Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Is spring really here??

Managed to get out today and enjoy some of this early spring sunshine.
I went over to the Priory Marina in Bedford on my mobility scooter supplied by Kudos first. The scooter can easily handle the terrain making easy work of the ramps and bridges over the various waterways.
According to the weather forecast we're in for a decent weekend so i'm looking forward to getting out on my wheels!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Deepblue turns Deep-orange......

This weekend deepblue aquatic in Hemel Hempstead is turning "deep-orange" to help raise funds for Kirsten Knight who is running the Virgin London Marathon for The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.
Members of staff will be wearing orange “Muscular Dystrophy Campaign” T-shirts, and there will be various draws including:

“How many sweets in the jar” - £1 per guess, winner receives the jar of sweets, and “How many Guppies in the tank” – with the winner receiving a fish voucher.

This is an extremely worthwhile cause so we really hope you can make time for a visit.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Monday, 14 March 2011

Access to Work - Practical Help at Work.

Did you know there is help available if you are struggling at work with access?

Access to Work with the DWP can help you if your health or disability affects the way you do your job. It gives you and your employer advice and support with extra costs which may arise because of your needs.

Click here for more information.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Housing benefit cut hits the disabled

Government figures show about 450,000 disabled people will see their incomes cut under one of the changes planned to housing benefit.

Campaigners fear thousands will be forced from their homes.

From April 2013, housing benefit for working age people in social rented homes will be linked to the size of property councils believe they need.

Ministers say they want housing benefit claimants to choose to rent properties they can afford when in work.

'Recipe for chaos'

An assessment from the Department for Work and Pensions shows the change will leave 450,000 disabled people an average of £13 a week worse off.

Ministers want to encourage housing benefit claimants to move out of council and housing association properties that are too big for their needs, and to make savings in a housing benefit bill that has almost doubled to £21.5bn in a decade.

But Labour's work and pensions spokeswoman Karen Buck said the changes would unfairly affect disabled people.

She said: "If you are going to try and force them out with really proportionately swingeing cuts to their weekly income but you can't even guarantee that you're going to be able to offer them an alternative, then we are looking at a recipe for chaos."

Adam Louton uses a wheelchair and lives with his wife Lindsay in a three-bedroom house in Westminster. He said: "I'm going to have to move well out of the area, probably up north where the housing is cheaper."

Suicidal

The government has already delayed a proposal to remove money designed to fund travel for disabled people in residential care from the existing Disability Living Allowance. The DLA is to be replaced with a new benefit under plans set out in the Welfare Reform Bill.

One disability campaigner said some had told his organisation they were left suicidal about changes to their benefits.

Disability Alliance policy director Neil Coyle said: "We've been contacted by people who've said that if they lose the kind of support that helps them get to work for example, if they're no longer entitled to that support, they'll lose the ability to be independent and they may take their own lives."

Anyone forced to move house will be able to apply for money from a discretionary payments scheme into which the government has put an extra £130m to help deal with Housing Benefit changes.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said: "We want people to make choices about size and location of their accommodation based on what they can afford when in work, and this measure will bring the social rented sector in line with those claiming housing benefit in the private rented sector.

"However, the government is committed to supporting the needs of disabled people, including, for the first time, providing a bedroom for a non-resident carer if someone needs overnight care for themselves or their partner."

Councils are legally required to consider the needs of disabled people. But the Communities department has been criticised for announcing a review of all councils' statutory duties.

A spokesman for the charity Scope said : "Under these proposals councils could decide not to provide any services to disabled people, including residential care and respite for families and carers. This is a very real threat to the lives, security and future of disabled people."

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said: "The department is reviewing the overall burden of statutory duties. Some duties will clearly remain vital, others may no longer be needed or may create unnecessary burdens or restrictions on local authorities."

Source : Ross Hawkins
Political correspondent, BBC News

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