Welfare Reform and The Anti Poverty Agenda

AT ONE OF ITS BEST ATTENDED EVENTS, OVER 40 REPRESENTATIVES FROM 35 DIFFERENT COMMUNITYGROUPS ATTENDED THE HASTINGS COMMUNITY NETWORK CONFERENCE ON THE WELFARE REFORM CHANGES.

 

Nick Hopkins was the main speaker at the event and a copy of his powerpoint presentation can be accessed as an attachment at the bottom of this page. 

  • Nick Hopkins is an independent consultant specialising in work on poverty, financial and social inclusion, homelessness and welfare reform. He has carried out a number of pieces of work in East Sussex over the last three years, developing financial inclusion and advice strategies for the county, supporting organisations within the advice sector to bid for external funding, and most recently advising East Sussex County Council on the development of the East Sussex Welfare Reform Project.

  • The aim of the event was to ensure that groups were briefed on the changes and could begin to discuss how best to create a strong community network of support to those affected by them.The event discussed a wide range of issues from access to affordable loans, food-banks, advice, energy costs, furniture and emergency items.You can access notes/recommendations  taken by the Focus Group sessions in the attachments at the bottom of this page.
  • A report of the conference will be fed into a local group led by HBC which will be taking forward actions at a local level. The event also welcomed the Community Organisers and heard about their work engaging with local people. To find out more about the Community Organisers, follow this link:http://locality.org.uk/projects/community-organisers/ 
  • A number of actions came out of the conference - one of which being an accessible point of information for Community Groups in order to help them to keep up to date with changes to Welfare Reform and signpost them to other agencies who are providing support to those who are most affected by them.
  • This page aims to provide a starting point for this and will remain "live" over the next few months with information being added during that time.

 

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS:

  • ESCC Briefing no 12 (attached below), has recently been released and  provides an overview of the Benefit Cap
  •  All current ESCC Welfare Reform information,Briefings, Facts & Figures for practitioners can be found at:

         www.eastsussex.gov.uk/community/benefits/practitioners/default.htm

  •  ESCC Information for community use about benefits  (including helpline number):

         www.eastsussex.gov.uk/community/benefits/default.htm:

  • Link to video on the East Sussex County Council website:

         www.eastsussex.gov.uk/community/benefits/video/default.htm

 

  • Money Saving Expert Guidance on Benefit Changes:                                                     

         www.moneysavingexpert.com/benefit-changes-2013

 

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY:

 

  • There is a new East Sussex Benefit Helpline available: Click on the smile link for all information and the helpline number:   
  • REACH PROJECT: FREE help in accessing Universal Credit, Job Match and making on-line payments. See attached REACH leaflet below for details.

 

COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS:

TRAINING:

 

 Welfare Reform Training

  •  New Dates for Welfare Reform Training during September 2013. See flyer attached below
  • East Sussex Welfare Reform Project has commissioned Shelter to provide welfare reform training for statutory and voluntary sector staff in East Sussex who have clients of working age.  The Adult Social Care Training team are organising the programme of Welfare Reform training courses.

 

  • This training will support staff to understand the welfare reform changes and acquire the skills to appropriately support the East Sussex residents to whom they deliver a service to manage the changes.

 

  • Thirty courses are on offer and are targeted at four main groups, for whom the course content will be ‘tuned’ to help them understand the changes for their specific client groups. Courses will be offered across the County to ensure accessibility.

 

The four groups are:

 

1. NHS, Adult Social Care and voluntary sector staff working with people with mental health problems/ disabilities/ long term conditions and their carers.

 

2. Staff working with vulnerable families through the children’s centres, parent support advisors, the troubled families project and independent domestic violence advisors.

 

3. Staff, including voluntary sector staff, working with offenders

 

4. Staff working in housing options/ homelessness section within the housing authority.

 

Attached at the bottom of this page - a copy of the course flyers for each group with the dates and venues of the training plus a nomination form for managers to complete with details of those they wish to nominate for a place on the course.

 

Useful websites: