Blog Archive

July 2015

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    Charities are best at reducing re-offending

    A report by charity thinktank New Philanthropy Capital has found that 28% of charity projects have helped to reduce reoffending compared to 19% of private companies, reports the Guardian.The report looked into the preliminary findings of the Justice Data Lab, a pilot project set up by the Ministry of Justice to support the evaluation of rehabilitation programmes in England and Wales.Anne...

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    No homeless families in B&Bs for one London council

    Hammersmith and Fulham council has announced that is has no homeless families living in bed and breakfast accommodation, reports Inside Housing.Recent statistics show that 5,720 households across England were in B&B accommodation in March this year.The problem has been a particular issue for London due to a lack of suitable social housing and temporary accommodation.Lisa Homan, H&F council...

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    Charity warns of loneliness in older people

    The Campaign to End Loneliness charity want a “range of support” for older people to help them fight loneliness, reports the BBC. The charity says that transport and technology are essential to support older people and are launching an online guidance service for local authorities.As its survey on loneliness is published, the charity warns that research has shown loneliness and isolation...

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    New app hopes to bring smarter housing for social landlords

    The ZONR app combines the latest intelligent sensor technology, smart data transmission and decision engine analytics to centrally monitor and support heating systems across social landlord’s housing stock, reports 24dash.Headed up by social housing technology entrepreneur Robert Dent, over the last 18 months ZONR has invested in research and development and has already conducted successful...

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    New mental health crisis unit in Leeds

    The crisis assessment unit at the Becklin Centre is part of Leeds and York Partnerships NHS Foundations Trust’s work to give people in crisis support and to direct them away from A&E and police cells, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.Patients can be referred by GPs, carers, paramedics or the police, and will receive up to 72 hours support from the unit’s specialist psychiatrists, nurses,...

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    Government to review helping benefit claimants back into work

    Led by Professor Dame Carol Black, the inquiry will consider the case for linking people who are entitled to benefits with accepting appropriate treatment or support, reports 24dash.The review's remit includes:Prime Minister David Cameron, said: "Over the next five years I want to see many more people coming off of sick benefit and into work and Carol Black will report back to me on how best to...

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    New mental health initiative launched in Redcar and Cleveland

    The council will be working in partnership with the local voluntary and community sector to co-deliver the pilot scheme across the borough, reports the Northern Echo. The scheme will launch in September and offer support for people aged 19 and over through courses for people suffering with their mental health.Adults with anxiety, depression and sleep disorders will be supported back into...

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    Award for London architect who designed shelter pods for rough sleepers

    James Furzer has designed small pods that could be attached to the side of buildings or structures to provide a safe place for people who are homeless to sleep at night, reports ITV News.Mr Furzer has said that his inspiration came from the increasing number of metal spokes which are appearing in popular sleeping spots to prevent homeless people sleeping there.His design won the top prize in the...

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    It could become illegal to deny offenders legal aid

    It could become illegal to deny prisoners in England and Wales legal aid so that they are able to effectively challenge the conditions they are held under, rules the court of appeal, reports the Guardian.Senior judges have granted two charities permission to bring a fresh case of questioning towards the legality of budgetary restrictions introduced by the Ministry of Justice.Sir Brian Leveson has...

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    Homelessness charity in Liverpool encourages people to sponsor a bed

    The charity is hoping that locals will donate to its “Sponsor a Bed” campaign. Using the donations they hope to provide accommodation, training and support services to people who are homeless in the area, reports Click Liverpool.The cost of housing and support at Emmaus Merseyside is £5,000 a year. The charity hopes to take on one new homeless person a month.Nigel Mellor, Chair of Emmaus...

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    Young people’s mental health budgets cut my millions

    The mental health charity for young people, YoungMinds, has said that in the last five years £85m has been cut from budgets for mental health trusts and local authorities, reports ITV News.The charity sent Freedom of Information requests to 165 clinical commissioning groups, 97 local authorities and 37 mental health trusts – all of whom are responsible for providing mental health care in...

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    Concerns for homecare over national living wage

    In a letter to chancellor George Osborne the UK HomeCare Association, that support 880,000 older people with disabilities has warned that the costs of the “national living wage” could trigger a “catastrophic failure” in the homecare market, reports the Guardian.Their concern is that lack of increased funding will mean that businesses will go bust after increasing staff costs to that of...

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    One in three universal credit claimants paying landlords directly

    Findings have revealed that the government’s intention to have all but a ‘small minority” of claimants paying their benefits for housing costs directly, a large portion of tenants appear to have been judged unable to pay their rent, reports Inside Housing.A National Housing Federation survey of 25 housing associations in May found that 1,082 of 3,009 universal credit claimants were on an...

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    New housing for older people promised

    Members of Kensington and Chelsea’s cabinet have decided to create 150 new homes for older people on the site of a care home that closed down in 2014 due to Legionella, reports Get West London.After the closure of Thamesbrook, the council ordered a review that looked at either refurbishing, remodelling, replacing with ‘extra care’ housing on site or extra care units elsewhere in the...

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    Council told to improve homelessness services by regulator

    The Scottish Housing Regulator has told Glasgow City Council that it needs to “act quickly” to improve its homelessness services, reports Inside Housing.Homelessness case workers have reached an agreement with the city council after months of industrial action over a pay dispute.Christine MacLeod, director of regulation at the SHR, said: “We have had regular contact throughout the...

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    £100m spent by councils helping people hit by the bedroom tax

    Councils spent £100.8m in discretionary housing payments to help people affected by the bedroom tax, reports the Mirror. This is a 24.7% rise than the previous year in England, with Scotland seeing an 80% rise in DHP.The allocated funding for DHP was £60m, meaning councils ended up spending an extra £40m.What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions...

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    Fears that homelessness could increase due to crackdown on overcrowding

    The introductions of Overcrowding Statutory Notices, which are aimed at guarding against unacceptable living conditions in private sector homes in Scotland, have raised concerns with housing chiefs and charities, reports The Scotsman.A consultation on the issue has resulted in calls for safeguards to be put in place by landlords and councils so that homelessness is prevented.Shelter Scotland...

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    Young people in Jersey to receive dedicated mental health ward

    The Robin Ward at the General Hospital in Jersey is undergoing refurbishment to create a mental health ward specifically for young people, reports ITV News. When the refurbishment is complete there will be an enhanced facility for young people needing admission for planned treatment, or for those following an emergency referral, along with provision for people with mental health issues that need...

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    New supported living scheme opens in Hereford

    Red Coat Close has been developed by Sanctuary Group in partnership with Herefordshire Council and the Homes and Communities Agency, reports 24dash.Managed by SSL, the scheme includes 10 one-bedroom apartments, along with a shared lounge, kitchen and communal garden. It will also have tailored on-site support and is available to residents from staff to help them live independent lives.Simon...

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    Two major bedroom tax rulings granted permission to appeal

    The Court of Appeals has ruled that the appeal of a domestic violence victim and the grandparents of a child with disabilities should be heard in court, reports Inside Housing.One lady living in a domestic abuse “sanctuary scheme” lost her bedroom tax challenge in February and had her housing benefit deducted due to the council deeming her panic room as a “spare bedroom.”The other cases...

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    Call for review of benefits delivery

    The inquiry will look at the problems that could occur when benefits are underpaid or delayed, reports 24dash.  The Committee invites written evidence on: Frank Field MP, chair of the committee, said:  “My own hunger inquiry found that the department could straight away cut by a third the numbers of people having to rely on food banks, if it could ensure all legitimate benefit claims were...

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    New drug provides hope for older people with Parkinsons

    Scientists have found that people taking glitazone pills were less likely to develop Parkinson’s than people taking other diabetes drugs. However, they have cautioned that the drugs could have serious side-effects and shouldn’t be given to people in full health, reports the BBC.It is hoped these findings should prompt further research.Dr Ian Douglas, lead researcher at the London School of...

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    DWP report finds councils are ‘frustrated’ by universal credit

    Research was carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the DWP and findings said that “lack of clarity” about timescales for the government’s welfare reform was causing “uncertainty” and “preventing certain decisions being made”, reports Inside Housing.The report said: “The biggest challenge… was reported to be a lack of clarity about timescales and future plans from DWP. This...

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    73% rise is suicides for men with mental health issues

    A new report has found that suicide amongst middle aged men with mental health issues has risen by 73% since 2006 which has been attributed to alcohol, job loss and debt, reports the Guardian.The University of Manchester’s National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness has found that the overall rise in suicides in men who have come into contact with...

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    “Poor families” will be excluded from large parts of England due to benefit caps

    Research has found that families who are unemployed will not be able to afford to live in large areas of the country due to the benefit which threatens at least 100,000 households with poverty and homelessness, reports the Guardian.Data from housing charity Shelter has found that plans to reduce the cap to £20,000 (£385 a week), or £23,000 (£442) in London, would mean that large parts of the...

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    Hartlepool to open a disability centre

    Work has begun on the Hartlepool Borough Council project which aims to provide the Centre for Independent Living on the site of the current Havelock Centre in Burbank, reports The Hartlepool Mail.It is expected to be completed by late summer 2016 and is a £4m development.Coun Carl Richardson, chair of the Adult Services Committee, said: “Despite the severe financial constraints being imposed...

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    Police in Devon and Cornwall attend 15 mental health calls daily

    Police in Devon and Cornwall have seen a 10% rise in mental health call outs in the last four years reports the BBC. The force's police federation said officers were "frustrated that the NHS does not have the capacity to deal" with people with mental health issues.Tom Pollard from mental health charity Mind said the rise in police callouts was "concerning" and that mental health services in the...

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    Funding for temporary accommodation in Royal Borough

    The council anticipates the purchase of up to 39 properties, with 27 two-beds and 12 three beds, reports 24dash.Due to the growing number of households in temporary accommodation the council is considering locations including London, the M25 and southern counties.Cllr Nick Paget-Brown, the Leader of the Royal Borough, said: "The reality is we are facing a great shortage of properties in which to...

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    Universal credit will still run smoothly during strike action

    PCS Union members in Bolton and Glasgow are going on strike over the management and introduction of universal credit, reports STV News.The DWP said "only a small minority" of universal credit workers will go on strike, and that "plans are in place to ensure the smooth running of the service and to prioritise payments and priority tasks like housing benefit to ensure a good service to claimants is...

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    Head teachers concerned about the mental health of young people

    Polled for a management support service, two thirds of head teachers said that mental health was a top concern, reports the BBC.Domestic violence and cyberbullying were the next biggest concerns, named by 58% and 55% of heads respectively. Domestic violence and cyberbullying were the next biggest concerns, named by 58% and 55% of heads respectively.Brian Lightman, leader of the ASCL heads' union,...

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    Universal credit email change to be rolled out

    A programme piloted by social landlords and the DWP will see universal credit applications move from postal to online, reports Inside Housing.Landlords will now be able to send their APA requests through a secure email system, however they will still receive notice of rental payment from the DWP through the post.Carmel Morris, senior financial inclusion officer at Golden Gates Housing Trust,...

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    Support for young people leaving care over the past seven years has deteriorated

    According to Whitehall’s spending watchdog the support young people leaving care receive is in chaos, reports the Guardian.A report by the National Audit office found that A third of those aged 16 and over who left care did so before their 18th birthday, contrary to the government’s legal obligation.The report concludes that services have deteriorated over the past seven years...

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    Exemptions likely for supported housing

    The government has said that supported housing is expected to be exempt from new rules that force social landlords to reduce rents by 1%, reports Inside Housing.Many landlords expressed concern that rent cuts were likely to have a bigger impact on supported housing, as it is more expensive to run.Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) officials have since told Inside Housing that...

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    23% rise in the number of people being sent miles away from home for mental health support

    Mental health services have been found to be spending millions of pounds sending patients far away for mental health beds in the last year, reports Community Care. Figures found under the Freedom of Information Act from 56 mental health trusts revealed that 4,447 patients were sent to hospitals outside of their local trust’s catchment area in 2014/15, which is a 23% rise on the previous...

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    Welfare reforms could make it harder for domestic violence victims to leave their homes

    Service director for Newcastle Women’s Aid Elaine Langshawe has said that welfare reforms are making it harder for domestic violence victims to leave their partners, reports the Chronicle Live.Ms Langshawe believes that changes to benefits and housing could be making it more difficult for victims to leave their partners.“We have seen a rise in the number of people wanting support from our...

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    System blamed for mental health bed shortage

    An independent commission report has found that bed closures are not behind the difficulties, reports the BBC.The Royal College of Psychiatrists has said the whole mental health care system needs to be improved.The commission was set up earlier this year by the Royal College of Psychiatrists to look into concerns about a shortage of acute adult psychiatric beds. Since 2011, more than 2,000...

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    Lack in dignity when caring for older people in hospital

    In a poll from 2012 it has been found that poor care is most likely to be experienced by people over the age of 80, reports the BBC. Over a third of patients who need help at mealtimes did not receive enough assistance.NHS England said looking after older patients well was a critical test of a modern health service.Age UK, which helped to advise the researchers, said there had been "remarkably...

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    Tamworth Council protects sheltered housing from cuts

    Tamworth Borough Council has taken steps to protect its services that support older and disabled residents living in sheltered accommodation, reports the Tamworth Herald. After Staffordshire County Council ending its supporting people grant fund in March 2015, Tamworth council has undertaken a review into sheltered housing services for residents who were affected.In October 2014 a full...

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    Support for domestic violence survivors provided by local charities

    A contract worth £1.2m a year has been obtained by Women’s Aid Integrated Services, Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid and Equation, reports Impact Nottingham. This contract uses funds from Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner and will be used to provide a range of services for adult survivors, teens experiencing domestic violence in their own...

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    Charity warns that housing benefit cuts will lead to increased homelessness

    After George Osborne announced cuts to housing benefits in the latest budget, there is growing concern that an increase in homelessness will occur, reports the Independent.Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis has said:“These short-sighted cuts to housing benefit are likely to push more and more people into homelessness and could end up costing the taxpayer even more than they save. We are...

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    Decrease in mental health beds in Manchester whilst admissions rise

    NHS figures have shown that the number of people admitted to Manchester’s three mental health trusts has risen by 23% over the last five years, reports the Manchester Evening News. Over the same period of time there has been a 5.9% cut in the number of mental health beds for the region.Earlier this month, a health regulator said England’s mental health crisis-care system was ‘unsafe’,...

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    Reform for care of adults with learning disabilities criticised for being slow

    Following the care home abuse scandal at Winterbourne, Sir Stephen Bubb headed a review into care home abuse, which was published in November, reports the BBC.England's chief nursing officer said improvements must be made "at a fast but safe pace".Sir Stephen said that although the number of people being discharged from Winterbourne-style institutions was now greater than those being admitted,...

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    Mental health pilot a success in Milton Keynes

    The scheme sees mental health professionals join police teams on call outs for people who are struggling with their mental health, reports Heart. Over the past six months since it began the number of people placed in cells under the Mental Health Act has dropped by 56%.Thames Valley Police says this "clearly shows that those suffering from a mental health crisis are being dealt with...

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    Living wage could cost councils up to £1bn by 2020

    The Local Government Association has said that currently 93,000 council staff earn less than the living wage proposed by Chancellor George Osborne, reports the BBC.The LGA have said that the cost of implementing the living wage policy should be taken into account when council funding levels are set in the future.LGA analysis shows that 95% of government workforces already earn more than the...

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    New fund to support victims of domestic violence

    The fund will be open to proposals from local partnerships that show how the needs of victims are able to be met in innovative ways, reports 24dash. It has also been revealed that there will be a review into the full range of services currently offered to victims of domestic violence.Communities minister Baroness Williams said: “Alongside the vital role of refuges that provide a safe haven...

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    Rent arrears rising in Swansea due to bedroom tax

    The figure stood at £1,078,902 in 2013-14 — a surge of 27 per cent on the previous year. The total rent collected in 2013-14 was just over £52 million, reports the South Wales Evening Post.2,400 social housing tenants in Swansea were affected however hosuing officer manager Peter Williams has said, "It could have been far, far worse if we had not been proactive in working with tenants."It has...

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    Supported accommodation project for people with dementia to be built in Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough Council is looking into the “provision of a viable alternative to residential/nursing care” for people over 50 with dementia in Hemlington Grange, report the Gazette Live.Councillor Julia Rostron has said: “The proposed scheme will result in an investment of more than £2m in an area of the Hemlington Grange development site that would otherwise be underdeveloped and will...

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    Homelessness cases rise by 33%

    The Department for Communities and Local Government have released figures showing that the number of prevention or relief cases has fallen slightly, however the number of cases recorded last year had increased by 33% since 2009/10, reports Inside Housing.Of the 220,800 cases, 205,100 were to help people at risk of homelessness keep a roof over their heads and the remaining cases were to assist...

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    New housing development for older people in Sunderland

    A 16.3m housing and care scheme has been opened by the Leader of Sunderland Council, reports Sunderland Echo.The accommodation provides 158 two-bedroom apartments for older people and 17 one bed apartments and communal spaces for older people suffering with dementia.Councillor Paul Watson said: “Sunderland has a proud heritage and is known for ‘looking after its own’, but there are many...

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    Housing association uses grant to support homeless people

    The new service hopes to transform the lives of those experiencing homelessness in Halton, reports 24dash.  The temporary accommodation will support 39 residents and has been developed by Halton Housing Trust and will be run by the Salvation Army.Brenan Lodge has been built to provide a warm and inviting atmosphere, where residents are encouraged to live independently in 36 en-suite flats.Cllr...

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    Benefit changes due to welfare budget cuts

    One of the ways the government plan to reduce welfare spending is by limiting Universal Credit and first time tax credits to the first two children in families only reports the BBC.Currently 870,000 families with more than two children are claiming tax credits; however any family that has a third or subsequent child after April 2017 will not be able to qualify for Child Tax Credit. The same will...

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    Social landlords must enforce new ‘pay to stay’ rule

    George Osborne has trailed the new measure that will mean that social housing tenants earing £40K in London and £30k outside of London must pay market rent or “at least something close to it”, reports Inside Housing.The Treasury have said that this policy will be compulsory for housing association and local authorities.The Treasury could not confirm if the policy would require legislation,...

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    10 year high for percentage of people needing underfunded mental health services in Wales

    Currently one in eight people in Wales are seeking medical help for mental health issues, reports Wales Online.Across Wales, 9% of adults reported currently being treated for depression, 8% for anxiety and 2% for another mental illnesses. People in areas of higher deprivation suffered the most with mental health problems, with as many as 18% of people in the poorest fifth of the country needing...

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    Offender’s rehabilitation is delayed by legal aid restrictions

    The court of appeal has been told that thousands of prisoners are being prevented from starting rehabilitation due to them being denied legal aid for parole board hearings, reports the Guardian. Lawyers for two charities have said that the present system was “inherently unfair” and that it provides no support for inmates who are incapable of representing themselves.The appeal, brought...

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    Social care cuts leaving older people stranded

    Age UK is calling on Chancellor George Osborne to put an end to cuts to social care funding due to the increasing rate the older population is growing, reports the Yorkshire Post. Age UK has conducted a survey that has found the risk of heart failure in older people over the age of 65 can be halved by an active and healthier lifestyle. The said that 100,00 more people are facing issues with...

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    Homeless families in Bristol continues to rise

    It has been revealed that 140 families have been place in emergency accommodation this year, which costs £3.2m, however last year the figure was 40, reports the BBC. "Shortages in affordable housing, rising rents in the private rental market and welfare reform", have been to blame.The Department for Work and Pensions said it was "completely misleading" to blame homelessness on welfare...

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    More to be done for mental health services in York says MP

    Rachael Maskell MP met with junior health department minister Alistair Burt to discuss the need for a urgent new mental health h hospital to replace the ageing one already in the city, reports The Northern Echo.She said: "It was a positive meeting, and certainly did not get the feeling he will be turning his back on the matter."Mental health is a priority for the newly confirmed York Central...

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    Report finds women in Scotland hit hardest by benefits cuts

    A report by Holyrood’s Welfare Reform committee has said that the welfare reforms are having a disproportionate impact on women, reports the BBC.The DWP have said that there were a record number of women in work in Scotland.Scottish welfare minister Margaret Burgess said the Scottish government was working to help those affected.Committee Convener Michael McMahon, a Labour MSP, said: "The...

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    New initiative to help people suffering with their mental health back into work

    Towards the end of last year the ‘Press Pause to Play’ programme was piloted in Swansea to help people with anxiety and depression through a combination of psychology, physiology and neuroscience, reports ITV News.This scheme successfully saw 50% of participants return to work.Start Smiling Again, the company behind the project, are partnering with the Department for Work and Pensions and...

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    Youth homeless figures is triple the official statistics

    Over three times more people have had to rely on councils and charities due to homelessness in the past year, finds Cambridge University, with figures reaching 83,000 rather than the governments suggested 26,852. The reports found that at any one time there are around 35,000 young people in homeless accommodation, reports the Independent. The “worryingly high” levels of young people using...

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    Domestic violence campaign launched in Sandwell

    Run by charity Fry Housing Trust, Sandwell Council and Sandwell’s Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership, the ‘Brighter Futures’ scheme will be running over the next two years, reports ITV News.Men and women with a history of domestic violence, or be seen to be at risk of committing offenses will be referred to the scheme.The scheme is made up of ten group or one to one sessions.Approximately...

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    Tackling homelessness early could save thousands

    The report titled The Financial Costs of Single Homelessness in the UK looks at the economic case for helping homeless people at an early stage, reports 24dash.Within the report it warns that without vital help people can quickly spiral out of control leaving them vulnerable to mental health, physical health, crime and drug issues. This will make them harder to help and put a further cost strain...

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    Young people receiving mental health treatment in adult wards

    ITV News have contacted 53 mental health trusts and received data from 38 to discover that young people are being treated on adult mental health wards; despite the NHS saying that adult mental health wards are not appropriate for young people.Mental health charities have said that the increasing number of young people receiving inadequate care is inevitable due to the shortage of early...

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    Plymouth A&E sees increase in people suffering with their mental health

    Data from Freedom of Information requests have found that 3,346 people went to Derriford Hospital’s emergency department due to mental health issues over the last year. Debbie Roche, of the Plymouth branch of mental health charity Mind, said: “It is very concerning that the number of people with mental health issues are presenting at A&E for support. This illustrates how desperately a...

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    Increase in veterans needing homelessness support

    Salford’s Supported Tenancies Service has seen an increase in veterans falling on hard times, reports 24Dash. Managed by housing association Salix Homes, the service provides support and advice for people in Salford facing homelessness or struggling to maintain their tenancy.Nationally, statistics show that 1 in 10 homeless people have a military background.Mike Wright, head of housing choice...

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    North East closing one in four mental health beds

    Freedom of Information requests have found that two NHS mental health trusts in the North East have closed 630 of their 2,392 beds, reports the BBC.NHS bosses have said that they have invested further in providing community care facilities, however charities fear that fewer beds could add to the suicide levels, which are already the highest in the UK.Lynn Boyd, from Mental Health North East, said...

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    Welfare cut probe launched

    After the chancellor George Osborne reveals new welfare spending cuts the Homes and Communites Agency will begin to seek to work out which types of social landlords will be affected by the cuts, reports Inside Housing.The HCA will be using data it already possess to conduct a review and contact landlords they believe will be vulnerable in order to seek assurance that they are able to cope with...

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    Mental health is still a problem amongst young people

    A report has been compiled by the Children’s Law Centre and Save the Children and has been endorsed by 58 groups including Barnardos and the NSPCC, reports the BBC. Save The Children chief Peter Bryson said the report shines "an uncomfortable spotlight on how we treat our children and young people".John Patrick Clayton from the Children's Law Centre said mental ill health was a "serious and...

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    Charity wants priority for older people in housing

    Erosh represents organisation providing housing and support to 120,000 older people and has written to new government ministers in opposition, reports Inside Housing.The letter calls on ministers to make housing for older people a priority over the life of the next Parliament. In the letter they emphasise the savings which can be generated for health and social care and reduced hospital...

What are the Future Funding Arrangements for Supported and Sheltered Housing? "Information on Exempt Accommodation & DWP Review was very informative, but also commend your approach in delivering workshops/conferences in a proactive way, and use of email and your website as a public resource" P.C. - The Hyde Group  

 

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