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My MS My Needs: Help Make Sense of MS

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Deadline 31st May

My MS My Needs is one of the largest surveys of people affected by MS in the UK. It asks people with MS about their experiences, needs and priorities.

If you are over 18, living in the UK, with a confirmed diagnosis of MS then you can help increase understanding of living with MS. Join the study by completing a series of simple questionnaires and returning regularly to update your experiences. Use the website to keep track of your MS over time.

Complete the survey online here  and join the UK MS register.

You can request a paper copy by emailing mssociety@pureprint.com or by phone to 0300 500 8084

The survey is also available in Welsh, large print, and Easy Read.

And if you would prefer to complete the survey over the phone, you can call them on 0300 500 8084.

MS Family & Friends

Family and friends play a vitally important role helping people with MS to live well.

The MS Society wants to provide the information and services that will help you most and to focus their campaigns on what matters to you.

They want to hear about your experience supporting someone with MS.

If you live in the UK and support a family member, partner, or friend with MS, please go online to complete the MS family & friends survey here

For more information and for help contact MS society supporter care, 0300 500 8084, supportercare@mssociety.org.uk

MS Helpline Freephone 0808 800 8000 (weekdays 9am-9pm) or helpline@mssociety.org.uk

Further advertising restrictions for products high in fat, salt and sugar

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Deadline 10th June

Government’s aim is to gather views on how it can reduce children’s exposure to HFSS advertising, to reduce children’s over consumption of these products.

They want any future advertising restrictions to be focused on HFSS products that are linked to childhood obesity. They also want to encourage brands to make their products healthier.

The consultation document outlines their proposals. The impact assessment considers what the costs to businesses and health benefits would be. Your views are invited on both documents

For more information and to comment, go to the Government website.

Social value in government procurement

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Deadline 10th June

The overarching objective for the government’s commercial activities should be achieving the best commercial outcome – however, it is right that it supports key social outcomes. The public sector must maximise social value effectively and comprehensively through its procurement. It cannot afford not to; a missed opportunity to deliver social value is a cost that has to be absorbed elsewhere in public services.

Social value refers to the wider financial and non-financial impacts of projects and programmes including the wellbeing of individuals and communities, social capital and the environment.

The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 expressly allow contracting authorities to incorporate social and environmental aspects into specifications, award criteria and contract conditions, where these are linked to the subject-matter of the contract, proportionate to what is being procured or provided, and will not result in unequal treatment of bidders. This could include promoting innovation, employment and social inclusion, protection of the environment, energy efficiency, and combating climate change.

Government, in collaboration with other organisations, has designed a social value delivery model for central government buyers drawing on examples of best practice in local government. This team has engaged with commercial specialists, policymakers, suppliers of all sizes and representatives from the VCSE sector.

To find out more about this model, and to comment, go to the Government website

Review of the National Autism Strategy ‘Think Autism’: call for evidence

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Deadline 16th May

In April 2014 the government published Think Autism, a strategy for meeting the needs of autistic adults in England. The strategy supports the Autism Act 2009.

This year the Department of Health and Social Care, working with the Department for Education, will review the strategy and extend it to cover children as well as adults.

To help them do this, they want to hear about people’s experiences of care and support.

This call for evidence is for England only. It will be of particular interest to:

  • autistic people – adults, children and young people
  • their families
  • their carers
  • organisations and professionals that provide care and support to autistic people or work with autistic people

Government results to find out where people think progress has been made and where more needs to be done in the future.

For more information, and to contribute, go to the Government website

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination: extending redundancy protection for women and new parents

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Deadline 5th April

This consultation from The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy seeks views on extending redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents. It also sets out more widely what the department is doing to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination, and explain the current law on redundancy protection.

This is a commitment in the government’s response to the Taylor Review, and had previously been raised by the Women and Equalities Select Committee (WESC).

The consultation recommends extending the current protection afforded under the Maternity and Paternity Leave etc Regulations 1999 (which apply to the period of maternity leave) to cover the period of pregnancy and a period after, an extension of 6 months. It asks how best to achieve that and who would be covered, for example, those taking Shared Parental Leave or Adoption Leave.

To read more, and to take part, go to the Government website

Charity Finance Banking Survey 2019

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Deadline 11th March

The objective of the survey is to uncover the state of play in the charity banking market and to help you benchmark your banking services against those received by other organisations.

In return for your time, they will give you the published research for free and one lucky person will also win a £100 John Lewis gift card.

If you experience any problems completing the survey, please contact the Charity Finance team on 020 7819 1200.

You can take part in the survey here

New covenants to protect nature

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Deadline 22nd March

A consultation on conservation covenants, voluntary agreements to protect nature, has been launched by the government.

The government is seeking views on how best to introduce conservation covenants, fulfilling a commitment made in the 25 Year Environment Plan. They are voluntary but legally-binding agreements which enable landowners to leave a permanent conservation legacy on their land for future generations.

The covenants, already used successfully in other countries, would allow landowners to make a public commitment to take positive actions to preserve and improve treasured features on their land such as trees, woodland or flower-rich meadow. They would be binding on future owners of the land and would be overseen by responsible bodies to ensure land management obligations are delivered.

For more information go to the DEFRA website

Tackling homelessness together 

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Deadline 16th May 

A consultation on structures that support partnership working and accountability in homelessness services. 

The Government are seeking views on: 

  • the effectiveness of existing non-statutory and statutory local accountability and partnership structures in homelessness services 
  • whether the government should introduce Homelessness Reduction Boards and, if so, how this could be done most effectively 
  • how else they might improve local accountability and partnership working in homelessness services 

To read the consultation in full and to respond go to the Government website 

Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers (bottles and cans)

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Deadline 13th May

Government are seeking views on proposals to introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

They want to know what you think about proposals to introduce a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This would include drinks containers such as:

  • glass bottles
  • plastic bottles
  • cans

The cost of the deposit would be added to the price of the drinks included in the scheme when they are purchased. This deposit would be redeemed when consumers return their empty drinks containers to a designated return point.

If introduced, they anticipate that a deposit return scheme will increase recycling and reduce littering of drinks containers included in the scheme.

For more information and to respond go to DEFRA

Environment Secretary proposes tougher labelling laws for allergy sufferers

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Deadline 29th March

The government has launched a consultation to strengthen allergen labelling laws.

Proposals to overhaul allergen labelling laws and give consumers clearer information on the food they buy have been unveiled by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Subject to a consultation launched on 25th January,food outlets selling pre-packaged food directly for sale could be required to follow new rules designed to give the UK’s two million food allergy sufferers greater confidence in the safety of their food.

Under current rules, food prepared on the premise in which it is sold is not required to display allergen information on the package – but the proposed rules could go as far as seeing full ingredients labelling required by law.

You can find more information and take part on the Government website