them receiving DLA. In...

  • Read More

    East Lancashire courts see funding for mental health support

    The scheme helps to ensure that police stations in Blackburn and Burnley have weekend cover from ‘Liaison and Diversion' workers. Blackburn, Burnley and Accrington magistrates courts also see the same service, which was previously only covered Monday to Friday and available to adults only, however it will now be extended to under 18's too, reports The West Mooreland Gazette. The team works to...

  • Read More

    Report finds one in 25 young people are homeless in London

    Over 72,000 young people are without a permanent home and are living in emergency hostels and B&B's, reports the Standard. This means that 80% of all young people in England are in London.  Boroughs such as Haringey and Westminster see one in ten young people living in temporary accommodation.Haringey has 5,322 young people - or 10 per cent of all under-18s in the borough - living in temporary...

  • Read More

    Older people at risk could receive support through ‘loneliness maps'

    Published by the Campaign to End Loneliness, the Hidden Citizens report has said this study has already seen success in Gloucestershire and Essex. The maps are to be used to target limited resources for the people and places that need them most, reports the BBC.Laura Alcock-Ferguson, director for the Campaign to End Loneliness, said: "If local councils and services do not act now to find the...

  • Read More

    Domestic violence is increasing due to ‘rigid gender roles'

    Dame Quentin Bryce has said that everyone must challenge the unequal distribution of power and resources between men and women in order to address domestic violence which she has called an "appalling scourge in our society", reports the Guardian. In a radio interview in Queensland Bryce said: "Police tell me that they see that as the tip of the iceberg. The figures are so grave, and the very...

  • Read More

    New social housing scheme opens for residents

    The 34 newly built homes are a joint venture between Maple Grove Developments and Progress Housing Group. It's the first scheme to be delivered through the Lancashire Regeneration Property Partnership which is a joint venture between Lancashire County Council and the Eric Wright Group, reports 24dash. The £3m development, designed and built by Eric Wright Construction, comprises 18 two and...

  • Read More

    Housing chiefs in Manchester to consider health targets

    Managing director of City West Housing Trust, David Cummins, has said that he and his colleagues are meeting to find a way of quantifying housing's worth in health terms, reports Inside Housing.As of next year Greater Manchester Strategic Health and Social Care Partnership Board, under the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, will be responsible for a £6bn a year joint health and social care...

  • Read More

    A charity is calling on the government to protect older people

    Action on Elder Abuse has been campaign against the abuse of older people for over 20 years and says that too many older people are still being abused by carers or relatives and that millions of pounds are stolen from them every year, reports Care Home. Chairman of the charity's trustees, Dr John Beer, says: "It's unbelievable that in a civilised society elderly people are left dehydrated or...

  • Read More

    Increase in research funding is called for by mental health charity

    MQ: Transforming Mental Health, who call themselves the first UK major mental health research charity, have found that for every £1 the Government spends on mental health research, the general public donates just 0.3p, reports Care Appointments. The report found that nearly of quarter of the UK's population is affected by mental health problems and the economic and social cost of mental illness...

  • Read More

    Social housing landlord in Wales sees rise in digital payments

    RCT Homes has partnered with secure payment solutions provider allpay which allows its residents to pay through multiple payment options including cash, card and direct debit acceptance, reports 24dash.Over the last year RCT Homes has received over £700,000 in rental income through online and mobile collection channels. This represents almost 60% of the value of payments it takes via debit and...

Briefing Signup