The relative experience project is now well under way, we have recruited and trained our first intake of volunteer befriender's and they are eager to get out into the community and support Kinship carers. Please support our project and pass on any details of kinship carers who would like to meet with a befriender once a week/fortnight to have a chat. Our befriender's are trained to listen and support the kinship carers to come to solutions for their problems as well as sign-post to other agencies/services.
If you know of anyone who would like to volunteer with the project, then please pass on our details to them. Our volunteers are mainly kinship carers, but we do have some older volunteers who are grandparents, and some younger volunteers who have excellent befriending skills.
For further information please contact Vicky Jackson , Volunteer Development Officer, Relative Experience Project, The Meadows, Waterville Road, North Shields, NE29 6BA. Telephone: 07739788115; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Preparing for Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payment replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for 16-64 yr olds in the North - including Newcastle - from 8 April. However, this is only for new claims. From 7 Oct 2013, some existing claimants on DLA will be invited to claim PIP in these 3 situations: Child approaching 16, their DLA award coming to an end or the claimant reporting a change in circumstances.
After that, those still on DLA will begin to be written to from Oct 2015 until Oct 2017. They will be told their DLA will end and they will have to claim PIP. This process is expected to continue till 2018. The important thing to remember is that a claim must be made for PIP. There is no automatic transfer to PIP. Their DLA will continue however, whilst claiming PIP and until the PIP claim is decided. The claim is made by a phone call. Phone: 0800 9172222 Text phone: 0800 917 7777
This is followed by a self assessement form that people have to complete. DWP say that most people will have a medical assessment as part of the claim.
Wear Valley Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB) will now provide services in the Consett and Stanley areas formerly provided by Derwentside CAB. A midweek drop in service will be held in several locations in these areas and appointments can also be made.
Please click here to view the schedule of appointments/drop in sessions with details of the time and location that they will take place.
You can also contact the advice line on 01388 606661, which is open Monday 9.00am till 1.00pm and Friday 9.00am till 5.00pm, to find out more.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has produced a helpful report 'Welfare Reforms and what they mean for the Voluntary and Community Sector' which is now availabe to access from their website. The report provides a brief overview of the planned welfare reforms and policy issues which they raise for the voluntary sector.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has produced a helpful calculator tool, which can be used to work out an estimate of how much your Housing Benefit could be reduced by if you exceed the level of the benefit cap.
New Alzheimer’s Society Report - 'Low expectations: Attitudes on choice, care and community for people with dementia in care homes'
The Alzheimer’s Society has published a new report, 'Low expectations: Attitudes on choice, care and community for people with dementia in care homes', that explores the major issues affecting those living with Dementia and in care homes. It draws upon the experiences of those who suffer Dementia, their family members and care home staff.
The report found:
•80% of care home residents have dementia or severe memory problems, much higher than previously thought.
•Excellent quality care exists, but pessimism about life in care homes is leading to people settling for less. Three quarters of relatives would recommend their loved one's care home despite less than half saying their relative has a good quality of life.
•The care sector has a real image problem. According to their YouGov poll 70% of the general public would be worried about going into a care home and 64% don't think the sector is doing enough to tackle abuse.
Find out more here.
The Mental Health Foundation is undertaking a major inquiry into the future of mental health services across the UK, looking 20-30 years ahead at what sort of mental health care and support we will need, and how we might ensure it is achieved. The inquiry is co-chaired by Lord Carlile of Berriew and Professor Dinesh Bhugra. It expects to report this autumn.
You can find out more about the inquiry here.
The MHF has issued a formal call for evidence through a survey to gather as many views as possible, so please circulate this information to any colleagues or networks. This survey may influence the way services are run in the next 20-30 years so this is your chance to have your say.
You can access the survey here.
Community Care has published the following articles which might be of interest to our readers:
Mental health training should be 'mandatory' for all social workers, not just specialists
Community Treatment Orders fail to cut mental health hospital readmissions, major study finds
AMHP numbers fall at two-fifths of councils despite rising demand for support
The Mental Elf has published the following research articles which might be of interest to our readers:
Physical activity a promising treatment for depression in children and young people, but more research is needed
Insufficient evidence to suggest that exercise has a treatment effect on the symptoms of anxiety disorder
German cohort study finds no support for superiority of atypical antipsychotics in schizophrenia
Newcastle CVS has produced a leaflet listing details of Newcastle-based foodbanks. The leaflet does not include all foodbanks in the city, but instead lists those most likely to be able to respond to general enquiries. Click here to find out more.