Welcome to the Faith & VCS Homeless & Vulnerable Forum web site for Gloucester and the wider area. Web Site Statistics:

Totals for 2018 as follows (viewed traffic) :- Top 6 Visitor Countrys...UK, Germany, USA, EU, Canada, Australia.

Totals  Unique Visitors:5,232 Number of Visitors:6,677  Total Pages:22,968  Total Hits:25,064.(60,383 non-viewed Hits)  

 

To find out more go to About Us.... About Homelessness...what is it?....Homelessness is devastating, dangerous and isolating. On average, homeless people die at just 47 years old. People sleeping on the street are almost 17 times more likely to have been victims of violence. More than one in three people sleeping rough have been deliberately hit or kicked or experienced some other form of violence whilst homeless. Homeless people are over nine times more likely to take their own life than the general population. Read more at link to Crisis

Keep your Coins    Picture Homeless 2  Picture Homeless 1  

Ranked Page Photo                                                             Your wardrobe                             Your bed

Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta, said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.”

Thought for the Day: 'If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?'...1John3:17

Quote: 'We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other'.

Thought: Mental Health Social Care covers a wide area and the fact that mental ill health is recognised as being closely correlated with homelessness being both a cause and consequence of the loss of accommodation.

Crisis Uk: We all deserve a safe, stable place to live. But we’re not protecting this basic human need for 236,000 people across Great Britain. We know homelessness can be ended. But we can’t do it alone. Join our 'Everybody In' campaign and stand against homelessness.

 

Colleagues from Gloucestershire Care Services Trust and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust working with Gloucester City Mission at the George Whitefield Centre, in Gloucester, to provide care and support to the homeless...... watch excellent video about importance of joined up working etc., together with the amazing Homeless Healthcare Team (HHT) which the Forum fully supports. You may recall our challenge to those who didnt support the HHT, seeming to have a lack of understanding of health needs of vulnerable people in the community such as the homeless, the chaotic and those with complex needs, who find it hard to advocate for themselves. We thank the CCG and NHS Care Services for their full support and joint commitment to the HHT which has been very reassuring.

 

NEW....'I was sitting here contemplating suicide because I've had a pretty rough couple of weeks and this song popped upon my feed. This song has officially changed my life'. To view the official video by King&Country, entitled 'God Only Knows', click on link HERE to go to Forum web page H&W. We challenge you not to be moved by this video......Need HELP?, go to our page 'Helpful Info & Guidance'...extract as follows...Emergency Help in Crisis. If you are worried about your own, or someone else's suicidal thoughts or feelings, take the following action! For a life threatening situation call 999. If you are in Gloucestershire, call 2Gether Trust Crisis Team on: 0800 1690398. Contact Suicide Crisis Charity on 07975 974455. Make an URGENT appointment with your GP or if Homeless, with the HHT at the George Whitefield Centre.....read more HERE re 2getherTrust working together with Gloucester City Mission.  Call the Samaritans on 116 123.

Over 6,650 people take their lives every year, 75% of which are men. The aim of the following Rethink video is to promote life after thoughts and/or attempts of suicide and identify support that really was important to them in their journey to recovery. It is a message by men for men that they are not alone.

 

As End Hunger UK supporters, Annie has sent us a short film called Fighting Shame, co-produced by some women from Leeds, in which they share stories of poverty through eight everyday objects. Annie met one of the women, Amina, at a conference on Wednesday. She said that the process of making the film was sometimes frustrating in that they had to battle to make sure that their experiences were portrayed in a way they were happy with, but that she is pleased with the finished result.

 

Latest News 

    • Chair of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh MP, said:

      “The combination of high living costs, stagnating wages and often, the rollout of Universal Credit and the wider benefits system, means that levels of hunger in Britain are some of the highest across Europe. We found that nearly one in five children under 15 are living in a food insecure home – a scandal which cannot be allowed to continue.“

      What are select committees and how do they work? link to House of Commons short film.

    • End Hunger Uk: Everybody should have access to good food. Nobody should have to go to bed hungry. www.endhungeruk.org #endhungeruk. Dear End Hunger UK supporter, we have a new blog written by the fabulous Sinead Furey from Ulster University, who has been doing really useful research on food insecurity for a number of years. She talks about a survey they did to compare different ways of measuring food poverty, and reminds us that there are always human stories behind the statistics. Two 16 year-old food poverty campaigners who we have been working with were interviewed on Channel 4 News. The girls are from Blackburn, and those of you who came to the End Hunger UK conference last year may recognise them.

    • Trussell Trust: Join the campaign to end the five week wait for Universal Credit. People supported by Universal Credit shouldn’t need a food bank. But from the very start, everyone who applies has to wait at least five weeks for a full payment – some are left waiting longer. This is leaving many people without enough money to cover the basics, forcing them to food banks.  You can find out more about the five week wait on our website.
    • 12th Feb...It is only right Amber Rudd acknowledges the link between UC and poverty - Mind. Policy and Campaigns Manager at Mind, Paul Spencer, says: 'It is only right the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is acknowledging the link between Universal Credit and poverty. It’s appalling people are being pushed into destitution when trying to access support from our social security system, as evidenced by the Trussell Trust reporting on the numbers of people relying on foodbanks......'; read more HERE. We says its long overdue...Amber Rudd links universal credit to rise in food bank use, BBC News 11th Feb...read more HERE. The latest failure in UC design...'Precarious'..'Irresponsible'.. says the Governments Work and Pensions Select Committee...read more HERE BBC News ..."Universal Credit claimants must pay for childcare up front and claim reimbursement from the department after the childcare has been provided," the report says."This can leave households waiting weeks or even months to be paid back. "Many of those households will be in precarious financial positions which Universal Credit could exacerbate: if, for example, they have fallen into debt or rent arrears while awaiting Universal Credit payments. "Too many will face a stark choice: turn down a job offer, or get themselves into debt in order to pay for childcare."

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    • ‘Cut to the bone’ - our clients talk about life on Universal Credit. Chances are, you’ve noticed Universal Credit making the headlines a lot lately. At CAP, we work directly with people who are being affected by it, so we asked them what it’s really like to apply for and receive Universal Credit. Read CAP Blog HERE

    • Gloucester City Council ranks eight nationally as one of worst-hit in the UK for Government spending cuts since 2009; worst in the south. Total spending cuts of 23.4%. Read more HERE from GloucestershireLive. CentreforCities 'Cities Outlook 2019 Report'.. for data open Report HERE. Change in total spending: 1. Barnsley - 40.4 per cent   2. Liverpool - 31.8 per cent   3. Doncaster - 30.6 per cent   4. Wakefield - 30.1 per cent   5. Blackburn - 26.7 per cent   6. Newcastle - 26.6 per cent   7. Stoke - 24 per cent   8. Gloucester - 23.4 per cent!! Will our MP challenge this especially if northern cities get an EU Brexit dividend... Why has Oxford had a +14.7% increase? The County Council has to make nearly £21million in savings/cuts next year.
    • Life On Streets - This is what its like to be homeless in Gloucester. Read article HERE from the Gloucester Citizen about one man who wanted to see what its like to spend 24 hours on Gloucester's streets....'the kind actions of the people at Gloucester Mission were incredibly inspiring'.....homeless data from Shelter for Gloucester, 521 homeless, (506 in temporary accomodation, hostels, B&B's, 15 rough sleeping on the streets).....helpful info/ signposting from City Council and exciting news about a new Council Hub, ...will eastern europeans be excluded from the new Hub as they have no recourse to public funds??...hope to hear more at the next Forum meeting on the 13th March....obvious we all need to work harder together.
    • Huge rise in the number of Gloucester people needing charity's help this Christmas. Read more HERE from GloucestershireLive. Gloucester Children’s Services, the Lighthouse Children’s Centre and Families First Plus were among the organisations that received Salvation Army toy and food boxes to pass on to local families this Christmas.

    • Governments Hostile environment continues: Read HERE about the Quaker solidarity with the 'Stansted 15' human rights activists. 11 of the 60 due to be deported on that March 2017 flight now legally live in the UK and 2 awarded right to remain.... 'Stop the new deportation flights to Jamaica. They shouldn't be happening', article in Guardian read HERE. Matthew 25 shows Jesus personally identifying Himself with 'the stranger'. Sadly, this reality has received little sympathy from the Home Office in recent times. Readers of the Old Testament know that the word of God has great concern for the foreigner-in-our-midst. Leviticus 19:34 advises God's people, "The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt." Deuteronomy 10:19 states, "And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt". Jesus personifies this word of God, in the gospels.  
    • DWP apologises for telling seriously ill man to find a job, read more HERE
    • Treasure Seekers Newsletter February 2019: Read HERE
    • Latest January 2019 GCM Newsletter: Read HERE.
    • Parenting Children with Specials Needs Course - Time Out For Parents: Children with Special Needs is a course for parents of children with additional needs. It gives practical, jargon free advice and practical steps for parents to engage and build relationships with their children with special needs. The course is a fantastic opportunity to also build relationships with other parents. Starting on Thursday 7th February, 10am-12noon, the course runs for 7 weeks (excluding half term) and costs £21. Click here for more information or to book a place.
    • Cloister Challenge 2019 on Friday 22 March and raise essential funds for homeless and vulnerable people in the City of Gloucester.  Details at www.cloisterchallenge.co.uk.  Any questions, comments or concerns please contact cloisterchallenge19@hotmail.com
      The Cloister Challenge: I could be outside, it could be raining, I could be starving hungry, I could be sleeping with one eye open waiting to get moved on, I could be in dirty wet clothes, with nothing else to change into. I could have holes in my shoes, no money to my name, and no family to call upon. Tomorrow I can go home, have a hot drink, shower and climb into a warm clean bed. Some don't have that luxury.
    • Anti-Austerity Tour: Conservative MP, Heidi Allen joins former Labour MP Frank Field on mission to highlight the poverty caused by her party’s policies. Read more HERE, article from the Guardian 25th Jan. extracts.....'I have absolutely had enough. Unless we blow the lid of it, my lot wont listen', Heidi Allen.... stories of an illiterate man sanctioned so often under universal credit that he lives on £5 a week; a man so poor he sold all but the clothes he was wearing; and someone being told to walk 44 miles to attend a job interview, despite having had a stroke, to save the state the cost of a £15 bus ticket.... After housing costs, 41% of children in Leicester - more than 34,000 - are in poverty.
    • Great News: Tenant Fees Bill. Thank you to all who supported the campaign by Shelter. Almost 3 years after the ban on letting fees was first announced in Autumn 2016, the government finally approved the Bill, which will ban letting agents and landlords charging ridiculous letting fees. Mark 1st June 2019 in your calendars when the Bill becomes operational. Read more at Shelter Blog HERE
    • URGENT: Gloucester Food Bank to close end of March unless £15,000 can be found to keep open. For local people in CRISIS a 35% increase in use this Christmas than previuos. 2018 saw a 16.5% increase over 2017. Part of increase due to UC problems.
    • Somewhere Safe to Stay: £5m for new network of rough sleeping hubs. Hubs are backed by up to £4.8m in government funding. Gloucestershire to be one of the first Somewhere Safe to Stay hubs to be launched: Read more HERE. Comment: The Forum recognises that this is really good news and positive funding. At present, we do not know anything about who will manage, control, focus, outcomes or who is liasing/coordinating with the Faith and VCS, charities...etc., we look forward to being involved.

      The Forum is aware of alot of hard work being undertaken by the Council following long term major concerns about unsafe, unsupported, emergency accomodation utilsed by the authorities, commisioned services.....etc., as confirmed by Healthwatch (see report at bottom of page)....lack of 'crash pads' while rough sleepers can be referred..You may recall that we have called for a NSNO Day Centre with crash pads for say three nights for individuals, being somewhere safe, humanitarian facilities, toilets, washing, healthcare, etc.. while services can engage...we have consistently been rebuffed so are really keen to hear progress.

    • City Council PSPO came into force on the 30th November 2018 and will remain in place for 3 years. See GCC page on PSPO. Restrictions on Dog & Alcohol related ASB......for legal orders on restrictions read HERE and prohibitions re Alcohol Free Zone read HERE. Q: We had asked what local strategies are in place such as alcohol strategy, local alcohol action plan: is there an alcohol-specific needs assessment or relevant sections of the County Council JSNA where alcohol sits? who has oversight of the alcohol agenda?; CLeaR, etc., A: Gloucestershire’s latest alcohol action plan sits under the Health & Wellbeing Board. These strategies are currently under review by the H&WB. The Lead commissioner for Alcohol sits in Public health at county council.
    • The #FreePeriods Protest - ONE YEAR ON!....Read Update HERE.

    • Independence Trust - Please find attached the latest A-Z Prospectus and registration form for the period 21st January – 12 April 2019.
    • Fitness for Human Habitation: An early Christmas present for renters | Shelter. The Fitness for Human Habitation Bill has completed its journey through parliament today, Wednesday 19th Dec. It will give private and social renters the right to take their landlord to court over unfit and unsafe conditions in their home. Read More Shelter Blog
    • Gloucester Forwards Employment Outreach Service Poster.
    • Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership Newsletter....read HERE.
    • NEW: Latest Gloucestershire SWEP Protocol 2018-19...Policy & Procedure, read HERE. We thank Gloucester City Council and CHC for sharing this with us. The Council/CHC, have also provided a helpful Homeless Infograph and also FAQ Poster re the formal Rough Sleeper Count.
    • SHELTER: 131,000 children will be homeless this Christmas. A 59% increase in the last 5 years. Being evicted from privately rented accomodation is now the biggest cause of homelessness in England. Housing Benefit discrimination can make it even harder for families to get back on their feet.
    • BBC You & Yours: Survival Sex. Interview with 'Julie', who was in full time low paid work, endured an abusive relationship breakdown and following related sickness/signed off work, had to turn to prostitution for her and her children to survive while waiting 8 weeks for benefits on UC; bills £800 per month, UC £317/month..now in rent arrears.... https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00017qf.....you will need to sign in or register.
    • Rethink Mental Illness, who run the Gloucestershire Self Harm Helpline, are recruiting bank staff workers to provide confidential emotional support and information (via phone, text or webchat) to those in Gloucestershire who self-harm, their friends, families and carers. If you are interested in this role or would like to know more information, please click here - https://rethink.current-vacancies.com/Jobs/Advert/1439980?cid=1203. The closing date for this vacancy is Wednesday 05 December 2018.

    • The World News: Damning report says Universal Credit is driving people in the North East to brink of suicide, read article HERE.
    • The Select Committee for Work and Pensions is currently conducting an Inquiry into the ‘welfare safety net’ and is asking for submissions of evidence. They have published a further Report link as follows:  https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/work-and-pensions/HC%20995%20-%20largeprint.pdf
      Report by the Committee, 'Overhaul Universal Support or put whole UC project at risk'... https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news-parliament-2017/overhaul-universal-support-17-19/   ....'getting the content of Universal Support is vital'. Link to report: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/1667/1667.pdf
    • Your latest updates from the National Suicide Prevention Alliance, click HERE
    • Jo Tym’s campaign for a personality disorders service in Gloucestershire. Jo Tym, who spoke so powerfully about “recovery from trauma in personality disorder” at our “Surviving Trauma” conference last month, has created a petition as part of her campaign for a specialist personality disorders’ service in Gloucestershire. The link to the petition is below, and Jo explains in detail her reasons for the campaign. https://www.change.org/p/gloucestershire-ccg-provide-a-specialist-personality-disorders-service-in-gloucestershire

    • GRIEF ACTUALLY from BEYOND GOODBYE MEDIA on VimeoGRIEF ACTUALLY is a 5 minute film about our Active Grief Programme with testimonies from bereaved parents and siblings who came to the weekend retreat in May. The Good Grief Project.

    • CAP. Read a brilliant new report from LSE and CAP. One of the amazing things that happened around the same time that The Debt Saviours aired on BBC Two was the release of a brand new report. Never just a number has been created in partnership with the Housing and Communities research team at London School of Economics (LSE) and looks at the impact of our work on individual lives as well as the wider UK society. The benefit of CAP's work to society is calculated to be over £31.5 million per year, in return for an annual expenditure of £8.7 million on poverty relief.

    • End Hunger Uk: Hello food poverty campaigners! 18,378! That’s how many people signed the End Hunger UK petition to ask Theresa May to fix Universal Credit! We had a last-minute rush: our colleague Hannah-Mae, who works at The Trussell Trust, arrived at work on the Monday morning before the hand-in to a HUGE pile of envelopes and over 6,000 new signatures! Thank you so much to everyone who signed the petition, got other people to sign the petition or who raised awareness of the petition. Church Action on Poverty.

    • Funding Boost for County Homelessness Support Services, read more HERE. The Forum subitted a written statement to central government supporting the succesful original SiB bid by our CHC to help secure £990,000 additional funding for 3 years. The countywide partnership of local authorities, led by Gloucester City Council, has secured a boost to support an extra 16 vulnerable individuals with complex needs through the ‘social impact bond’ project, ACTion Glos, delivered by P3
    • Universal Credit: Britain’s biggest food bank charity has called for urgent changes to universal credit after unveiling figures that show it gave out more than 650,000 food parcels in the past six months – a year-on-year increase of 13%. The Trussell Trust said the government’s insistence on making new claimants wait at least five weeks for their first universal credit payment was driving big increases in the numbers of benefit claimants relying on food banks. Read article HERE 6th Nov 18.

    • Latest GCM Newsletter...click HERE and sponsor a bed flier...click HERE.
    • End of austerity? 4 million children in poverty...1.2 million homes classed as undecent...huge increase in food parcels given out in Gloucester...read Foodbank Newsletter HERE... A record number of people are sleeping rough in London, with charities reporting a spike in street homelessness. Figures show that 3,103 people were found sleeping rough in the capital between July and September 2018 – the first time the total has exceeded 3,000 in a three-month period. Charities attributed the surge to a lack of affordable housing. The data, from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network, shows the number of rough sleepers has risen by 20% on the previous three months, and by 17% compared with the same period last year. Over the same period, outreach teams recorded 1,382 people sleeping rough for the first time, up by 28% on the previous period and a rise of 20% compared with last year, read report HERE. Next phase of UC to push thousands into hardship...read Sir Ian Diamond, Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) statement HERE.
    • SWEP 2018 Update Report to go to Scrutiny on 29th Oct 2018 and then onto Cabinet.
    • Homeless or At Risk? click HERE for link to Council new web site for helpful info. about homelessness, rough sleepers, how to apply for Social Housing, etc.
    • Universal credit: delivery causing unacceptable hardship - News from Parliament - UK Parliament Public Accounts Select Committee.
    • A Scandal. CEO threatened about speaking out about universal credit .....who threatened her?  https://www.facebook.com/HumanityTorbay/videos/2204242062919810/   ..... families here in Gloucester go without money for up to 12 weeks, destitute, starved......people are desperate and in despair....read our letter to Esther McVey MP, Secretary of State for Works & Pensions...HERE.  and DWP response HERE.
    • Holly’s story is a heart breaking tale of impossibly low income. Whilst Holly credits social services as having saved her life, the transition from the care system to adulthood leaves thousands of young people like Holly suddenly responsible for managing on a very tight budget at just 18 years old. 
      For Holly, despite threats of imprisonment for non-payment of council tax, there was no way she could fix the situation herself. But praise God that she found a solution through CAP and the eternal hope that is found in Jesus. Hear her explain it in her own words following the broadcast of The Debt Saviours on BBC Two.
    • Soup Run Information Evening will be held at The George Whitefield Centre on 1st November at 7pm. It will be an opportunity to come and find out about plans for this years Soup Runs to the homeless and vulnerably housed. Following the info meeting there will be a time of Prayer & Praise.
    • An apparent worrying failure of the Prison Service and probation to ensure safe accomodation is in place for individuals when they are released from prison...concerns that vulnerable women are left on the street, homeless in Gloucester with no money or benefits. A failed service...unsafe?? how big is this scandal? We will follow this up.
    • Outdoor Church has become Gloucestershire Sanctuary Fellowship for Bible / study / visits....Tuesday Lunchtime, light refreshments.... meet at the Guru Cafe at 12 for a 12:30 start. For further info 07874751543 or 07840125176.
    • Launch of HaVinG: The Rt Revd Bishop Rachel Treweek and Richard Graham MP, Patrons of 'HaVinG A voice in Gloucester', officially openend the charity on Friday 5th Oct. Sustain & Enable...Create change not loose change....A hand up not a hand out. Donations to the new local charity will go towards helping the homeless in Gloucester....looking at contactless giving...Latest: HaVinG – A Voice in Gloucester has now been formally recognised and registered by the Charity Commission Registration Number: 1181040. The registered address is: 11A Cheltenham Road, Gloucester, GL2 0JE. The HaVinG website is currently under construction – when completed all details will be available on events and, more importantly, how we will be looking to make grants in the future. Our first event will be the Cloister Challenge on Friday 22 March – the web site will open in January: www.cloisterchallenge.co.uk
    • NHS 70 Awards: We are thrilled to see that the Homeless Health Team (HHT) have been recognised again for their Exemplary Service to the homeless. Award presented by Paul Roberts, joint CEO of Glos Care Services NHS Trust and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.....'A hidden gem...makes a difference to people every day..provides a safe haven...access to high quality health care...without judgement or discrimination.....' as reported in the Citizen. The Forum has always fully supported the HHT especially when there was an apparent worrying lack of commitement from the local authorities. The Forum followed up concerns re the future of the HHT with the CCG and Gloucestershire Care Services. We were really pleased with their joint committment and full support of the HHT. Link to HHT web page and full notes of our meeting are in the members area in 'Other Minutes'.

    • Instagram star Alice Liveing shares her experience of domestic abuse, go to Forum's Domestic Violence page HERE to view video.
    • World Homeless Day 10th October - The Youth Homelessness Databank estimates that 86,000 young people approached their local authority for help in 2016/17 because they were homeless or at risk of homelesness. This figure is likely to be an under - estimate of the scale of youth homelesness as it does not include people who have not approached their local authority for help. Homeless Link Report - Young & Homeless 2018. Crisis Homelessness Monitor England 2018. LA statutory homelessness cases annual..115,115 (2016/17); LA statutory homelessness acceptances - annual 59,100; LA homelessness & prevention and relief cases 215,210; Total LA homelessness case actions 274,310.
    • Gloucester City Mission/ George Whitefield Centre (GWC) - see whats happening at GCM...visit Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GloucesterCityMission/ .....Recruiting for Winter Shelter; amazing sponsored challenge to walk along Hadrians Wall.. 85 miles in 3 days; winter shelter bed appeal..visit http://www.gloscitymission.org.uk/winter-shelter-bed-appeal/....sponsor a bed...£25 will cover a bed, food and clothes for a night; Walking rugby at the GWC with Gloucester rugby; Gloucester Academy Players and staff; If you shop in Tesco please give GCM a blue counter in the Bags for Help voting boxes. Money raised will go towards the Winter Shelter....1st place gets £4k, 2nd £2k and third £1K, open to end Oct; download a Signpost Card from GCM; CGL Mondays & Wednesdays; Emerging Futures Tues's; DWP Tuesdays; see photos of why a winter shelter is really needed...rough sleepers in doorway of GWC for several weeks.....we encourage P3 Street Outreach Workers to link in with GWC, for a better 'joined up' response...and we ask, why aren't P3 supporting the GWC?...is it political?

    • Ready Steady Cook! Hotel helps feed the homeless. By Matt Hall | 18th September 2018...see more at Punchline Gloucester.com extract as follows. A Cheltenham hotel is helping the charity Cheltenham Open Door to provide food for the town's disadvantaged people. Last week the chef from the 4-star Malmaison Hotel met the cook from Cheltenham Open Door to discuss how they prepare meals for their different clientele and how Malmaison can help by providing food for the charity on a regular basis.

    • Gloucester City Council – New Opening Hours for Customer Reception Mon to Fri 9am to 3pm at Herbert warehouse. Customer reception closed on the last Wednesday of the month for staff training. If you require emergency housing assistance between 3pm - 5pm please contact 01452 396538. After 5pm please contact 01452 614194. Homeless or At Risk? click HERE for link to Council web site for helpful info. about homelessness, rough sleepers, how to apply for Social Housing, etc.

    • Report on the Winter Shelter Project 2018....link to report HERE. You will recall that, 'overall, the winter period of 2018 was exceptionally cold, with repeated spells of severe weather'. During the opening period, the Shelter received 134 referrals....average of 44 referrals a month. e.g. 49% of referrals came from P3 and 5% from the City Council.
    • County Street Outreach Team. It had been said recently that there were concerns that the Street Outreach Team may only have one Outreach worker for the whole of the County......on asking P3 formally we were told that this was not the case but that there had been some restructuring. We have been told that the Outreach Team is fully staffed and have 5 staff covering the county in addition to volunteers; we have asked who the Street Outreach Workers are for Gloucester (previuosly covered by the Senior Outreach Worker), Stroud and Gloucester, Cheltenham and Cotswolds, Forest and Tewkesbury. We have been informed that there is a new Senior Outreach Worker in post from 10th Sept 2018.   
    • IMPORTANT: Church Action on Poverty - Fix Universal Credit: petition...http://endhungeruk.org/ucpetition/

      End Hunger UK’s national petition is calling on the Prime Minister to fix Universal Credit to prevent people going hungry. Evidence from frontline food aid providers across the UK reveals that the rollout of Universal Credit is currently causing hardship for vulnerable people, and putting pressure on emergency food supplies..... promote the petition in your foodbank, project or community.

    • Universal Credit...latest flaw. Low-income working families left in debt by flaw in UC design. Child Poverty Action Group say claimants can be wrongly benefit-capped by up to £258 of work allowance per month by UC....while recognising this fault, which is down to dates input into UC, DWP say nothing can be done. Read more...
    • Applications are open for the £1.3m women's mental health peer support programme. Find out more about how to apply… https://t.co/DHlwLjRi0U
    • New 'Useful Link'....'Agenda', the Alliance for women and girls at risk.
    • New School Nurse text service for young people in the County....read more go to Youth Support page.
    • Hope for Justice. For the 'Year in Review' click HERE.
    • Women And Suicide: BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour.  Joy Hibbins, the CEO of Suicide Crisis, was a guest on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour on 22nd August, talking about crisis care for women who have experienced trauma.  She spoke about the high numbers of women who are dying by suicide while detained under the Mental Health Act in psychiatric hospital (according to latest CQC figures). She was also asked by Jenni Murray how we work at our Suicide Crisis Centre with women who have experienced trauma. Joy gave her views on the potentially re-traumatising impact of sectioning, and explained what she felt psychiatric hospitals could do to reduce the risk of re-traumatisation and subsequent increased suicide risk. She also referred to the Suicide Crisis research into deaths by suicide (2017-18) and the learning taken from that in terms of deaths in psychiatric hospitals. Joy was asked to explain how we support people at our Suicide Crisis Centre who have experienced traumatic events, and how our approach and methods differ from those of mental health services. 

      Her interview on Woman’s Hour starts at about 11 or 12 minutes into the programme:- https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bfx5dk

    • Gloucester Drop In Information Gloucester Library August 2018
    • DWP: A disabled man who was unfairly found “fit for work”, and then saw his benefits slashed by almost £180 per month after he was forced onto the government’s new universal credit benefit system, is seeking justice in the high court.....article DisabledGo 31st Aug 2018.

      It is the latest in a series of legal cases that have been taken on behalf of disabled benefit claimants against DWP, as a result of a series of welfare reforms introduced under successive governments. Read more HERE.

    • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is refusing to release evidence that would show how many secret reports it has compiled into the deaths of claimants of its new universal credit, in a fresh breach of freedom of information laws...Aug 2018.

      DWP compiles an internal process review every time a “suicide is associated with DWP activity”, as well as in some other cases involving the deaths of disabled or “vulnerable” benefit claimants.

    • NSPA Newsletter, July 2018... https://mailchi.mp/37a2fa4129c8/nspa-newsletter-july-2018?e=95d537dc89
    • 24 hours at a Suicide Crisis Centre (Cheltenham):  The Independent...

      This article, published in “The Independent”, explains how we respond to emergencies during a 24 hour period at our Suicide Crisis Centre, at a time when a heatwave brings increased numbers of clients, and the closure of our local A&E and staff shortages within mental health services create an even greater need for our services:- This is what 24 hours in a Suicide Crisis Centre looks like:-

      https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/suicide-crisis-centre-mental-health-prevention-nhs-iapt-a8446011.html

    • Alabare Homes for Veterans, latest Summer Newsletter.... Gloucestershire Home for Veterans had the priveledge of welcoming the Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, Lieutant General Timothy Radford.
    • Two new web sites: The Mind and Soul Foundation - exploring Christianity and mental health and Premier Life, a new website aimed to help you live life to the full with its ups and downs.  Click following link... http://www.mindandsoul.info/Articles/265312/Mind_and_Soul/Resources/Managing_challenging_behaviour.aspx?fb_ref=Default&fb_source=message
    • GloW Gloucestershire Wellbeing - Positive actions for better wellbeing..to go to web site click HERE

      Gloucestershire health and wellbeing board's commitment for better mental health.

      Named GloW, for Gloucestershire Wellbeing, the commitment sets out what it takes to promote good mental health and wellbeing and help prevent mental illness. Organisations that sign up to GloW are asked to take action to promote positive change.

    • PSPO at Full Council...see resulting approved Draft PSPO below. The City Council is to be applauded for its approach in considering and assessing the issues openly and for the kind invite for the Forum onto the PSPO Working Group, which was seen as critical and gave an insight of the extreme pressures on the Council from certain individuals/groups who worryingly, showed a lack of understanding of the Statutory Guidance or LGA guidance. Thankyou for everyones support including Liberty,  Manifesto Club, HomelessLink, etc..  Reports at Full Council as follows: Public Space Protection Order Consultation Report and Proposal pdf iconPDF 179 KB To receive the report of the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods concerning the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) public consultation and seeking endorsement of the proposals approved by Cabinet. Additional documents: Minutes:View the minutes text for item 18.
    • Cabinet: We hope that you will find the written response of the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods to a public question at Cabinet on the 13th June concerning homelessness and vulnerable people as helpful and informative...please read HERE. The Forum and Healthwatch have raised major concerns with poor and unsafe emergency accomodation over the last few years. The Forum has encouraged the City and County Council to talk to Pivotal Homes as one way forward; adopt a Landlord Registration Scheme (see City Council Letter) .....etc...watch this space.
    • Update from: Gloucester & Tewkesbury 'Drop In's' : Gloucester (Gloucester Library) and Cheltenham (Childrens Library, Chester Walk) 'Drop In' for July - Whats on and where. (County wide).
    • Pohwer is now delivering Advocacy Service for Adults in Gloucestershire...access web site HERE
    • Universal Credit. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is failing to support “vulnerable” claimants and is unable to monitor how they are being treated under its new universal credit benefit system, according to an investigation by the public spending watchdog....40% were experiencing finacial difficulties...25% unable to make a claim on-line. The report by the National Audit Office (NAO) raises a string of serious concerns about the way vulnerable claimants are being dealt with by DWP as it gradually rolls out universal credit across the country. Read more from DisabledGoNews. If you have concerns about someone on UC or who cant cope with the very complicated initial claim on-line, requiring IT skills and access to a PC, please contact CAB or the MP's Office for help....for more info go to our DWP page.  Read our letter to Esther McVey MP, Secretary of State for Works & Pensions...HERE.  and DWP response HERE.

    • Rolling out Universal Credit - ...go to NAO Report...'the project is not value for money'.
    • PSPO Latest: Great News....See Agenda Item 8, Subject PSPO, of the Cabinet Briefing Pack for the PSPO Cabinet Briefing 20th June 2018. 'Begging' and 'Unattended items' withdrawn by Council, including proposed restrictions that the Forum considered to be non-compliant with Home Office Statutory Guidelines; refer to Forums Consultation Responses. Scrutiny to be held on the 2nd July, draft Minutes HERE; Cabinet 11th July, Draft Minutes HERE..Item 19;..full Council 12th July, Draft Minutes HERE...Item 18.... All documents relating to the agenda item are being updated on Streets Policy web Page
    • PSPO: The Forum was kindly invited by the City Council to sit on the PSPO Working Group; last meeting held on the 2nd July. The Minutes of the Working Group meetings will be stored in the Members Area.  All latest on the PSPO is on the public access, Streets Policy web page. The Forums Consultation Responses are somewhat detailed hence lengthy....you may like to read first the Forum's Background Paper. You will note that the necessary solid 'Evidence Base' from the Police and other professional's is critical for each and every proposed restriction in accordance with Home Office Statutory Guidelines. A 'call' to consider initiating the Councils complaints process led to a Draft Position Statement, being produced intended to go with any formal complaint. This was widely circulated for comment but was not taken forward on the overriding need to be seen to be working together with the Council, maintaining the good working relationship and open dialogue; members asked that this draft to be utlised as a further discusion document with the Council.
    • UC NAO Press Release....“We don’t think DWP has shown the same commitment to listening and responding to the hardship faced by claimants. Maybe a change of mind set will follow the publication of the claimant survey on 8 June. We think the larger claims for Universal Credit, such as boosted employment, are unlikely to be demonstrable at any point in future. Nor for that matter will value for money.”
    • ALPHA Testimony....Shane Taylor...watch video...click HERE. Prison officer speaks about Shane Taylor...click HERE.
    • DWP Data. 1 Universal Credit: Households
      Local Authority: Gloucester
      Region: South West.
      The total number of households on Universal Credit as of December 2017 is 655of which 371 are in payment. (i.e. 284 households are on UC but have no money/payments. Are these vulnerable households?)
      For more information visit GOV.UK. Alternatively, you can build your own tables at Stat-Xplore.
    • I was a stranger and you invited me in...Mathew 25. Sadly, the Governments 'hostile environment' continues.....read article from 'Cross Rhythms' HERE. 
    • CAP 'Christians Against Poverty isn't about helping Christians, it's about helping people. The drive, the reason you do it, is your Christianity and your faith and I will never knock that. I think that's right. The most important thing is the enormous number of results, and every time I mention Christians Against Poverty, I get people who tell me how it's changed their lives.' - Martin Lewis, May 2018

       
      Watch Martin Lewis’ visit to CAP HQ
       
       
    • Homeless Reduction Act Policy Fact Sheets...read HERE.
    • UK specialist perinatal mental heath community teams. Updated maps from the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, show that 24% of pregnant and new mums in the UK have no access to specialist perinatal mental health services.

    • Suicide Crisis News: Joanna, a former client, shares her recovery journey.  Joanna, one of our former clients, gave an outstanding talk about her inpatient experiences at a mental health nursing conference in West London in March. In the write-up afterwards on the NHS Trust website it referred to the talk by Jo and her fellow patient as “the most powerful part of the event” and paid tribute to their “courage in letting professionals in on their personal journeys so that they may learn from it”.

      Jo has also created an inspiring online blog “Journey from the borderline: EUPD recovery” which she describes as a blog about “the events, trials and tribulations and hopefully the odd success during my period of recovery”. You can access Jo’s blog here: http://eupdrecoveryjourney.simplesite.com/

    • Crisis: The Homelessness Reduction Act is the biggest change to England’s homelessness laws in four decades. Find out more in our short video and one page explainer.
      It took over 80,000 Crisis campaigners joining our No One Turned Away campaign, dozens of homelessness charities and politicians across the Commons and the Lords. . . together we did it.
    • Man on a Park Bench...https://vimeo.com/257896357......he survived, a park patrol saved his life....clearly stressed...he asked what was he doing?, i'm past it, you cant help me....the Park Patrol stopped to talk to him....a massive impact...he stopped him killing himself...he gave him £10....he changed his life...he now exhibits at the Tate etc
    • STAY ALIVE Suicide Prevention mobile phone app.....This app is a pocket suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.....read more HERE...and how to download the app.
    • Message from MIND. Where you live is such an important part of your life, and can have a huge impact on your mental health. Whether you have a mental health problem or not, we’d love to hear about your housing experiences. Everything we do is based on the real experiences of people and their relationship with their mental health. Tell us your story and we’ll make sure we feed it in to our work. And if you’re currently having problems with your housing, our website has information, and a list of places you can go to for support.
    • Ilford M&S to help build pop up hostel for local rough sleepers..read HERE 
    • NHS slashes funds for top homeless mental health team - here

    • Latest Public Health England: Evidence review: Adults with complex needs (with a particular focus on street begging and street sleeping)...Link to report HERE. Key Extracts: 'In 2016, Johnsen, Watts and Fitzpatrick published a briefing paper on the issue, essentially updating some of their findings from 2007 and adding additional insights from their in depth interviews.....'. 'They continue to stress that the use of enforcement is a high-risk strategy'..such as PSPO's.... likely to result in displacement and the best responses are integrated care delivery such as housing first......about Councils rough sleepers counts on a given week day....'much of the information on the numbers of people/households that are homeless, is likely to be an underestimation of the true scale of the issue as it does not capture those ‘hidden homeless’ who sofa surf and the like'...Note: Rough sleeper count would increase substantially on weekends when sofa surfers are kicked out by friends etc...Police observation. 
    • Forward thinking: NIHR research on support for people with severe mental illness - here
    • Forums 'Position Statement' - City Councils Street Aware Campaign Posters. For the Forums position on the 'posters' read HERE.
    • GlosLive Article: 'Shocking figures reveal that 43 people took their own lives in Gloucester in the past year. Read article HERE..... It comes after the news of eight deaths in a Dorchester House, a hostel used by the council, during 2017'.
    • Online Bullying: 'It’s like putting the school bully in a child’s pocket'. A mobile phone app called Sarahah lets bullies send abusive messages anonymously. And it’s already spreading like wildfire across our schools - countless children's lives are being made miserable right now. The dangerous app has hit the headlines this week after one mother spoke out about how bullies were using the app to target her child suffering from cancer. SIGN THE PETITION HERE.
    • City Council criticised for demonising rough sleepers in new posters..read article in Guardian HERE. On request, a Position Paper is being drafted for members.
    • Government Gambling Changes Consultation. Richard has asked for support to reduce betting stakes on Fixed Odds Betting terminals, at present £100 down to £2, by completing the Consultation following a government Review. Anyone who wants to see the stake reduced to £2 (the lowest of three options offered) should reply by the 23rd January via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3XGGFP7
    • Trusts Plan Joint Future. Ingrid Barker will take up position of Joint Chair from Jan 2018 for the 2getherTrust and GlosCareServices NHS Trust with a view to formally joining the two organisations from October.
    • Landladys Concerns over Welfare of Hotel Guests...read article HERE from Gloucester Review Dec 22nd 2017. Used by Gloucester City Homeless Team and service providers to place homeless individuals who need high support.
    • Another Guest House death after warning...eighth fatality of 2017...read article HERE from Gloucester Review page 6 Friday Jan 5th 2018. Said to be inappropriate use by Gloucester City Homeless Team and others to place homeless individuals who need high support...tragicaly Lynn says there isn't any support and blames the budget cuts....Where is the support? ..Is this an improvement on GEAR's old night shelter?? many say obviuosly NOT. Question:...Has no one in the City acted on Healthwatch's recommedations?? 1. That a review be undertaken of the pathways for marginalised and vulnerable people needing mental health support. 2. That communication between organisations engaging with marginalised and vulnerable people is improved. 3. That a review be undertaken of the support for those people with a high level of need or learning disabilities. 4. That a minimum standard of housing for vulnerable people be agreed, with an adequate level of emergency housing available. 5. That a wider review be undertaken of the needs of marginalised and vulnerable people across Gloucestershire. 
    • Open Your Eyes Gloucester City ...One Size doesn't fit all...read about disturbing gaps in support HEREThis blog site, OYE Gloucester, is about homelessness in Gloucester and the issues surrounding it is well worth a read, click HERE for Home page. We would agree that there is a real need for better care and training in the supported housing system in Gloucester as flagged up by Healthwatch.
    • Government in Court Again. In February, the Government introduced regulations that limited the amount of support that people who struggle to make journeys because of psychological distress, could get through PIP. Today the High Court has ruled that these changes are unlawful because they unjustifiably discriminate against people with mental health problems.
    • For the important role of Day Centre Hubs within the NSNO standard read HERE

    • Urgent Legal Action for our NHS. NHA suports JR4NHSJR4NHS say...Fund our fight to get proper consultation, parliamentary scrutiny and respect for the law. Save our NHS from an American-style take-over. Support the Legal Campaign HERE. Thank you to everybody who has helped to get us this far. Please continue to do what you can to share the link - https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/jr4nhs-round2/ ....Jeremy Hunt and NHS England propose allowing private companies to take control of our health and care services. This goes against fundamental NHS principles. Fund our fight to get proper consultation, parliamentary scrutiny and respect for the law. Save our NHS from an American-style take-over.
    • Homeless Link Day Centres Project latest NEWS.
    • Kingfisher Treasure Seekers Nov 2017 News, read HERE. '8427 visits to our mental health drop in during 2017 so far'.
    • ACTion Gloucester posterFrom October 2017 ACTion Glos will provide intensive support to 110 entrenched rough sleepers and repeat users of homeless services across Gloucestershire. Present providers are unable to work with long-term roughsleepers in a long-term, innovative way, to help stop the 'revolving door' syndrome.
    • What is Social Prescribing? link to Self Care Forum HERE.
    • YourCirclea directory to help you find your way around health and care and connect with people, places and activities in Gloucestershire.
    • CGL launch new impact report...read HERE.
    • App offers suicide prevention help and support to people in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. Read about 'The Stay Alive' app here, link to 2gether NHS Trust web site.
    • Gloucestershire’s Annual Public Health Report (includes info on mental health) – link here
    • IMPORTANT: Healthwatch Gloucestershire ReportReport on access to health and social care services  by marginalised and vulnerable people in Gloucester. It was heartening to read, in the HWG Report, that the feedback about the Homeless Healthcare Team (HHT) was particularly positive and should be used as a model of Best Practice. Read the article in the Citizen here. The independence of Healthwatch was critical.

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