Archive for November, 2012

November 30, 2012 Leave a comment
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November 29, 2012 Leave a comment

the void

Sick and disabled claimants face being sent on unlimited workfare from the beginning of next month a memo issued to Work Programme providers has revealed.

Claimants in the WRAG group, who have been judged by the shabby Atos testing regime as possibly able to work at some point in the future, will from next month be mandated to unpaid community work or face losing benefits.

In a new low for the third sector, charities such as Scope, MIND, Mencap, the Salvation Army, RNIB and the Leonard Chesire Foundation will now be able to force disabled people into unpaid work or report them to the DWP for benefit sanctions.

Astonishingly these charities will also be able to use workfare workers in their own businesses, meaning that charity shops could soon be staffed by sick and disabled claimants forced to work without pay under threat of poverty and possible homelessness.

The memo…

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Carers Rights Day 30 Nov 2012

November 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Carers Rights Day is all about getting information to carers – we know that it can take years for people to find out about their rights as a carer and the support available to them.

Each year Carers UK organises the Carers Rights Day to:

  • Increase the take up of benefits – it’s estimated that millions of carers’ benefits aren’t claimed each year.
  • Make sure carers know their rights – every year, more than 2 million people become carers, many don’t identify themselves as carers and miss out on support. Even those who have been caring for years sometimes aren’t aware of their entitlements.
  • Guide carers towards practical support – it’s not just about benefits. Carers often do not realise practical support is available, like replacement care to give the carer time off, help with lifting and bathing, equipment and home adaptations that can be vital in protecting carers’ health.
  • Raise awareness of the needs of carers – Carers Rights Day raises awareness of the needs of carers with the public, decision makers and professionals.

Over 700 local groups register each year and alongside their work across the country, Carers UK releases new research to illustrate the importance of carers accessing advice, information and support as early as possible.

Carers Rights Day 2012: Getting help in tough times

In 2012 Carers Rights Day is taking place on Friday 30th November and the theme is ‘Getting help in tough times’, focussing on helping carers:

  • Find financial help.
  • Get a helping hand.
  • Make the most of technology.

At a time of rising living costs, salary freezes and job losses many families are struggling across the UK. But families affected by illness and disabilities are often the hardest hit, as they struggle with the additional costs of caring and lost earnings; and now face the risk of cuts to essential services and benefits.

These tough times mean that there has never been a more important time for carers to know their rights, and access all the support they are entitled to. Carers Rights Day is about getting carers the information and advice they need to claim benefits, access practical support and find out how technology can help take the pressure off.

Steve Bell on Workfare

November 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Mental Health Foundation Newsletter (November 2012)

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment
This appalling health inequality simply can’t be allowed to continue
People with severe mental health problems are dying 15-20 years earlier than other citizens. 

It’s shocking that only 1 in 10 people with severe mental illness get access to effective psychological therapy despite it being recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).GPs and other health professionals must do more to offer routine health assessments to people with severe mental health problems and address identified needs.

The Schizophrenia Commission‘s report ‘The Abandoned Illness’ points out that about 45% of people who receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia recover after one or more episodes. Rates of recovery will only improve when we refocus resources onto the early stages of illness, give people hope, and help them to self-manage their condition better, instead of spending all of our resources downstream. Read my full response to the report.

Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive

What causes you stress?
Recent reports show that hospital admissions for stress have risen by seven percent in the last twelve months – not surprising since stress and anxiety are on the increase at this time of economic difficulty. 

This January we’ll be launching a new booklet to help people manage stress better and we want you to help us write it!

  • What causes you stress?
  • What methods do you use to cope with stress?

Tell us by replying to this email or by 5 December and your tips might make it into the new booklet, which will be available in the New Year.

Double your donations with the Big Give Christmas Challenge
Your donation could be matched by our Charity Champion, Candis Magazine when you donate to our Best Start for Children project through the Big Give Christmas Challenge. 

The Challenge takes place from 6-8 December and all donations must be made within these dates through the Big Give website.

Get our free ‘Truth About Self-Harm’ booklet
Self-harm affects at least 1 in 15 young people in the UK and there is evidence that rates of self-harm in the UK are the highest in Europe. 

Recent research shows over three quarters of young people don’t know where to turn to talk about self-harm and many GP’s and teachers don’t have enough knowledge to deal with this issue.

We have just updated and relaunched our publicationThe Truth About Self-Harm. Download it for free and fine out more about self-harm amongst young people – why it happens, how to deal with it, and how to recover from what can become a very destructive cycle.

Conquer Kilimanjaro in 2013!
If you ever wanted to embark on an awe-inspiring trek through a breathtaking landscape of forests, moorland and glaciers to reach Africa’s roof at 19,335 feet, now is the time to sign up.

Join our trekkers on our next trip to Kilimanjaro in October and raise much needed money for our work.Sign up now or get a free brochure.

London Art and Mental Health Festival
We’re planning to hold the first ever London-based Art and Mental Health Festival in June 2014. 

Our first London festival planned for June of 2014 will focus on anxiety. The festival will include a programme of visual arts, film, music and performing arts and will address the theme from many different viewpoints with opportunities for audience participation, discussion and pointers to practical sources of support.

The creation of the event follows the success of our annual Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, which began in 2007.

In the build up to June 2014, we’re hosting a series of events beginning with a Christmas concert on 21 December. Contact to find out more.

Have you seen our Dementia project film?
Our Dementia Engagement & Empowerment Project explores, supports, promotes and celebrates groups and projects led by or actively involving people with dementia across the UK . 

It influences services and policies that affect the lives of people with dementia.

We recently made an inspiring film about the project and the people involved which has been well received. If you’ve not seen it yet, head over to our YouTube channel and let us know what you think.

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Mike Sivier's blog

I bet Iain Duncan Smith was praying nobody would produce any statistics disproving his rant at Owen Jones during the BBC’s Question Time last week.

Some of us were praying for the opposite, and it turns out that our God is quicker than his.

I know the new report released today (Monday) by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, showing that more working people are living in poverty, will be just another document that the UK government will blithely ignore.

But some of its findings bite deeply into Department for Work and Pensions policy, and the claims of the man who runs that department.

For starters, in 2012, 18 per cent of working-age households were workless, but in only two per cent of households had nobody ever worked. More than half of adults in ‘never-worked’ households were under 25.

Therefore, when Iain Duncan Smith told Owen Jones on Question Time last week…

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On weeds

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment
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A quote from History (or His Tory)

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

“After the recession of 1989 to 1992 we had to raise taxes because the budget deficit reached dangerous proportions. The alternative of slashing spending and cutting benefits would have been inhuman.”

David Cameron, Thursday 18 April 2002 17.51 BST

Autism Friendly Film screenings

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment
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WCA in a Nutshell

November 24, 2012 Leave a comment
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