Universal Credit

No comments

Universal Credit – action taken, more to do             
By Graham Whitham

Last week the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd MP acknowledged that key ways in which Universal Credit operates and functions need to be addressed. The first important announcement was that the two-child limit for Universal Credit payments will not apply to children born before April 2017. Whilst this is a welcome change, it still leaves the two-child limit in place for children born after that date, hurting families with more than two children who are already at greater risk of poverty. Many campaigners are rightly calling for the policy to be abolished altogether.

One of the major concerns about Universal Credit has been the lack of flexibility around the regularity of payments. Some are concerned that monthly payments cause problems for people used to budgeting on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Amber Rudd is looking at how the system can provide more frequent payments to those people who need them. At GMPA we believe the option of more frequent payments should be made available to everyone in receipt of Universal Credit. That way people will be able to choose the option that best meets their budgeting needs and habits.

Other announcements included looking at making is easier for families to manage childcare costs. Action is needed to reduce the complexity of accessing support for childcare and to support parents to meet upfront childcare costs when moving into work. The migration from the legacy benefits system to Universal Credit has placed a huge burden on the government and recipients of support. Amber Rudd said she will look at the migration of people onto Universal Credit to minimise some of the problems this causes for individuals and their families. The ideal would be an automatic migration of people from the legacy system to Universal Credit (rather than having to put in a new claim for support), but we are yet to see an indication from the Government that they will follow this course of action.

Graham W UK poverty strategy article for GM Poverty Action

Graham Whitham

The announcements are welcome but tentative steps towards addressing some of the concerning elements of Universal Credit. In Greater Manchester, many individuals and organisations are fully aware of the challenges created by the implementation and operation of this new social security system. At GMPA we are working with others to understand what can be done locally to improve the way the social security system operates. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this further.

 

adminUniversal Credit
read more

Feeding the city

No comments

Feeding the City: Greater Manchester

Saturday January 19th, 2019

The Food Poverty Action Plan for Greater Manchester will propose many actions for businesses seeking to benefit and improve access to good food in their local communities,so it is great timing to be able to share this opportunity.

Impact Hub are putting on a free workshop to help you develop ideas for sustainable food businesses to benefit your local community. Funding, training and advice will be available for new businesses through the Feeding the City program, and this workshop will help you to develop your ideas, ready to apply for this funding – please note that the deadline for funding applications following the workshop is Sunday January 27th, 2019.

When: 1:30pm – 5pm, Saturday January 19th 2019

Where:
 Bridge 5 Mill, 22A Beswick Street, Manchester, M4 7HR

How to book: Places are limited, so please book for free using this link

Our city region is growing and we’re struggling to feed ourselves sustainably. We want to support you to make change! What food problems would you like to solve for your community?

Do you play with the idea of starting a social business, or already have an idea in mind?

Feeding the City is a fully funded 12 month programme that will support sustainable food start-ups across all of the UK. Successful applicants will receive bursaries, and have access to business and food expert advice and training throughout 2019. At this Idea-Generating Workshop you will be supported to develop an idea for your own social business, get to know others working in similar areas and have a chance to learn more about Feeding the City. Using concrete tools, you will be helped to think through important elements of your idea in a structured way and to identify blind spots. Furthermore, you will receive valuable feedback and also learn which criteria are important in the funding application. Even those who have no concrete or only a vague idea are welcome.

Please note, any queries about the Feeding the City program should be directed to Impact Hub, while you can find out more about the Greater Manchester workshop through the booking form.

 

adminFeeding the city
read more

IKEA – Introducing the Living Wage

No comments

IKEA – Introducing the Living Wage is an investment we are incredibly proud of
By Katarina Verdon Olsson, Store Manager at IKEA Manchester (Ashton-Under-Lyne)

Since IKEA became the largest accredited Real Living Wage employer in retail  in 2016, the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign has worked with the local store in Ashton-Under-Lyne to promote their good work, and to encourage other employers to follow in their footsteps. Here the local store manager Katarina Verdon Olsson writes about the benefits to co-workers and the business as a whole.

As a values-driven organisation, we believe in providing a meaningful wage to our co-workers that supports the cost of living and this is why we were the first large retail employer to commit to paying the Living Wage and becoming an accredited member of the Living Wage Foundation.

On 1 April 2016, IKEA UK introduced the Living Wage – as defined by the Living Wage Foundation – for all of our co-workers. Today 9,000+ co-workers of all ages across the UK benefit from earning above the statutory National Living Wage. On a local level this has impacted the lives of 300+ co-workers living and working in the Greater Manchester area at the IKEA Manchester store in Ashton-Under-Lyne.

This move was part of a wider transformation of basic co-worker conditions introduced globally by IKEA to ensure that co-workers have the right level of pay, the right contract and an appropriate schedule.

Introducing the Living Wage is an investment we are incredibly proud of, particularly as our co-workers have told us about the positive benefits this has had on their lives. Below are some stories from our co-workers working at the IKEA Manchester store who have shared how the Living Wage increase has impacted them:

“My daughter loves to dance and is passionate about many different types of dance such as ballet, tap and modern. The increase in the living wage meant that we could afford more lessons and the cost involved with performances. The extra money also meant that I could take my family on weekends away more often within the UK.”
Tim (Recovery Co-worker)

“The increase in the living wage meant I could save more money for my dream wedding in Disneyland in Florida. I had also been secretly saving for a honeymoon in the Caribbean which I surprised my girlfriend with the news before we jetted off to the US for our wedding in November last year.”
Danielle (Kitchens co-worker)

Living Wage week photo for GM Poverty Action

IKEA workers front and centre at our 2016 Living Wage Week event

Implementing the Living Wage Foundation’s recommended rates of pay is not only the right thing to do by our co-workers and our values but it also makes good business sense. As we continue to grow in the UK, motivating and retaining our co-workers, as well as attracting new co-workers, becomes increasingly important. We also believe that a team with good compensation and working conditions is in a better position to provide a great experience to our customers.

Katarina Verdon Olsson IKEA article for GM Poverty Action

Katarina Verdon Olsson

As well as being good for society, we have also seen business benefits to paying the real Living Wage. At IKEA Manchester, since adopting the Living Wage in 2016 we have not only seen a decrease in staff turnover by -12%, we have also seen the improvement in the co-worker engagement survey (+3.7%) and customer experience key performance indicators.

We encourage other businesses to explore what the benefits of paying the real Living Wage would mean for their staff, business and the Greater Manchester area.

 

 


Can you become an accredited Real Living Wage Employer? It’s easier than you may think –
please fill out this form to start the process and join over 150 Greater Manchester-based employers in committing to paying your workers enough to live on.

 

adminIKEA – Introducing the Living Wage
read more

End Hunger UK – Conference 2018

No comments

A growing movement? End Hunger UK conference 2018
By Dr Charlie Spring, University of Sheffield

On World Food Day 2018, the End Hunger UK campaign convened its second annual conference in Westminster to discuss the growing movement around household food insecurity in the UK. A broad coalition of food aid providers, think tanks, faith leaders, researchers, local authorities, artists and diverse experts by experience, End Hunger represents a national effort to galvanise public and policy attention to evidently large numbers of people struggling to afford adequate food. We don’t know how large; one panel discussed the ongoing Bill to measure food insecurity nationally via the ONS Living Costs and Food Survey. It is hoped such monitoring would give a more robust sense of the scale and severity of UK food poverty, to be tracked against changes including Universal Credit rollout and Brexit.

Power of stories and frames

A key theme of the day, however, was the power of stories and images over stats in capturing public and policy attention to food poverty, its causes and solutions. A collaborative photo exhibition, ‘Behind Closed Doors’, has toured the UK with portraits and research into experiences of food insecurity, some displayed at the conference and ending in the House of Commons. We heard young poets recite moving submissions to a recent poetry competition. The Food Foundation are collecting submissions of lived experiences towards their Children’s Future Food Inquiry, while the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) aim to build an online Story Bank of lived experiences of food insecurity.

A panel led by Church Action on Poverty reported research by JRF and the FrameWorks Institute into effective ways to shift public discourse about poverty. Countering individualising, blame-and-shame accounts requires keying into commonly-held beliefs about the injustice of poverty and government’s responsibility to protect against it, using well-chosen examples and stories rather than relying on numbers alone.

Whose problem?

Coordinated by Sustain’s Food Power programme, partnership structures such as the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance have been forming around the UK to ask how food poverty might be addressed at local and regional levels. The End Hunger UK gathering therefore required us to think about scales of responsibility for preventing poverty. I heard discussions about how local networks of food banks might better share their food supplies as demand increases. It was encouraging to hear food bank leaders discuss exit strategies over the next few years, and we must help them to realise these goals as my research shows how difficult this has been in the US and Canada

Some alliances expressed frustration at local authorities producing poverty strategies yet lacking any funds to turn aims into actions. Public health workers have conducted needs assessments and written proposals that end up ignored by senior colleagues. Yet, affecting national government and company policies that affect benefit and wage levels felt too tough a goal for many of the local alliances I spoke to. End Hunger UK, then, provides one lens through which to target a palpable collective anger. Another potential shared voice was offered by the school students of Blackburn and Darwen who have been organising as part of Food Power’s efforts to involve experts by experience in campaigning. The girls, who shared their stories for a short film, are launching a campaign Darwen Gets Hangry, which they hope will encourage others to turn their own experiences of shame and guilt about being food-poor- or ‘hangry’- into something collective and targeted that can spread to other parts of the UK.

Food Power Conference report by Charlie Spring for GM Poverty Action

Charlie Spring

The girls shared a panel with a group of asylum seekers from Luton who are also part of End Hunger UK, who formed a growing group after seeking Red Cross food parcels and now cook their produce as community meals. One lady, still seeking asylum after 16 years, told us she understands why some of the families she meets spend their money on drugs, even before food; they don’t have enough love, she said, or motivation and opportunities. Her expression of shared purpose with the Darwen girls to counter government indifference, gave a hopeful sense that the divisive forces of Brexit and far-right populism might be countered by intersectional
struggles of solidarity against the erosion of public entitlements and the human right to decent food.

This is an abridged version of an article that Charlie wrote for the Realising Just Cities blog – you can see the full version here

 

adminEnd Hunger UK – Conference 2018
read more

Drop-in Timetable 2018

No comments

Manchester  Christmas & New Year Drop-In Timetable


supplied by
Street Support logo for Xmas 2018 dropin timetable for GM Poverty Action

 


Sat 22nd Dec

Lifeshare 7am – 9am Breakfast
Reach Out To The Community 10am – 5pm Shop open. Food parcels & support
Mustard Tree 10am – 4pm Furniture, clothes, food club & food parcels
Coffee4Craig 5pm – 7pm Food, showers, advice & support

Sunday 23rd Dec

Lifeshare 7am – 9am Breakfast (Xmas Project begins 2pm – 8pm)
Food4All 4pm – 6pm Sunday roast, (veg & vegan options)
Coffee4Craig 5pm – 7pm Food, showers, advice & support

Mon 24th Dec

Lifeshare 8am – 8pm Food, entertainment, clothing, bedding, toiletries, medical care
Booth Centre 9am – 1pm Breakfast/lunch/advice/activities
Centrepoint 10am – 12.30pm & 1.30pm – 4.30pm Advice, referral & signposting
JustLife 10am – 12pm Meal & activities (Openshaw Centre, Ashton Old Road)
Mustard Tree 10am – 4pm Furniture, clothes, food club & food parcels
Cornerstones 10.30am – 3pm Hot food & drinks, shower & clothing
Reach Out To The Community 10.30am – 3pm Shop open. Food parcels & support
Urban Village 2.30pm – 4.30pm GP, nurse, drug worker and wound care clinic
MASH 10pm – 2am Mobile drop-In

Tues 25th Dec

Lifeshare 8am – 8pm Food, entertainment, clothing, bedding, toiletries, medical care
Booth Centre 9am – 1pm Breakfast/Xmas Day dinner/advice/activities
Cornerstones 10.30 – 3pm Xmas Day dinner

Wed 26th Dec

Lifeshare 8am – 8pm Food, entertainment, clothing, bedding, toiletries, medical care
Cornerstones 10.30 – 3pm Boxing Day dinner

Thurs 27th Dec

Lifeshare 8am – 8pm Food, entertainment, clothing, bedding, toiletries, medical care
Booth Centre 9am – 1pm Breakfast/lunch/advice/activities
Centrepoint 10am – 12.30pm & 1.30pm – 4.30pm Advice, referral & signposting
Men’s Room 10am – 5pm (Office) 12pm -4pm (Creative session)
Mustard Tree 10am – 12.30pm Furniture, clothes, food club & food parcels
Reach Out To The Community 10am – 4pm Shop open. Food parcels & support
Cornerstones 10.30am – 3pm Hot food & drinks, shower & clothing
Urban Village 2.30pm – 4.30pm GP, nurse, drug worker and wound care clinic
Coffee4Craig 7pm – 9pm Food, showers, advice & support
MASH 8pm – 12am Mobile drop-In

Fri 28th Dec

Lifeshare 8am – 8pm Food, entertainment, clothing, bedding, toiletries, medical care
Booth Centre 9am – 1pm Breakfast/lunch/advice/activities
JustLife 10am – 12pm Meal & activities (Openshaw Centre, Ashton Old Road)
Reach Out To The Community 10am – 4pm Shop open. Food parcels & support
Mustard Tree 10am – 4pm Furniture, clothes, food club & food parcels
Centrepoint 10am – 12.30pm & 1.30pm – 4.30pm Advice, referral & signposting
Cornerstones 10.30am – 3.30pm Hot food & drinks, shower & clothing
Urban Village 2.30pm – 4.30pm GP, nurse, drug worker and wound care clinic
Mustard Tree 5pm – 8.30pm Hot meal, advice, clothing
Coffee4Craig 7pm – 9pm Food, showers, advice & support

Sat 29th Dec

Lifeshare 7am – 2pm Food, entertainment, clothing, bedding, toiletries, medical care
Reach Out To The Community 10am – 4pm Shop open. Food parcels & support
Mustard Tree 10am – 4pm Furniture, clothes, food club & food parcels
Coffee4Craig 5pm – 7pm Food, showers, advice & support

Sun 30th Dec

Lifeshare 7am – 9am Breakfast
Food4All 4pm – 6pm Sunday roast, (veg & vegan options)
Coffee4Craig 5pm – 7pm Food, showers, advice & support

Mon 31st Dec

Booth Centre 9am – 1pm Breakfast/lunch/advice/activities
JustLife 10am – 12pm Meal & activities (Openshaw Centre, Ashton Old Road)
Barnabus (Support Office) 10am – 1pm Accommodation. Advice
Reach Out To The Community 10am – 4pm Shop open. Food parcels & support
Mustard Tree 10am – 4pm Furniture, clothes, food club & food parcels
Centrepoint 10am – 12.30pm & 1.30pm – 4.30pm Advice, referral & signposting
Cornerstones 10.30am – 3pm Hot food & drinks, shower & clothing
Barnabus (Beacon) 10.30am – 1pm Breakfast, showers, clothing, lunch
Urban Village 2.30pm – 4.30pm GP, nurse, drug worker and wound care clinic
Coffee4Craig 7pm – 9pm Food, showers, advice & support

Tues 1st Jan

Cornerstones 10.30am – 3pm Hot food & drinks, shower & clothing
Barnabus (Beacon) 11am – 2pm Lunch, showers, clothing
Coffee4Craig 7pm – 9pm Food, showers, advice & support

Contact details:
Barnabus, (Beacon) 45 Bloom Street, M1 3LY 0161 237 3223
Barnabus, (SupportOffice) 61 Bloom Street, M1 3LY
Booth Centre, Pimblett Street, M3 1FU 0161 835 2499
Centrepoint,52 Oldham St, M4 1LE 0161 228 7654
Coffee4Craig,52 Oldham Street, M4 1LW 07973 955003
Cornerstones,104b Denmark Road, M15 6JS 0161 232 8888
Food4All,Church of the Apostles,Miles Platting, M40 7FY
JustLife, Ashton Old Road M11 1HH 0161 285 5888
Lifeshare, 42 Dantzic Street, M4 4DN 0161 235 0744
MASH, 94-96 Fairfield St, M1 2WR 0161 273 4555
Men’s Room, 113 Fairfield Street, M12 6EL 0161 8341827
Mustard Tree, 110 Oldham Road, Ancoats, M4 6AG 0161 850 2282
Reach Out TTC, 488 Wilbraham Rd, M21 9AS 0161 862 9415
Urban Village, Old Mill St, M4 6EE 0161 272 5656

 

Find Help Give Help
streetsupport.net

 

adminDrop-in Timetable 2018
read more

Better Buses for GM

No comments

Our Buses in Greater Manchester aren’t working

Article written for GMPA by Pascale Robinson

Right now, bus operators can’t be forced to run any service, and they set the fares, but in the next year, we have a huge opportunity to change this wild west scenario.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is deciding now whether to pick a better way of running the bus network, re-regulating it, which puts buses back into public control.

37% of Greater Manchester’s job seekers said that lack of access to transport is a key barrier to getting work, backed up by JRF research in low-income neighbourhoods in Manchester. This is in one of the UK’s biggest and best city regions.

Better Buses campaign for GM Poverty Action

Taking the campaign on to the buses

People from the poorest fifth of households catch nearly 10 times as many buses as trains. For lots of us, without a bus we’re stuck. Across Greater Manchester, many reported that cars and trains are simply out the question in terms of price. However, with buses their last option, they highlighted how expensive fares and unreliable services prevent them from taking up positions, and how the un-joined network can mean commutes of over three hours a day (over Jobcentre Plus’ limit for reasonable travel).

Our bus network is not serving us. Instead people are being locked out of opportunities for work. With re-regulation, or franchising as it’s known, a fully integrated and planned network across GM’s 10 local authorities could connect us to our work places, our loved ones and the services we need at affordable fares, as we see in London.

What does this mean? Re-regulation means companies are told by local authorities what services to run, when, and how to set the fares. It also means local authorities can:

  • Plan and expand the network – Profits from busy routes could subsidise less busy but needed services. Right  now, bus companies cherry pick only profitable routes and make a killing, but local authorities could use profits to give everyone a better service.
  • Make buses affordable – Income could be used to lower fares, which have increased 55% above inflation in the last ten years.
  • Make buses reliable – Bus companies would have to share data – meaning buses don’t disappear from the time table or app.
  • Make buses frequent – Income could also be used to provide evening and weekend services, like we had before.

This would transform buses for a lot of us. Re-regulating in GM would set a precedent across the UK for a bus network that serves people, not profit. We’ve launched a petition calling for re-regulation and it already has over 5,000 signatures, but we want twice as many so please sign and share the petition to join the call for better buses.

Right now, we have a postcode lottery and a poverty premium, with richer areas often getting the better routes and cheaper fares, at least during commuter hours. Public money is used wherever possible, to plug gaps where there is need, however this is an inefficient use of public money. Better Buses for Greater Manchester found that on average £18 million a year is going to shareholder pay outs in the North West region.

Pascale Robinson Better Buses campagin for GM Poverty Action

Pascale Robinson

Re-regulating our bus network would mean that Greater Manchester could have publicly controlled buses which connect communities to where they need to be.

Join the campaign by signing the petition now: www.betterbusesgm.org.uk

We’d also love to hear from you. We need organisations, businesses and groups to pledge their support for the campaign. Whether you can offer your logo to show support, as GMPA have, or your time, or both, we need as many people speaking out for better buses as possible.

To find out more about the campaign, please say hello at Pascale@betterbusesgm.org.uk

 

adminBetter Buses for GM
read more

Hidden young people

No comments

New research explores why young unemployed people are turning their backs on the benefit system
by Dr Katy Jones, University of Salford

There is growing concern about so-called ‘hidden young people’ – those young people who are neither in employment, education or training, nor claiming the benefits they are entitled to. There are approximately 21,890 hidden young people in Greater Manchester. Recognising the issue, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), in its strategy ‘Our People, Our Place’, commits to ‘ensuring that fewer young people are ‘hidden’ from the essential support and services they need’. However, the evidence base relating to this group is incredibly limited – this is the case both locally and nationally.

In response to this, and as part of the Salford Anti-Poverty Taskforce, Salford City Council commissioned researchers at the University of Salford to undertake a qualitative study exploring the experiences of ‘hidden young people’. From interviews with 14 young people with experience of being both ‘not in employment, education or training’ and ‘Hidden’, and a series of focus groups involving 25 stakeholders from across the city, this research has uncovered some of the stories behind the statistics – and a range of reasons why many young people are shunning the benefits system.

The research shows that a lack of knowledge about benefit entitlements is widespread. As one young woman explained:

            “I didn’t know that I could claim… until I was told by the people from [accommodation provider]… If not, I
wouldn’t have known. You hardly hear it from anywhere, these things.”

Others are deterred by the ‘stigma’ associated with the Jobcentre. In the words of one young person:

            “Like if someone said to me, ‘Where do you get your money from?’ I think I’d be a bit embarrassed to tell
them.”

However for others, an increasingly ‘conditional’ welfare system, combined with poor experiences of the Jobcentre, made them reluctant to engage with the benefits system. As one stakeholder explained:

            “Why would you continue to engage with a system that treats you so overtly badly and has all the power in
that situation? You would just withdraw from it.”

Negative perceptions of Jobcentre Plus services were widespread amongst both young people and practitioners involved in the research.

Whether or not young people need or want to claim benefits, not engaging with the social security system excludes them from mainstream support and service provision – as most youth unemployment interventions are routed through the Jobcentre and related contracted providers.

Katy Jones Hidden young people article for GM Poverty Action

Dr Katy Jones

The report makes a series of recommendations for policy and practice, some of which apply at a Greater Manchester level – namely – that the GMCA should continue to monitor the issue, updating and measuring progress in meeting its strategic commitment against the estimated number of hidden young people in the sub-region (currently 21,890). Furthermore, in line with its commitment in the Greater Manchester strategy, we call on the GMCA to outline the steps it is taking to ensure effective support is provided to all hidden young people across Greater Manchester.

The report was launched at the University of Salford on 31st October, with a presentation from lead author Dr Katy Jones, followed by a response from Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett, and representatives from Salford City Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Greater Manchester Talent Match Youth Panel. A copy of the report can be accessed here.

 

adminHidden young people
read more

A Bed Every Night

No comments

Tackling homelessness this winter in Greater Manchester – A Bed Every Night
by Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

I have always been clear that trying to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness should be something that any Mayor of Greater Manchester should be committed to.

In the 18 months since I was elected this has become my top priority. In that time I have learned a lot about what ending rough sleeping and the need for it actually means and what it will take. It has been a steep learning curve.

Rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness and we have adopted the goal to end the need for anyone to sleep on the streets of Greater Manchester by May 2020. This is a full seven years ahead of the government’s target.

We have seen our response to rough sleeping improve and become more co-ordinated. Last winter, across the city-region, we provided an unprecedented number of beds for people as the weather turned colder. This was due to the hard work and effort of our local authorities and their partners in the voluntary and private sectors. This year we want to do even more.

That is what we are all about in Greater Manchester. We are setting a new national standard with our ambitious pledge to end the need for rough sleeping and are now on the verge of a massive step towards achieving it with the commencement of A Bed Every Night at the start of November.

Our goal is to provide a place for every person sleeping rough every night right through the coming winter, from November 1st to March 31st. While we won’t turn people away, this scheme is only available to people whose last address was in Greater Manchester. We simply do not have the resources to open it up to people from further afield and we cannot create an incentive for more people to come here than we can accommodate.

We will be delivering this across every borough in Greater Manchester; we had over 200 places available across the city-region on November 1st. Over the coming weeks we will continue to work to increase that number as well as making sure there is a range of accommodation available, including safe provision for women and places that will look after dogs.

We also want to make sure that it is more than a bed for the night. Ideally, we want to provide a steady base with a hot shower, a hot meal and specialist support to help people begin a journey away from the streets. A Bed Every Night comes at just the right time – we will soon have more provision available through our Social Impact Bond (SIB) and our ground-breaking Housing First programme.

A Bed Every Night is not a sticking plaster but the first stage of a new systematic approach across Greater Manchester to ending homelessness. It will enable us to use every contact with rough sleepers to work with them to deliver more sustainable solutions. Ideally, we want to move people through emergency shelters into the right accommodation option for them, to enable them to stay off the streets.

Underpinning all this is our “whole-society” approach. We know we cannot achieve our goals with public money alone so we are working hard to mobilise the contributions of all sectors of Greater Manchester society – public, private, voluntary and faith – as part of the same strategy. This is the only sustainable way of tackling this chronic issue.

bed every night Andy Burnham for GM Poverty Action

Talking to those who are sleeping rough

I am so grateful to all the people who have contributed to the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund which has so far raised almost £145,000. The Fund is now wholly dedicated to the purpose of supporting A Bed Every Night.

We are also enormously grateful to Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany for throwing his weight behind the cause. Vincent has committed his Testimonial year to raising funds to support A Bed Every Night through his own Tackle4MCR campaign. We need every penny to maximise the success of A Bed Every Might and I hope people will consider supporting us however they can.

We know that there are challenges which we cannot control but, more than ever, I’m convinced that this is the right thing to do. Not least because of the number of deaths on the streets of our country. I hope that with this next development in our approach that we can go a long way towards our goal and that this will be a major step to achieving our target.

I look forward to updating you all on our programme in the New Year. Thank you for your support.

For more information, and to donate to A Bed Every Night, visit www.bedeverynight.co.uk

 

adminA Bed Every Night
read more

Enabling Homes

No comments

Article by Katie Wightman of Enabling Homes

Enabling Homes logo for GM Poverty Action articleEveryone has a basic human right to a safe, secure and stable home environment, yet the UK government has failed to ensure the right to adequate housing. With an acute shortage of housing, particularly social and affordable housing, lack of housing security, overcrowding, evictions and homelessness, Enabling Homes is attempting to offer a solution to the current housing crisis, particularly for those in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect i.e. those individuals who are ‘vulnerable’.

When it comes to vulnerable individuals and their families, one of the biggest challenges will likely be the ability to access quality accommodation, accommodation which is fit for purpose and ideal for vulnerable clients.

Enabling Homes brings specialist Housing Associations, Government Funding and Care Providers together coordinating these programmes so that Charities or voluntary organisations supporting vulnerable client groups can have immediate access to these places to live, enabling Service Users to get the home they deserve and Care Providers to get under way with their contracts.  This is usually at no cost to the Care Provider at all.

In December 2015 Enabling Homes was founded with the main objective of purchasing suitable living accommodation within community settings for vulnerable adults within the care sector. Most of those individuals we have sourced housing for require support with issues such as mental health issues, learning difficulties, substance misuse, domestic violence, homelessness and daily living independence skills. We are based in the North West of England, but we have acquired properties in the North East and Midlands as well as parts of Wales.

Enabling Homes has developed good working relationships with various charitable housing associations as well as care providers throughout the UK and listens to the needs and requirements of each service. We will research and purchase buildings to create a suitable living environment. Generally, the buildings purchased are developed into self-contained apartments, normally somewhere in the region of 8 – 18 flats, however this can vary dependent on the requirements of the service. Previously we have renovated old unused buildings, such as churches, pubs, shops, old flats and even produced some new builds, to create a high standard of living accommodation that a resident can be proud of, and ultimately benefit from.

We are taking this opportunity to reach out to you as we are passionate about obtaining and developing properties for all individuals who may require some level of support. We are confident, and would be extremely proud, to work with care providers to purchase suitable accommodation for your service. We are more than happy to work alongside any existing partnerships you may have, however we can use our network of charitable housing
associations and/or care providers if needed.

Could you take some time to discuss with us the potential opportunities we could provide? We are happy to present our portfolio and explain in more detail what we can offer. The charitable housing association will be able to provide tenancy support and all apartments provided come fully furnished to a high standard.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you wish to contact us to discuss any of the information contained within this article, please do not hesitate to contact us by email For more information please visit our website

 

adminEnabling Homes
read more

Social Investment Fund

No comments

Trafford Housing Trust invests £1m to tackle poverty

Trafford Housing Trust has just celebrated the first year of their new Social Investment Fund (SIF) which aims to reduce poverty and inequality in the borough. The Trust’s Social Investment Team and Board were joined by a range of colleagues, stakeholders and some of the organisations who’ve received support from the team.

Held at the Trust’s flagship health and wellbeing hub – Limelight, the event was a chance to recognise the people who dedicate their time and effort to help others and marked the achievements of the first year of the Social Investment Fund and looked to the work ahead.

Chair of the Social Investment Board – Steve Hughes, talked through aims of the SIF which are based on a ‘5-step plan’ produced by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation study – ‘We can solve poverty in the UK’. By offering a mix of micro, mid-sized and large grants and capacity building support the SIF aims to support existing organisations and new projects in Trafford to:

  • Strengthen families and communities
  • Boost incomes and reduce costs
  • Improve education standards and raise skills
  • Promote long-term economic growth benefitting everyone.

Since its launch in September 2017, the SIF has awarded 109 grants totalling £1,101,836 (estimated to benefit over 90,000 people) and capacity building support to local groups such as:

  • The Golden Centre of Opportunities who work with the Somali Community providing employment and skills support. You can find out how this vital support has helped them in this video
  • The Cyril Flint Befriending Service who provide support and companionship for people living on their own which you can see in this moving video

The day highlighted how well the Social Investment Team are thought of by the people they support which is apparent from the great feedback received on the day:

“Huge thanks to you and all the team. Wish all funders understood ‘life on the ground’ as well as you do.”

“We had a great evening, it was lovely to speak to people and chat about what we do.  The evening was very inspiring and I think what you are all doing is amazing.”

“Really impressed with the work that THT are doing in Trafford. It would be great to share your good practise across GM.”

Trafford Housing Trust article for GM Poverty Action

Trafford Housing Trust’s Social Investment Team with Chair of the Social Investment Board – Steve Hughes

Manager of the Social Investment Team – Tom Wilde says: “It was fantastic to have so many people join us to celebrate one year of the Social Investment Service.  We have committed over £1m in grant funding since launching 12 months ago, supporting over 100 projects which provide a range of much needed services for people across Trafford, including THT’s customers.  We also have a strong pipeline of projects coming through, and expect to be investing even more than this next year! The success of the event and the feedback we have already received is a credit to the whole team and the excellent work they do.

If you know anyone who may be able to help reduce poverty and inequality in Trafford point them in the direction of the social investment website

You can follow the work of the team, and the organisations they support, on social media on Facebook or Twitter

 

 

adminSocial Investment Fund
read more