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Crafts Galore

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Crafts Galore ...

ISSUE 63 MAR/APRIL/MAY 2009__ _www.norfolk.gov.uk/NDIS

Local News

    Norfolk Direct Payment Users Group

    The Norfolk Direct Payment Users Group gives people using Direct

    Payments or Personal Budgets the chance to meet and discuss issues of

    common concern. Run by the Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People

    (NCODP) the group enables users to share experiences and learn from one

    another on issues such as:

    ? How to get the most out of your Direct Payment

    ? How to recruit, manage and train Personal Assistants effectively.

    ? How to plan for a Personalised Budget.

    ? When to ask for a reassessment.

    So why not come along and share your experience and knowledge. There

    are groups in Great Yarmouth King’s Lynn, North Walsham, Norwich and

    Watton. For more information on dates and times of me etings please

    contact the NCDOP on tel: 01508 491210. You can also email:

    info@ncodp.org.uk

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Short Breaks Pathfinder

    Are you a parent or carer of a disabled child or young person? If yes why

    not come along to one of the Short Break Provider Fairs, which will

    showcase local short break services and provide a you with an opportunity

    to find out all you want to know about short breaks in Norfolk. Free crèche

    facilities can be provided but do need to be booked in advance. For more

    information about the events, or if you require crèche facilities, please

    contact the Short Breaks Pathfinder team on: 01603 714185 or email: shortbreaks.pathfinder@norfolk.gov.uk Below are the details of the

    fairs:

    Central: Thursday 7th May 2009, 10am 1pm at Age Concern Training Centre, 300 St Faiths Road, Old Catton, Norwich NR6 7BJ

    Western: Tuesday 12th May 2009, 10am 1pm at Swaffham Community Centre, The Campingland, Swaffham, PE37 7RB.

    Northern: Friday 29th May 2009, 10am 1pm at The Prince of Wales Stand, Fakenham Racecourse, Fakenham, NR21 7NY.

    Eastern: Monday 8th June 2009, 10am 1pm at the Newberry Child Development Centre, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, NR31 6SQ.

    Southern: Monday 15th June 2009, 10am 1pm at the Attleborough Community and Enterprise Centre, Church Street, NR17 2AF.

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Wholefood Planet

    Wholefood Planet is now up and running in Norwich selling nutritious and

    natural foods to all. Set up as a social firm, Wholefood Planet aims to

    create employment for disabled or severely disadvantaged people. Much of

    this employment is focused on the packing of dried foods and spices in two

    purpose built rooms. Wholefood Planet bulk buy dried foods such as beans,

    pulses, dried fruits, grains and spices and then package them on site. They

    also sell pickles, honeys, oils and vinegars. Plus if you are thirsty you can

    visit the onsite coffee shop for a hot drink and a slice of cake. So why not

    pop along to: Wholefood Planet located at Units C and D, Yarefield Park,

    Oldhall Road, Norwich, NR4 6FF. The store is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm and has plenty of car parking available.

    Wholefood Planet was created out of a partnership between Norfolk County

    Council and Norwich City College, both of which are seeking innovative

    ways to provide employment for people with learning disabilities in the

    county. It is also looking for individuals with skills in business, finances,

    marketing, HR and legal to join its board of directors and drive the firm

    forward over the next few years. Anybody interested should email

    info@socialfirms.co.uk. For more information about Wholefood Planet visit www.wholefoodplanet.com.

Norfolk Multiple Sclerosis Improvement Project

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    The Norfolk Multiple Sclerosis Improvement Project involving Adult Social Services, Health and the Multiple Sclerosis Society as partners in shaping the future of services for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis across the county has now come to an end. The project made a wide range of

    recommendations that are now being acted on. A full project report

    including the findings of the questionnaire and the recommendations can

    be found at:

    http://www.mssociety.org.uk/downloads/MS_Project_Final_Report.7c

    474be7.pdf

A new service launched by Age Concern Norfolk

    There is a new free service launched by Age Concern Norfolk regarding

    supporting bereaved relatives and carers in practical matters i.e. arranging for a funeral and paying bills, sorting out equipment being returned etc. For more information contact Age Concern at Old Catton on 01603 787111

    and ask for advocacy services.

New Debt Advice Service

DIAL (Disability Information and Advice Line) is a registered charity

    providing a free, confidential and impartial advice and information service to disabled people and carers within the Borough of Great Yarmouth. The

    advice service is provided by volunteers, many of whom have disabilities

    themselves and covers a broad range of areas including benefits,

    voluntary organisations, local welfare, support groups and equipment hire.

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In addition DIAL are now launching a new Money and Debt Advice Service

    for people who require assistance with:

Financial difficulties and monthly budgeting

    Dealing with banks and other financial institutions

    Possible ways to save money

    Planning for the future

All DIAL’s services are free, private and confidential. For more information

    contact: D.I.A.L. Gt Yarmouth, 12a George Street, Great Yarmouth,

    Norfolk, NR30 1HR or telephone 01493 856900. DIAL is open Monday to

    Friday from 10am to 3.30pm. You can also email: info@dial-

    greatyarmouth.org.uk or visit their website at: www.dial-

    greatyarmouth.org.uk

Proud Norwich

    Norwich Pride is a one day Pride festival which will incorporate theatre,

    music, debate, art and entertainment to honour diversity, explore and raise

    awareness of issues affecting the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and

    transsexual people around the world, and bring together a multitude of

    creative experiences for everyone to enjoy. The Norwich Pride day will

    also host a Parade, which will be an explosion of Pride in a celebration of

    diversity. Through this event, Norwich Pride aim to unite people in a

    celebrative atmosphere where all are welcome; individuals, families,

    friends and those who may simply be curious. Overall, Norwich Pride

    hopes to promote understanding and cooperation, as well as education in

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    diversity, a strengthened sense of community and an enriching opportunity for everyone. Norwich Pride will be a day of exciting things happening in venues all over Norwich based around the Forum on the 25th July. For more information simply email: norwichpride@hotmail.co.uk or

    telephone: 0777 2804759

National

    Report: Age Discrimination is institutionalised in social care The Equality and Human Rights Commission has recently completed a report entitled 'From safety net to springboard'. The findings of which suggest that age discrimination is currently institutionalised in social care. For example many disabled people receive help from personal assistants, whereas in many circumstances nationally older people do not. The Commission has also been advised that some local authorities reduce the approved hourly rate of pay for personal assistants for any disabled person who reaches the age of 65. This means that older people face subsidising the support themselves or having to make do with a reduced level of service. The Commission’s evidence also suggests that service inspections place a premium on younger people being supported to participate in work or social activities, yet do not extend equivalent expectations for the over 65s.

    The report also suggests that much provision in the social care sector is based on a paternalistic model, with individuals often at the mercy of local bureaucracies. For example in certain circumstances married couples are

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    unnecessarily separated when one of them has to go into a care home. The report also suggests that more control should rest with those requiring care and support. As a result the report suggests that the social care sector should do away with rigid, bureaucratic systems and underpin their approach with human rights principles, characterised by fairness, dignity, respect and autonomy. If you would like to read the Commission’s report then visit: www.equalityhumanrights.com/careandsupport

Working Better

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have recently released a

    paper entitled Working Better. They argue that although increases in maternity leave have brought welcome support for mothers, fathers have had little increase in their own right for leave to fulfil their parental role. The Commission's ten-year strategy will result in leave being divided more equally between parents. The report also calls for higher levels of maternity and paternity pay to increase uptake, particularly among men, lone parents and lower income groups. It is hoped that there will be a new model of leave that will be introduced incrementally by 2020. In time, that model would provide for fathers:

    ? the first two weeks’ paternity leave at the birth of their child would be

    retained, but at 90 per cent pay.

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? four months of dedicated 'parental leave' which can be taken after the

    mother's six months of maternity leave comes to an end. This right would

    be available until their child's fifth birthday

    ? at least eight weeks of that leave should be supported at 90 per cent

    of pay.

    And for mothers it would mean that:

    ? The first 26 weeks would remain dedicated maternity leave for

    mothers. The number of weeks paid at 90 per cent pay would be increased

    from six to 26 weeks

    ? After six months, mothers would get the same 'parental leave'

    arrangements as fathers.

    The report also concludes that Britain appears on paper to have weaker

    flexible work legislation than other countries as parliament has opted for

    a right to ‘request’ rather than a right to ‘have’ approach. However in

    practice Britain has a wider range of alternative ways of working than

    elsewhere in Europe. These include not just part-time work, but

    compressed hours, term-time working to fit with school holidays and job

    sharing. The Commission however also found that parents' awareness of

    the right to request is low (less than half of parents are aware of the right to

    request flexible working) and there is a growing divide between workplaces

    where flexible working is 'business as usual' and workplaces where

    progress has been limited. For more information check out the ‘Working

    Better’ Report located at:

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http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publicationsandresources/P

    ages/WorkingBetter.aspx

Blue Badge Parking Scheme Overhaul

Proposals to overhaul the blue badge parking scheme for disabled drivers

    were recently put up for consultation. The government will report back in

    the near future. The government wants to make it easier to take action

    against those who have stolen, forged or used the badges fraudulently.

    The government would also like to extend the scheme's "reach" to help

    more people. This could include more parents who have to transport bulky

    medical equipment with their children and people with severe autism,

    aswell as those with temporary mobility difficulties. For more information

    visit:

    http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/closed/bluebadgereformstrategy/

Campaign to Increase Personal Allowance

    Many older people living in care homes are amongst the poorest and most

    vulnerable members of society. The vast majority of these people are 65

    years old or over and most are aged over 85. Under national means-

    testing rules‚ these people part with their only source of income – their pensions to pay towards their care home fees. Normally all they are left

    with is their Personal Expenses Allowance, which is currently set at ?21.15. This money is expected to cover the cost of all personal items not covered

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    by their care package agreed by their local authority, this includes clothes and toiletries.

    A group of national charities including Age Concern have written to the Minister for Care Phil Hope deep concerns about the proposed 75 pence increase in the Personal Expenses Allowance. They argue that this rate of increase will do little for residents who are expected to buy all of their clothes‚ hairdressing‚ toiletries‚ reading matter‚ stationary and gifts out of ?21.15 (?21.90 from April). Even worse‚ all too often older residents have

    to make the money stretch to essential services such as toenail cutting and chiropody. For more information visit:

    http://www.ageconcern.org.uk/pea/

Health

    Feet First

    Looking after your feet is crucial to helping you stay active, healthy and independent. However despite rising demand for foot care services‚ more and more Primary Care Trusts are rationing these services. The result of which affects people’s mobility‚ makes them feel isolated and depressed and increases the risk of falls. Many of those in need of services are forced to choose between ‘going private’, which they often cannot afford,

    or suffering increasing discomfort and decreasing mobility. This therefore disproportionately affects those on low incomes in particular. Further, it is older people who are the main users of foot care services‚ so cuts in

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