Talk about hypocrisy, Salvation Army needs to distance themselves from the government policies, not do the work of the government.

Originally posted on the void:

times-letter-sanctionsIn an act of breath-taking hypocrisy, the Salvation Army, along with the YMCA, have both signed a letter to The Times calling the current benefit sanctioning regime unfair and counter-productive.

This comes despite both organisations being involved in ‘Mandatory Work Activity’ and therefore responsible for reporting unemployed people to the Jobcentre to face sanctions if they don’t turn up for unpaid work placements.

The Salvation Army has even been praised by the DWP for ‘holding the line’ on workfare after scores of charities distanced themselves from the scheme. When peaceful anti-workfare campaigners visited the Salvation Army in protest at their use of workfare, the charity locked them inside and attempted to have them arrested with fabricated stories of staff being man-handled.

The Salvation Army have repeatedly defended their involvement in mandatory welfare-to-work provision and also their operation of a Work Programme sub-contract. Claimants on this scheme, including those on out…

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Benefit sanctions: review published 22.07.2014

Originally posted on

Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions: review report and 17 recommendations (read online) – Government response - Government to update communications with benefit claimants

Discuss review at:

BBC: Benefits sanctions double against women, disabled and lone parents

Guardian: Benefit sanctions hit most vulnerable people the hardest, DWP report says “Claimants not told about hardship system and benefit sanctions imposed when they were not at fault”

SNP: Benefit sanctions rocket at hands of Westminster “Lone parents have been hit the hardest, with a staggering 563 per cent increase in sanction since 2009.”

“4. CPAG is concerned that the terms of reference for this review appear to be narrower than what is required by legislation”

Copies of 17 submissions to JSA sanctions review

View original


The Big Life Group – Free Training
To be delivered as e-learning on Rochdale Council’s COLIN online learning site.

Free Training in Health Improvement
Health Chats – Understanding Health improvement Level 2
The course is 7 guided learning hours; this can be split over two sessions or three shorter sessions. I have also delivered full day sessions to suit need.

Accredited by Royal society of public health – This gives any person trained a stepping stone in health improvement and a qualification equivalent to GCSE A –C.
Each person trained can state they are a Health Chatter and will be able to link in with other services to receive more training. This is done through a quarterly newsletter and regular email and text updates.

There are case studies highlighting the benefits of the Health chats from people losing weight to joining groups. Three Health chatters actually got jobs after the course.

What are Health Chats?
Health Chats are opportunistic generic brief interventions aimed at imparting knowledge of healthy lifestyle behaviours, signposting to lifestyle and other services and nudging members of the community to take action to improve their health and wellbeing for themselves, their family and their community.
The aim of our Health Chats programme is to develop and systematically harness the work of frontline staff and community services, to improve customer, staff, patient/client and visitor health. Our initial programme will focus on:- Alcohol, Be active, Healthy eating, Mental wellbeing, Sexual health (focused on under 19s), Tobacco.

These lifestyle factors contribute to cancers, heart disease and strokes, respiratory diseases and diseases of the endocrine system. They also contribute significantly to excess and premature deaths, poor quality of life, increased hospital episodes and length of stay.

These themes will be core subjects, and woven into that will be learning on how these link to cancers, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and heart disease. Supplementary learning on wider determinants of health such as housing, employment, skills and debt management will also be offered.
Why have a Health Chat
Evidence from the World Health Organisation shows that:-
• One third of the industrial world’s disease burden is due to tobacco, alcohol, obesity and high blood pressure
• Three quarters of all cardio vascular disease is due to tobacco, high blood pressure and obesity
By acting on these issues we have the potential to reduce the burden of disease by 33% and reduce healthcare costs by 70%.

Each person trained could potentially save a life through signposting and raising awareness.
The Course covers:
• What is Health?
• Dimensions of Health
• Wider determinants of Health
• Extension exercise
• The 6 factors that affect health inequalities
• Health promotion policy – including NICE guidance and 5 Ways to Wellbeing
• Break out session – up to date health promotion messages
• Behaviour change approaches
• Communication skills
• Confidentiality
• How to have a Health Chat
All modules are covered in the course content.
Module 1 – Accredited session of 7 guided learning hours plus exam for RSPH Level 2 in Understanding Health Improvement. This has worked well so far as a two half-day sessions, but this may be offered in different formats depending on type of Health Chatter being trained.
Module 2 – Practical skills – how to chat and motivate behaviour change. Has worked well as part of the second half day session as per above.
Module 3 – Wider determinants on health – including employment & skills, debt & income, and housing – services and referral routes. To be delivered as e-learning on Rochdale Council’s COLIN online learning with relevant sections to be undertaken by Health Chatter to supplement their knowledge.
If you are interested in this training please contact Michelle Duffy on 07773078130 or email on

Hi Guys

I want with your help to help create a better and quality of life for the older people of our community. I recently attended a seminar in London given by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. What strikes me, the services in the capital of the country are far more superior to what’s available in the North. Money plays no part in the results! its the diversity of the community and the volunteers who make it work. Here in Rochdale we have a situation which I personally do not like. We have Rochdale Community Champions who will only integrate and volunteer within their own culture, For me that does not represent being a champion. Ethnicity, religion, and cultural differences should play no part in your role as a Community Champion. We have Champions who volunteer hoping by volunteering they will get a job or post within the RMBC? We also have Champions who will see it as an opportunity to get free highly regarded training courses then leave and open up their own trading or training establishment. Who can blame you?

If you really care about being a Champion and the spirit of being a Champion then lets get together to improve our older peoples lifestyle in the community

However my principles for Open Doors is simple:

  1. See and treat older people with high support needs as individuals and help them to do the things they want to do. example: Visiting family, storytelling, individuals often have some great fantastic stories and experiences to share.
  2. Build positive relationships with the people you work with. The experience and satisfaction from this is unimaginable. 
  3. Look for the strengths and assets each person has and support them to play an active role in the development and provision of services. Example ask what they want?
  4. Be open to doing things in new ways. Your way might not be the best way?

 See the Video

What is the video about?

The video shows older people with high support needs who live in the community. They talk about what is important in their lives and how they like to be treated.
It is based around the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s A Better Life programme The Foundation identified seven key challenges to be addressed for older people with high support needs to achieve a better quality of life:

  1. Old age is not about ‘them': it is about all of us
  2. Older people are individuals and they are, as a group, becoming more diverse
  3. Relationships matter to us whatever our age; we have a fundamental human need to connect with others meaningfully
  4. Older people with high support needs have many assets, strengths and resources that they can also bring to the development and provision of services
  5. Whatever our age or support needs, we should all be treated as citizens: equal stakeholders with both rights and responsibilities
  6. The individual and collective voices of older people with high support needs should be heard and given power
  7. We need both to innovate and improve existing models

Social care has a key role to play in meeting these challenges.

A high support need is where person has one or more health conditions or disabilities and they need support from health and/or social care services to live their  lives as they want to

If you are open to progressing this further then please email me at for future planning.

Thanks and best regards 



What does IDS have on Cameron?

Originally posted on Politics and Insights - kittysjones :

Cabinet reshuffle day is considered the perfect opportunity for government departments to bury bad news. And it’s surely too much of a coincidence that on this of all days, the Department for Work and Pensions has published its much-anticipated 163-page interim report of the impact of the Bedroom Tax. One of the most striking and damning findings is that disabled people are being unfairly and disproportionately affected, with seven out of ten households adversely affected having householders that are caring for someone with a disability.
The report also found difficulties among these 370,000 or so households in successfully claiming discretionary housing payments.The payments were intended to alleviate the effect of the policy among vulnerable groups.  This policy is causing devastating hardship for the most vulnerable citizens.
Originally posted on on 16th July 2014:
The TUC has accused the government of yesterday “shamefully” sneaking out a report on the bedroom tax that…

View original 265 more words


Lethal proposal for people with depression unable to work

Think tank Ekklesia raises some serious issues for concern about yet another element of Welfare Reform which is ill thought out by people with little or no understanding of peoples individual circumstances :

Dr Sarah Wollaston is a former GP and chair of parliament’s health select committee condemned the proposal as “Unethical, unworkable nonsense”.

“If the scheme is pushed through, many people with clinical depression who fail to turn up to CBT sessions will be left without enough money for food or heating, which may also increase suicidal tendencies. There is also a risk that some will be declared ‘cured’ after a short course of treatment even if they are still too depressed to work.

This is especially cruel because being clinically depressed, even without added problems, can be a very unpleasant experience. And people who have suffered in other ways may be especially at risk, for instance those who have had a major bereavement or who have been sexually abused. “

Please see link at
for the original article in today’s Ekklesia. Thank You


[photographs Courtesy of Rochdale Environmental Action Group ]

“ Love Rochdale ~ Hate Litter “, proclaims Rochdale Online this weekends as Rochdale Environmental Action volunteers take to the streets of Deeplish, Rochdale.

“We were impressed with the response we received from from the residents. Men, women, children came out and offered their help. We need more and more people with the same passion for the Borough of Rochdale.”

Said REAG Secretary Ghulam Shahzad OBE .

People sharing the groups passion for a cleaner greener environment can join the group for their weekly Saturday Morning Litter Picks at 10.00am. Thank you .

For original article please see Rochdale Online at :


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