UC & in-work conditionality

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Universal Credit and In-Work Conditionality – the employers view
by Katy Jones, Centre for Decent Work and Productivity, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Universal Credit – the new working age benefit for people who are unemployed or on a low income – potentially involves the introduction of “in-work conditionality” (IWC), placing responsibilities on individual claimants to increase their earnings (e.g. through increasing their hours/earnings in their current place of work or by taking up additional or alternative jobs elsewhere). These expectations may be backed up by support (e.g. through advice from Jobcentre staff), but also by benefit sanctions if individuals do not comply with mandatory work-related requirements.

Whist additional support for low-income workers is welcome, the extension of IWC (and sanctions) to those in work is controversial. Research focusing on claimant experiences has raised questions about the extent to which IWC results in meaningful in-work progression, and has uncovered the counterproductive consequences of a sanctions-based approach focused on requirements to apply for a high volume of jobs. Furthermore, employers are key to outcomes arising from such policies, but they have been largely absent from policy discussions. Our project (briefing note and full report), supported by PIN, begins to fill this gap, through consulting with 12 businesses operating in Greater Manchester.

The employers sampled offered a range of roles and contract types – some offered mainly full-time positions, others offered mainly part-time roles but required staff to take on additional work as required, some employed staff on zero hours contracts. Regarding expectations for employees to progress within their firm, employers said that this was something they would consider, however that the capacity for this varied, and weak consumer demand could make offering more hours difficult. Ultimately, their ‘bottom line’ would have more sway over expectations placed on staff, and there was widespread reluctance to increase wages due to perception that this would impact negatively on profits. Furthermore, employing staff on a part-time, flexible basis was central to existing business models:

We wouldn’t want to have every single person on a full-time contract. We’d still need some flexibility to
fluctuate with the demands of business levels”
(Employer 11, hotel)

Employers felt that the impact of IWC would depend on a range of factors including business needs, worker responses, and the approach taken (i.e. whether a supportive/sanctions-based approach, and the nature of support). There was a concern that IWC may be a hindrance to workforce flexibility and that it might adversely impact on staff motivation and well-being:

“[It’s] simple, happy team, happy guests…If we have a team who’s burdened with all these headaches,
then of course that’s going to impact on our quality, productivity”
(Employer 5, hotel)

Katy Jones MMU for GM Poverty Action

Katy Jones

Employers also felt IWC could increase recruitment costs for businesses – not only due to increased turnover, but also if more applications were made by others subject to it. Interviewees complained about the high costs associated with dealing with a high volume of applications, which they felt in part resulted from the existing emphasis of Jobcentres on requiring jobseekers to focus on the quantity, rather the quality of applications and job fit.

In addition, some employers felt that policymakers should focus more on employer practices, rather than solely on claimants. Supporting employers to be better businesses was felt to be more likely to have a positive impact on both individual progression opportunities and firm performance:

It would be probably more beneficial for the government to help employers become better employers, and to make the workplace a more positive environment than it is to push employees to get more jobs” (Employer 10, soft play centre)

Our project has highlighted a number of important issues which policymakers should consider as their ‘in-work offer’ is developed. Importantly, a ‘work first, then work more’ approach, focused on placing conditions on individual workers fails to consider long-standing issues of poor work quality and management practices, and appears to be at odds with the nature of the UK labour market, and broader policy agendas focused on improving productivity and work quality.

More information about the Centre for Decent Work and Productivity

 

i3oz9sUC & in-work conditionality
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Christmas Hampers

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Urban Outreach Bolton for GM POverty Action organisations

Everyone should experience a little joy at Christmas, but for many it can be a sad time. Loneliness, bereavement, family breakdown or just having too little money to celebrate are some of the reasons. So with the help and support of many individuals and agencies, this project is able to provide hampers to many who are struggling. The hampers contain everything that an individual or family needs to put on a traditional Christmas spread – right down to mince pies and Christmas crackers!

How it works:

Each Autumn Urban Outreach touch base with all those who have previously supported the project. They ask schools, churches, businesses and other groups to consider making a pledge to collect specific items used to make up the hampers.

We also depend upon the generosity of many individuals and organisations who donate the money we need to purchase fresh items for the hampers. This includes fruit and vegetables – not forgetting the chicken!

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, agencies workers are invited to nominate Bolton individuals and families to receive a hamper. Then just before distribution day our volunteers get stuck into preparing the hampers.

Urban Outreach Christmas Hampers in Bolton for GM Poverty ActionIt all gets very hectic as they finalise preparations and get all the hampers delivered in time. None of this would be possible without the support of many agency workers who call to collect and deliver hampers to the doorstep of those they have nominated. It’s hard work – but very rewarding for all concerned. The appreciation shown by hamper recipients can be overwhelming!

When we arrived to collect the parcels, seeing all the volunteers restored my faith in society. I went out delivering the parcels and the response was inspiring. All four families were overwhelmed with your kindness and couldn’t thank us enough for delivering the parcels.”

Each year the project has benefited from many sources of support which has ensured that they have been able to cover most of our direct costs. They are grateful to all of these including Bolton Council, Bolton at Home, Seddon construction, churches and businesses across Bolton and many individual donors. If you are able to supply items or funding for the hampers or want to know more please get in touch.

Urban Outreach would like to thank everyone for their continuing support!

 

i3oz9sChristmas Hampers
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Living Wage Week 2019

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Living Wage Week
Monday November 11th – Sunday November 17th, 2019
By John Hacking, Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign Co-ordinator

Living Wage Week is almost upon us and the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign will be busy delivering, supporting and promoting a range of events and activities about the benefits and importance of paying the Real Living Wage. These are some of the activities that you can get involved with, but for up to the minute information during Living Wage Week visit our Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter.

Wednesday November 13th, 2019 from 8.30 – 10am: the Campaign will be holding a joint event with the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter. The event is aimed at GM employers who are interested in the Charter and finding out more about the Living Wage and will be held in Salford Museum and I will be speaking along with local accredited Living Wage Employer, Anchor Removals, and the Living Wage Foundation. The event is for employers in GM and if you want to come along then please book a place here.

Real Living Wage Supporters Network event for GM Poverty Action

Wednesday November 13th, 2019 from 2 – 3.30pm: The Campaign is delighted to be partnering with another accredited Living Wage Employer, Boo Consulting, to deliver an exciting Living Wage Week event in Bolton later that day. I will be speaking again and any employer in Bolton can come along and find out more about the Living Wage. Book a place at this event here.

Other events and actions:

The Campaign is also working with accredited Living Wage Employer IKEA at their Ashton-under-Lyne branch to organise an in-store promotion to celebrate their continuing commitment as a Living Wage Employer. More detail on this will be on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The Campaign is still working with partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors on other events and activities during Living Wage Week. We are in close contact with GM Citizens and will be working with them to ensure maximum coverage for the message about the Living Wage throughout Greater Manchester. If you want any more information about Living Wage Week or the GM Living Wage Campaign then do send me an email. We hope to see you in Living Wage Week.

 

 

 

i3oz9sLiving Wage Week 2019
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Initial findings from the IMD2019

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A dual story of changing deprivation? Initial findings from the IMD2019
By  Alex Macdougall – Researcher at the Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit (IGAU), University of Manchester

The end of last month saw an update to one of the more important metrics used by policymakers to understand spatial inequalities, and to target policies in the UK: the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). This dataset is an area-based measure of relative deprivation, which ranks each of England’s 32,844 ‘neighbourhoods’, or small statistical areas known as Lower-layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs). Each LSOA is home to around 1500 residents.

What does the new IMD release tell us? One way into the data is to look at what proportion of all LSOAs in Greater Manchester (GM) appear in the top 10% and 20% most deprived LSOAs in England. The IMD2019 shows that 23% of GM’s 1673 LSOAs are in the top 10% most deprived in the country (390 LSOAs), and 38% are in the top 20% (634). GM’s neighbourhoods are therefore over-represented in the most deprived decile and quintile – a common finding in urban regions of the UK.

However – deprivation is not spread equally across the city region. Manchester local authority (LA) has the greatest proportion of LSOAs in the most deprived decile and quintile, with 43% of its LSOAs in the 10% most deprived, and 59% in the top 20%. Oldham, Rochdale and Salford also have large shares in the most deprived decile: 30% of neighbourhoods in each LA are in the top 10%. In contrast, only 5% of neighbourhoods in Trafford are in the most deprived decile in England, and 9% in Stockport.

IMD Graph for article for GM Poverty ActionWhilst Manchester has the greatest proportion of neighbourhoods in the most deprived categories, it has also seen the largest relative improvement in GM (see figure). 60% of Manchester’s LSOAs were in the top 10% in the IMD2004, compared to 43% in the recent release. The next largest relative improvement is Salford, dropping from 37% of its LSOAs in the most deprived decile, to 30%.

In contrast, most other LAs in GM have dropped relative to the rest of England. For example, the proportion of Tameside’s LSOAs in the top 10% increased from 13% to 21% across this period, and in Oldham this figure increased from 24% to 30%, and Rochdale from 25% to 30%.

IGAU Logo for GM Poverty ActionPrevious research by the IGAU suggests that these diverging trajectories reflect a dual story unfolding in the city region since the early 2000s . Areas of widespread deprivation around central Manchester have started to break down (although still severe in places), but in many outer parts of the conurbation the situation has remained similar or worsened over the same period (for example, in Central Oldham, or Brinnington in Stockport).

The IGAU will discuss more findings from the IMD2019 in our major forthcoming stocktaking report, which will be launched at our inclusive growth conference on November 19 – 20th, 2019

More information on the IMD2019 and the dataset

 

i3oz9sInitial findings from the IMD2019
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Manchester Workshop

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What proposals do you think should be made in the next UK White Paper on Social Security (welfare benefits)?
By Michael Orton, University of Warwick

This was the question posed in a workshop attended by a range of Greater Manchester organisations and individuals, held in the summer – and on which there will be further chance to input in coming months.

The aim of the workshop, hosted jointly by Greater Manchester Poverty Action and the University of Salford, was for participants to identify ideas and suggestions for a better social security system.

In particular, participants were encouraged to respond to a Call for Solutions, made by the Commission on Social Security. The Commission is a project which will produce a White Paper style document on Social Security and in which all the Commissioners are Experts by Experience i.e. people currently or recently in receipt of benefits. Commissioners are from a number of different user-led/claimant groups and Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations.*

The workshop covered core issues like Universal Credit and sickness and disability but also a wide range of benefit related topics from carers to sanctions and housing support to tapers.

Social security ideas for GM Poverty ActionSome points of potential consensus were identified. These included: scrapping the benefit cap and 2-child limit; integration between NHS, job centres and social care; assessments to be done by GPs; ending the Universal Credit 5 week wait; shifting public spending away from crisis intervention to prevention; and a fair tax system in which big corporations contribute and tax evasion is stopped.

The Greater Manchester workshop ended up being one of 17 sessions held in different parts of the country, with a total of just under 300 participants. Outputs were fed into the Commission on Social Security. The Commission also received just short of 900 online submissions, 100+ paper/email submissions and reports and outcomes from a legislative theatre project and a poetry workshop.

So what next? The Commissioners are now analysing submissions and will produce a Green Paper style document setting out initial ideas for consultation. Responses and contributions on that from Greater Manchester will be hugely welcomed. Watch this space!

Michael Orton for GM Poverty Action

Michael Orton

The workshop was facilitated by Michael Orton, a social policy researcher at the University of Warwick and Secretary to the Commission on Social Security. Any queries to Michael by email.

*The Commission is funded by Trust for London but the Commissioners are keen
to ensure input on as broad a basis as possible, hence the Greater Manchester workshop.

 

i3oz9sManchester Workshop
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Learn to cook

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Cracking Good Food have secured MAES (Manchester Adult Education Service)  part EU funding to deliver 10-week, cooking programmes, three times, in four hostels across Manchester. A total of 120 cooking sessions, each lasting 3 hours. As part of their role within Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance, their mission is to enable as many communities as possible to have the opportunity to learn to cook. This they feel, provides that much needed opportunity. It is for volunteers and community support workers in the public, third and voluntary sector.

The programme requires a 10 week commitment which many vulnerable residents are unable to provide. They have therefore been granted permission to widen the reach, enabling community members (only with DBS clearance), to guarantee full groups. This is FREE in-house training for which they can provide CPD certificates.  Cracking Good Food will then be able to help support these community members, at a later stage, to roll out cooking in their community. Get in touch to find out more.

The courses will run with a minimum of 10, maximum of 20 people. Participants need to be able to commit to the full 10 week course. All food and protective clothing is provided as well as full e-recipe and idea sheets which can be photographed using a phone. An application form needs to be completed with an Individual learning plan.

The programmes will be run follows:
Chorlton:        Programme 1. Wednesdays October 2nd – 8 December 8th, 2019.     6-9pm.
Chorlton:        Programme 2. Wednesdays January 8th – March18th, 2020  6-9pm
Fallowfield:     Programme 1. Wednesdays Oct 30th, 2019 – January 15th, 2020      11- 2pm.
Ancoats:          Programme 1. Tuesdays November 12th, 2019 – January 28th, 2020      11-2pm.
Ardwick.          Programme 1. Wednesdays November 20th, 2019 – February 5th, 2020       3 – 6pm. Women ONLY.

Menus for the programme include curries, rice, pasta, stews, pizzas, soups, noodles, breads, pastry and vegetarian.

Booking onto a course online can be done here but please also email Sarah with a copy of your DBS stating which course you would like to attend.

Cracking Good Food’s Call Out for Unwanted Cooking and Gardening Equipment has enabled them to equip the kitchens with the majority of what is needed. There are four Apex Storage units (in-kind donation) across Manchester where some donations are still being stored. If you can help with the appeal for more equipment or need equipment then do let them know.

For  further information please contact Adele Jordan

MAES funding logo strip for GM Poverty Action

i3oz9sLearn to cook
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Working conditions in Manchester’s textile manufacturing sector

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by Lucy Brill

In 2017, the international women workers’ organisation, Homeworkers’ Worldwide (HWW), more used to mapping the garment industry in countries as far away as India, Chile and China, completed a scoping study on working conditions within the textile and garment manufacturing sector within Greater Manchester (GM). Our report is available on the Homeworkers Worldwide website here.

Our outreach project contacted over sixty local organisations, collating anecdotal information about workers in the sector, which eventually led to interviews with two retailers, six manufacturers and five workers. We also built up a database of information about over a hundred companies within GM.

Initial interviews found evidence that confirmed that the low wage rates (around £4/hour) and double accounting systems found by Professor Hammer in Leicester in 2015 were also present in some factories in Greater Manchester:

They give us payslips but they only show 16 hours/week, at £7.50/hour, whereas in fact we’re doing many more hours than that .. usually we do 30 hours/week… and we’re paid around £500/month.

Small manufacturers also highlighted the challenges they faced, due to large retailers’ unfair purchasing practices, which included driving down prices to levels where it was impossible for them to pay their workers properly and leaving invoices unpaid for several months at a time.

In Bangladesh or China you have to pay 30% in advance, and then pay everything to release the goods … whereas here the law is so weak, they all expect 60 or 90 day terms ..

the retailers are very dishonest ..  they’re all billionaires, yet they won’t pay invoices for months ..

E-tailer X .. is really hard to work with, constantly driving down the prices ..

This was intended to be an initial study, that we hoped would lead to a larger action research project. Unfortunately  we were not able to extend the scoping study so it is not possible to say how prevalent these issues are within the UK industry.

The report highlights the importance of further research to enable workers voices to be heard in the debate to improve working conditions within UK manufacturing, and concludes with some provisional policy recommendations.

These include the importance of accessible employment rights advice backed up by effective enforcement services that operate independently of immigration controls, to support workers who take action to claim those rights. Large retailers particularly those who value the flexibility and fast turnaround that local manufacturers can provide, need to recognise their responsibilities, and support their much smaller UK based suppliers to provide decent working conditions for workers making and packing their clothes now, and also to invest in a sustainable future for the UK industry.

Small suppliers need retailers to help them manage the risks involved in the fashion business, so they do not pass these onto their workers. Employers highlighted issues such as prompt payment terms, as well as larger or more consistent orders, which would reduce their overheads and enable them to improve working conditions within their factories. National government should also consider introducing joint liability for the most serious labour rights abuses, to hold the often much larger retailers accountable for working conditions in their supply chains

Homeworkers world wide article Lucy Brill photo for GM Poverty ActionHWW would be very keen to collaborate with others to find ways to extend this work, as was originally planned when we started on the work in 2017. Please contact Lucy Brill if you have any proposals to take this forward.

 

Lucy Brill
Homeworkers Worldwide Co-ordinator

 

i3oz9sWorking conditions in Manchester’s textile manufacturing sector
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2020 Training dates

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2020 training dates for GMPA’s network

We are pleased to be launching our 2020 training course programme, with discounted rates for people who book prior to November 1st, 2019. We are delighted to be offering an expanded series of dates and topics for 2020, with our Understanding poverty measurement, definitions and data course taking place in Oldham and Wigan for the first time. Bookings can be made by visiting the training page of the GMPA website.

A new course – Maximising support for people on low incomes – has been developed. This course is for VCSE and public sector organisations who work with people experiencing poverty and who wish to understand how to maximise support for their service users and those involved in service design and delivery. It will also be of interest to researchers seeking to understand current social security provision.

The Maximising support for people on low incomes course will be held in central Manchester and run on the
following dates.

  • Thursday January 30th, 2020 (only 4 places remaining)
  • Friday February 28th, 2020
  • Tuesday April 28th, 2020
  • Thursday October 8th, 2020

Bookings for this course can be made here.

The popular Understanding poverty measurement, definitions and data course will be held on the following dates:

  • Thursday February 6th, 2020 (Oldham)
  • Thursday March 12th, 2020 (Manchester city centre)
  • Wednesday November 18th, 2020 (Wigan)

This course is for organisations who wish to strengthen the case for their work by presenting accurate and relevant data about poverty to funders, supporters and policy and decision makers. By the end of this one-day course participants will have developed an understanding of what key poverty datasets tell us, how best to access data sources and how to use this knowledge to support the work that they do. Book here to secure your place.

We will also be delivering our half-day Exploring the Poverty Premium course on:

  • Wednesday March 18th, 2020

Course attendees will be able to better understand the poverty premium, the way it affects customers, clients and consumers and how they can amend and ‘poverty proof’ their practices. Bookings for this course can be made here.

The aim of all of our training is to respond to the needs of our network and to generate income for GMPA. The training is delivered through Policy North Training. Policy North Training has been established to increase the amount of training offered by GMPA in Greater Manchester in 2020. Beyond 2020, Policy North Training will look to deliver training courses in other parts of the country to help increase the amount of revenue raised to support GMPA’s activities.

Graham W UK poverty strategy article for GM Poverty Action

Graham Whitham
GMPA Director

For full details of all our course, including downloadable course overviews, please visit the training page of our website.

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support.

Graham

 

i3oz9s2020 Training dates
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National Action needed to end food poverty

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by Tom Skinner

As regular readers of this newsletter will know, GMPA coordinates the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance, and launched the Food Poverty Action Plan for Greater Manchester earlier this year. The Action Plan describes how we should work together (and in many cases, already are working together) at the local level to help address food poverty.

However, the Plan recognises that the power we have to address poverty at the local level is limited, and that many of the levers such as the welfare system, minimum wages, pensions, and funding for local authorities and public health, are held at the national level. We need wholehearted and strategic support at the national level for ending food insecurity, by addressing the underlying causes of poverty as well as improving access to good food.

We were therefore pleased to have the chance to submit evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment.

We shared insights from across the Alliance, academics and people experiencing poverty, and pointed to a great deal of good practice being carried out by councils and other organisations across Greater Manchester. On the role of the UK Government we said,

“Things need to change. Wages and benefits haven’t kept up with living costs while essential public services
have been cut, so hard-stretched communities are picking up the pieces with responses that are well-intentioned
and vital, but inadequate. The burden of mitigating food insecurity is falling on the wrong sector, with food
banks struggling to retain volunteers (many of whom are older), and unable to meet the overwhelming need
of so many people in their communities. While efforts are made in some cases to offer “wrap-around support”
such as debt and welfare advice alongside food provision, these efforts are undermined by cuts to those
(and other) services. At a time when the Government should take responsibility for ensuring a right to food, it has stepped
back and left the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to take on an impossible task.”

We called on the Government to enshrine a right to food in UK law by embedding the Sustainable Development Goal “zero hunger by 2030” into domestic legislation, and appointing a minister responsible for meeting this goal. We also listed a number of other actions that could be taken at the national level, including:

  • Raising the minimum wage to the Real Living Wage for all workers over 18. In the interim, or if this is not possible for all sectors/employers, full support should be given to the Real Living Wage as a voluntary scheme for employers to sign up to, while ending exploitative practices associated with zero hours contracts.
  • Ensuring that the welfare system, including pensions, provides enough for people and families to live on. The system should engage with claimants to understand their needs and build support around them. Reinstate ring-fenced and increased budgets for Local Welfare Assistance Schemes for when people fall through the gaps in the welfare system.
  • Increasing levels of social and affordable housing.
  • Requiring local authorities to have poverty strategies in place (co-produced with people experiencing poverty, the VCSE sector and other partners), and to appoint lead members who will take responsibility for the implementation of these strategies.
  • Action to address food deserts and the poverty premium
  • More support and emphasis on the Healthy Start scheme, targets for each area to increase uptake.
  • Measuring food insecurity at the national and local level
  • Involving people experiencing poverty, and the public, VCSE and private sectors in an “exit strategy” for over-reliance on food banks
Tom Skinner editorial article for GM Poverty Action

Tom Skinner, GMPA Director

You can see the full submission here and comment here by signing up to the Greater Manchester Food Forum – we would welcome your feedback as we continue to learn together.

 


    
                                            

 

 

You may have noticed the new Food Poverty Alliance logo – we hope you like it!
The Food Poverty Alliance is a Greater Manchester Poverty Action project

 

i3oz9sNational Action needed to end food poverty
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Increasing access to health support in Salford

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Outreach and Engagement Approaches
by Angela Eden, Health Improvement Manager

Salford Health Improvement Service is a frontline, neighbourhood based health and wellbeing service which delivers a broad range of community initiatives to help people make behaviour changes. Our core areas of work most often cover areas such as smoking, weight support, healthy eating, physical activity and mental health. However, more recently the service has worked closely with our partner services within the City Council to develop a sustained programme of outreach and engagement work to help to tackle poverty directly within Salford’s most socio-economically deprived communities. There have been two key campaigns over the preceding 12 months, one called Better Off (focused on increasing access to anti-poverty services within the most socio-economically deprived communities), and one focussed on increasing uptake of the Pension Credit benefit.

There are 30 frontline staff with the Health Improvement Service who have strong networks and trusted relationships within the local communities in which they work. These staff have a history of successfully delivering campaigns and brief interventions. This meant that the service was ideally placed to get the key messages out to local residents to help them to make small, but often significant changes to their financial and economic situation.

Better Off
‘Better Off Salford’ Health Bus campaign, was delivered over eight dates, with the health bus visiting two venues per date. This was delivered alongside our partners in Welfare Rights and Debt Advice and Housing. During this time over 150 conversations took place with residents within their own community about the topics of Emergency Financial Support, Benefits Advice, Managing Debt, Health and Wellbeing and Housing. During the campaign 120 referrals were made to other Anti-Poverty services.

Below is some feedback from staff involved in the delivery of the campaign:

‘I have had the bailiffs put on hold and agreed an affordable repayment plan’ (Debt Adviser)

‘I helped him apply for council tax reduction online – now in payment and applied to the council tax bill set up for him and his wife – pointed him to apply online for a discretionary housing payment. Also gave advice for Salford Home Search, as he wanted a social housing property and he also spoke with Housing Options who were on the bus, he spoke to the Credit Union lady who also runs a job club about applying for jobs online and with Universal Credit’ (Claims Management Officer)

‘I carried out a check the next day and identified entitlement to Employment Support allowance of £73.10 per week and Tax Credits (husband works) of £89 per week. Overall she will be £162 better off each week as a result of the visit to the bus’ ( Welfare Rights Officer)

‘We had a chap with very significant mental health issues who had been offered a flat but as the landlord could not contact him the application had been cancelled. The customer was unaware of all this until he attended the bus and after some emails we agreed to reinstate his application due to the issues he currently faces. This man was very agitated when he first presented to the bus and as we managed to resolve this situation he left the bus a much happier man. He in fact liked all the staff so much he stayed with us the whole afternoon and engaged with other customers. If the bus had not been there then he would not have known his home search situation. We managed to resolve this and this made him much happier with SCC services’ (Supported Tenancy Officer)

Pension Credit
There are almost 6,000 individuals in Salford who are not claiming Pension Credit, but are entitled to it. Eligibility for this benefit opens up opportunities for other areas of financial support. It is estimated that there is as much as £12 million unclaimed Pension Credit in the city. Current changes to the Welfare system nationally will mean that if people don’t claim soon then they may miss out permanently, so there was some urgency to this work.

The Health Improvement Service worked in collaboration with our Welfare Rights and Debt Advice service, our Council Tax Benefits team and DWP to deliver an outreach and engagement campaign to encourage take up of the Pension Credit benefit by residents who may be missing out. The campaign focussed on busting myths about eligibility and how simple it is to make a claim. Welfare Rights and Debt Advice Services provided training and resources to the Health Improvement Staff to ensure they were confident in supporting residents to apply for Pension Credit.

Health: Increasing Access to Support in Salford – Outreach and Engagement Approaches by Angela Eden for GM Poverty Action

Angela Eden

Over 1000 conversations took place with individuals to take up Pension Credit during April and May 2019 in a range of community venues, and on the Health Improvement Bus. Targeted engagement took place with the Muslim and Jewish communities, where uptake of Pension Credit is currently even lower than the Salford average.

For more information please contact  Angela Eden

 

i3oz9sIncreasing access to health support in Salford
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