Blog Archive

August 2015

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    Figures find thousands of benefit claimants died after found fit for work

    Over 80 people a month have died shortly after being declared “fit to work” prompting campaigners to call for an overhaul of the government’s welfare system, reports the Guardian.Figures from the DWP have found that 2.380 people died between December 2011 and February 2014 shortly after being found fit to work. Campaigners have called the administration of the work capability assessment...

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    Domestic violence levels in Northern Ireland at highest

    Police have said that the number of reports of domestic violence are continuing to rise, and from April 2014 to April 2015 there was a 5.6% increase, report U TV. Ulster University is set to release a report on the issue and outline how police can better support victims. The study will be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and will interview domestic abuse survivors and PSNI...

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    Rising number of young people needing mental health support

    Figures have found that the number of young people aged under 18 referred to Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has risen by 84% since 2011/12, reports the Eastern Daily Press.Experts have said that the rise is due to increased pressures on young people and reduction in support services.Jon Wilson, a consultant psychiatrist and the trust’s clinical lead for youth service, said: “As of...

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    Hundreds of tenants in Flintshire feeling the impact of the bedroom tax

    Latest figures by the local authority in Flintshire have found that 660 residents are £236,457 in arrears to due the impact of the bedroom tax, reports the Daily Post.In a report to councillors, chief office for community and enterprise Clare Budden has said: “The impact of welfare reform is well known with the spare room subsidy – commonly known as bedroom tax – affecting Flintshire...

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    Suicide guidance given to DWP staff ahead of welfare reforms

    Workers at the DWP have been given a six-point plan on how to deal with people who are denied benefits and are feeling suicidal, reports the Independent.Call centre staff have been instructed to allow rejected claimants for universal credit to talk about their intentions to end their lives.A DWP spokesman did not deny that the guidance had been handed out, and said: “Our frontline Jobcentre...

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    Mental health detention called unacceptable by charity boss

    Paul Netherton, Assistant Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police has said that a man was held in police custody for 48 hours due to the lack of specialist beds available, reports the Plymouth Herald.A trainer with Plymouth and District Mind, Debbie Roche has said that poor mental health does not make a person a criminal.“However, the transporting of people experiencing a mental health...

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    Newspaper office to become a centre for homeless people

    The old office for the Doncaster Free Press is being transformed into flats and other facilities for people who are homeless, reports Hold the Front Page. The building is being turned into self-contained flats, communal areas and other facilities for people who are homeless and is being run by Doncaster homelessness charity M25 Housing and Support Group.Social enterprise Made By U has provided...

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    Mental health suffers at risk due to staff shortages

    A report from the Scottish Social Services Council has found that there are now only 657 mental health officers practising in Scotland and an additional 30 full-time workers are needed to fill the shortfalls, reports Herald Scotland.Colin McKay, chief executive of the Mental Welfare Commission, said: "We are disappointed but not surprised at these figures. The Commission has raised its concerns...

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    Adults with vulnerabilities in custody are not receiving appropriate support

    A report commissioned by the Home Office has said that lack of awareness and a shortage of trained volunteers means police often go ahead without on present, reports the BBC.Home Secretary Theresa May said the situation was "not acceptable".Appropriate adults are there to support young people or vulnerable adults when they are being interviewed by the police. This is to ensure effective...

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    Greater Manchester council have paid £4.8m in DHP due to bedroom tax

    Figures from the DWP have found a 16% increase in the use of DHP in Greater Manchester due to the bedroom tax, reports the Manchester Evening News.The £4.8m total was an overspend of £1.3m.Across the country, local authorities made discretionary housing payments of £100.8m in 2014/15 in order to cover the costs created by the bedroom tax, considerably higher than the £60m allocated.What do...

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    Social housing to be built in Gloucester after 25 years

    Construction has already begun on one site and hopes to be finished by February, reports the Gloucester Citizen. Chief executive of Gloucester City Homes, Ashely Green, has said: “It is an exciting time for Gloucester City Homes as we are now seeing all our hard work become a reality. The amount of work that has been undertaken on site so far is impressive and we are looking forward to its...

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    Survey finds older people have better quality of life in retirement villages than care homes

    Chief executive of Audley Retirement, Nick Sanderson, has said that demand for his form of extra-care housing was so strong he could not build homes fast enough, reports the Guardian.He said: “I started by developing and operating care homes and saw a lot of people moving in who frankly should not have been there. That’s how we started housing with care. There is a need for care homes. There...

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    Bedroom tax sees re-let times fall

    Housemark surveyed 178 social landlords and found the average void turn around dropped by two days in 2014/15 compared to the previous year. The equalled the 25.7 days average which was recorded before the bedroom tax came into effect, reports Inside Housing.The research found that the amount of rental income lost due to empty properties had fallen year-on-year by £32m to £208.5m according to...

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    Ministers accused of failing mental health pledge

    Labour have used freedom of information requests to NHS commissioning bodies in England to find that the average mental health budget fell in 2015/16, yet the Department of Health have rejected the figures and called mental health a government “priority”, reports the BBC. Dr Phil Moore, chairman of the NHS Clinical Commissioners Mental Health Commissioners Network stressed that CCGs...

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    Disability campaigners concerned over benefit shakeups

    The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is set to announce new reforms to sickness benefits in the hope to get more people into work, reports the Guardian.It is expected the Mr Duncan Smith will claim that over 2 million more people are in work and that the number of workless households is at a record low following previous government reforms. “There is one area on which I believe we...

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    Watchdog highlights concern over care home for women with mental health problems

    The CQC has formally warned Waterloo Manor Independent Hospital and told them to make urgent improvements, giving them an “inadequate” rating overall, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.Inspectors were told there were 56 “serious untoward” incidents at the hospital in the 12 months to January this year. Eight related to incidents of self harm and 24 to patient on patient abuse.The...

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    Cuts leaving people in Cheltenham needing homelessness support

    Bosses at CCP and Cheltenham Borough Council have said the “devastating impact” of benefit cuts in the town are causing issues for many people, report the Gloucestershire Echo.Over the past few years the CCP have seen 287 people who are homeless or facing homelessness with 1,500 people affected by financial issues.Senior advisor Chris Lowry said: "People believe that Cheltenham is an affluent...

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    Mental health budgets to be protected by the Welsh government

    A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers has found that a move to protect spending on mental health has been successful, reports the Local Gov.This means that mental health services will receive £587m in 2015-16 which is up to £389m in 2009-10.Health and social services minister Mark Drakeford said: ‘Mental ill health can have a significant impact on life expectancy and is a key cause of health...

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    New supported housing facility to be built in Middlesbrough

    The site has been developed by Riverside to provide supported housing, comprising of 20 self-contained flats for social housing and training facilities to support people into employment, reports the Gazette Live.Dominic Beha, Senior Project Manager at Riverside said: “This is a great development for us as we continue to deliver quality supported housing across the country. Having worked with...

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    Mental health triage in Dorset reaches target

    Since June 2014 the Mental Health Street Triage service has given support and advice to officers, reports the BBC.July 2015 saw the first month of no-one with a mental health problem taken into custody.The triage service sees mental health practitioner’s assisting police officers on patrol in county on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. There are also mental health professionals located in...

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    Concern that homelessness in Cambridge is at ‘tipping point’

    Not only do figures show a rise in quarterly numbers by 24 households, they also reveal that over 350 cases were placed in temporary accommodation over the last year, which was a rise of 50 cases on the previous year, reports The Cambridge News.The city council’s executive councillor for housing, councillor Kevin Price has said welfare reform is to blame."The number of people presenting as...

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    Website created to help young people with their mental health

    CAMHS Ready is an online tool that gives support and advice to people preparing to access North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust’s care, reports Stoke Sentinel.Users can access the site on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.Whilst the website is primarily aimed at young people aged 10-18, it also provides a service that gives advice to other family members and can be...

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    Scottish carers are worse off due to universal credit

    Child Poverty Action Group has sent a report to Scottish and UK ministers urging them to amend the universal credit regime to pay closer heed to Scotland’s systems and use devolved power to protect children and their family carers from poverty, reports Public Finance.The report said support for carers is patchy and sometimes inadequate in Scotland, “despite good intentions”The report’s...

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    Mental health units in Scotland are struggling to cope

    The Scottish Liberal Democrats have obtained the figures and warn that mental health units across Scotland are struggling to cope with the demand, reports The Scots Man.The figures show that, in 2013-14, a total of 799 patients were discharged from a psychiatric hospital in a different area from where they live. This compares with 793 in 2012-13 and 855 the year before that.The Lib Dems have...

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    Supported living accommodation plans submitted in Leamington Spa

    HB Villages Developments Ltd have made the application which will include a two-storey residential building of 16 self-contained one bedroom supported living apartments, reports The Leamington Courier.A covering letter for the application states: “The scheme will provide high quality specialised accommodation for vulnerable adults with physical and learning disabilities, to be managed and...

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    New mental health housing development opens in Derby

    Riverside Gardens has opened in Sandiacre and is the work of consultant psychiatrist Dr Ivan Bakelchev from Aspire Mental Healthcare and is hoped to be an alternative to long-term hospitalisation, reports the Derby Telegraph. The complex works similarly to a social enterprise as a non-profit venture and includes a skills and re-enablement centre.It is aimed to support patients and improve their...

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    YMCA chief in Burton expresses concerns over housing benefit cuts

    Across the UK over 19,000 young people are claiming unemployment and housing benefits, and charity bosses are concerned that new cuts will remove “vital support” from those who are most vulnerable, reports The Burton Mail.Paul Laffey, chief executive at Burton YMCA said: "We house and support 52 young people, many of whom claim both jobseeker's allowance and housing benefit. These young...

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    Herefordshire’s mental health care provider to take part in pilot tackling stigma

    This pilot focuses on bringing together professionals and people who have used mental health services to create an open dialogue about the changes that could make a difference to people’s experience of mental health services and the experiences of staff, reports The Hereford Times. In these sessions it is hoped it will highlight positive examples of where mental health staff have challenged...

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    A new supported living scheme has opened in Paignton

    Bridgman House has been opened to provide care for up to eight young people in transition from the family home, education or residential care, reports The Torquay Herald.The property is in the town centre and made up of six one bed flats and a two bedroom cottage.Care provider Regard has worked with a housing partner to purchase the property after it was refurbished from a former hotel.Julie...

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    Young people in Sheffield given help to live independently

    The course is run by Guinness Care and Support at the Sheffield Foyer, which is a 60-room scheme that provides accommodation for young people aged between 16-25 such as care leavers and young mothers, reports 24dash.Along with proving temporary accommodation, the foyer also runs a course which helps the young people prepare for living life independently.Earlier this year, the team celebrated...

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    Scottish government to revamp universal credit

    The Scottish Government has decided it wants to give claimants the choice of having their payments made twice a month rather than just once a month on universal credit, reports Scottish Housing News.They also want the payment of the housing element to be made direct to landlords, for new claimants and where the claimant is renting from a social landlord.In Dundee for a series of events as part of...

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    Homelessness charity opens furniture shop in Nailsworth

    Emmaus Gloucestershire has opened a shop in Nailsworth that sells upcycled furniture, allowing customers to have the opportunity to bring old furniture in to be restored or adapted to particular tastes, reports the Stroud News and Journal.Profits from the shop will be used to provide a home and support for the people they work with whilst offering them work serving customers, displaying goods and...

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    Universal Credit claimants rise to almost 90,000

    Figures by the Department for Work and Pensions have found that 89,357 people were claiming universal credit by 9th July which was a rise of 18% compared to 75,426 on 11th June, reports Inside Housing.Of these claimants, 30% were in work and 70% were unemployed.Labour acting shadow work and pensions Stephen Timms said the reform was rolling out at a “glacial rate”. A total of 7.7m households...

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    Older people’s Commissioner disappointed by Welsh Government

    Sarah Rochira, Wale’s Commissioner for older people has said she is “extremely disappointed” at the response from the Welsh Government to its call for action to protect residents in care homes, reports Wales Online.In 2014 Ms Rochira conducted a care home review and welcomed commitments from health boards and councils about how they will improve the quality of life for residents. She said:...

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    Foodbank’s concerned people won’t cope on universal credit

    Foodbank organisers are concerned that many clients will struggle to plan their expenditure effectively and are offering classes on how to budget, reports the Manchester Evening News.Michelle Welch, co-founder of the Compassion Foodbank in Moss Side, said: “We’re concerned about the impact of Universal Credit. Suddenly, people will have all of their income in one go and they’ll have to...

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    Funding cuts forces mental health centre to close

    The Recovery and Wellbeing Centre in Basildon, run by charity MIND, was forced to close following NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG diverting funding to personal health budgets for people with mental illnesses, reports Pulse Today.The CCG have said that personal health budgets allow patients more choice on what treatment they receive. GP leaders, however, have said that this health budgets ‘to...

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    Chief inspector warns cuts are affecting adult social care

    Andrea Sutcliffe has said that many carers ended up being "the sort of care worker you wouldn't want them to be", reports the BBC.Adult social care budgets have been cut by £4.6bn since 2010 - a 31% overall reduction - according to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.Ms Sutcliffe has said funding cuts has led to carers feeling overworked and undervalued. She said: "That...

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    New mental health pilot to launch in Rutland

    A pilot is set to launch at Rutland County College in October after a survey found that young people are struggling to cope with academic pressure and bullying, reports the Rutland Times.The pilot will see a range of support for young people which will include in-school advice and a Rutland Students Mental Health Forum.Dr Ann Williams, who led the survey for Healthwatch Rutland, said: “This is...

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    Charities say Wales is “setting an example” for homelessness

    A joint report by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has praised Welsh laws that are trying to address the issues of homelessness, reports the BBC.However they warn that the removal of six-month tenancy protection in a new Wales bill could undo the hard work. The Welsh government have said that the measure will help homelessness due to its more flexible rental market.The report shows that...

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    Single homeless people are being failed in Scotland

    Homeless charity Crisis have found that only 47% of single homeless people without children have received a tenancy through their local council when they became homeless, reports RT.The report says that single homeless people are likely to be “more vulnerable” and have previously been homeless before.When they seek assistance, they receive less help than families “both in prevention...

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    New social enterprise to help adults with vulnerabilities

    Aspire Community Benefit Society is taking over the council’s Learning Disability Service for a five year contract, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.This new model will see the Learning Disability Service being owned and operated by people who work for the service as part of a staff-led mutual.Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health, wellbeing and adults,...

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    Mental health disclosure advice to be issued by the Home Office

    When assessing whether mental health crises are disclosed police will have to examine issues such as how long ago a detention under the Mental Health Act occurred, reports the BBC.The advice covers Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB) checks.Home Office minister Karen Bradley said the guidelines aim to make the system fairer without lessening protection. "It is important that checks...

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    Young people at risk in Cumbria due to failing mental health service

    The National Autistic Society has said that serious systemic failings in mental health services for young people are putting patients at risk in Cumbria, reports the Guardian.They are calling on the Care Quality Commission to conduct an urgent inspection and have appealed to NHS England to review commissioning arrangements in the county.The NAS said it has “lost faith” in the ability of...

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    Project helping homeless people get discharged from hospital up for an award

    Developed by housing association Midland Heart, along with partners NHS Arden and GEM commissioning support unit and other third sector organisations, the project is one of ten in the running to  win the ‘delivering value and improvement in commissioning support services’ category of the health service journal (HSJ) value in healthcare awards, reports 24dash. Research by Midland Heart had...

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    Single parents are being hit by benefit cuts

    Government statistics detailing who has been affected by the policy have found that in May 2015 49% were single parents with children under the age of five, reports the Guardian.It is being said that these figures reveal the benefits cap to be penalising parents who would find it most difficult to find suitable work, and critics are calling for single parents with children under the age of five...

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    New homeless centre opens in Coventry

    Whitefriars Housing and housing contractor Wates Living Space has created a centre for homeless people in Hillfields Coventry, reports 24dash.The ‘Gateway’ development has been designed to help local homeless people achieve independent living and improve their employment prospects through the provisions of intensive, practical support.Lee Sale, regional business director at Wates Living...

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    AMs urge the Welsh government to support tenants hit by bedroom tax

    AMs wants Welsh ministers to follow the lead of the Scottish Government and provide more support to tenants hit by the bedroom tax, reports the BBC. The Welsh government said it was providing help but could not "plug all the gaps" caused by austerity measures.A report by the assembly’s public accounts committee has called on the Welsh government to take a more leading role in helping tenants,...

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    Funding for mid-life mental health crisis

    The funding programme aims to provide grants to individuals and organisations that are focused on the areas of prevention, early intervention and integration of mid-life mental health, reports Civil Society.The foundation hopes to make around 20 grants to projects ranging from £50k for large projects and £10k for small projects.The foundation will be looking to fund projects that will be...

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    Restaurant in London helps to tackle youth homelessness

    Alone in London, a charity that provides support, training and mediation for young homeless people and young people at risk of homelessness has joined forces with The Breakfast Club to create a temporary home in Hackney for these young people, reports 24dash. The temporary accommodation is owned by Circle Housing and Alone In London will provide residents with training and support to help them...

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    Bedroom tax ruling brings concern to separated families

    An upper tier tribunal judge has said that a previous lower tribunal decision ruling in favour of a grandfather whose grandson lives with him part time, has made an “error of law”, reports Inside Housing.The tenant had his housing benefit reduced by 25% due to being judged as having two spare bedrooms. Last year a lower tier tribunal ruled that this should be reduced to 14% due to the fact...

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    Charity warns benefit cuts could leave young people homeless

    The YMCA has said that thousands of young people with vulnerabilities could become homeless due to the government’s plans to remove housing benefit payments to those who are unemployed aged between 18-21, reports the Guardian.The charity has said: “The government could be in danger of inadvertently taking away support from the young people who need it most, and in doing so, exposing many more...

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    Housing group’s supported housing contract extended

    Progress Housing Group provide supported housing and support services for women and children fleeing domestic violence and young people facing homelessness, reports 24dash.Progress Housing manage a women’s refuge accommodation, resettlement services, 24-hour helpline for victims of domestic violence and young people’s supported housing accommodation.The new contract will see the services at...

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    New centre for mental health patients

    The new Woodlands Resource Centre aims to bring together a range of services which were previously provided at Westbank and Dunrowan day hospitals, reports the Falkirk Herald.The facility is housed in two former hospital wards and has undergone a £2m transformation.There are around 70 health and council staff based at the facility who will work together to provide a range of assessments,...

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    Government plans could see rouge landlords forced to repay housing benefit

    In a government discussion paper it says, “an effective enforcement regime is essential to drive up housing standards in the private rented sector and tackle criminal landlords” reports Inside Housing.The document has arisen after ministers say they are “exploring the scope” for extending ‘rent repayment orders.’Cash from rent repayment orders is retained by the local authority and...

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    People with schizophrenia may find help via a brain game

    Testing the game on a number of patients, they said that after four weeks of playing the game their memory and learning improved, reports the BBC.Prof Barbara Sahakian, from the department of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and who researched the impact of the game, said patients who played it made significantly fewer errors in tests afterwards on their memory and brain...

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    Milestone for housing scheme supporting the homeless

    The Homefinder project, part funded by CRISIS and led by the homelessness charity H3 has helped over a hundred homeless people find accommodation, reports 24dash.The project helps homeless people overcome the barriers they face in finding a deposit for a private landlord by offering a cashless guarantee in its place, known as a ‘bond’.Dominic Walker, HomeFinder scheme assistant said “It’s...

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    Mental health services for young people to receive £143m funding

    The funding is part of a £1.25bn package of increased spending on young people’s mental health services that was announced in March’s budget, reports the BBC. It is likely that the details will include a guarantee that by 202095% of patients will be seen within four weeks of being referred.A department spokeswoman has said that mental health spending has been reduced this year to ensure...

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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