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New funding for community spaces launching soon

By | Funding Opportunities, National News | No Comments

The Co-op Foundation is working with government to develop a new £1.6 million initiative to help maximise the potential of spaces where people can connect and co-operate.

Announced by government on 17th June to mark the start of Loneliness Awareness Week, the fund – launching soon – will support activity in community spaces to promote social connections.

Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said:

“Shared spaces for people to meet and socialise are vital for tackling loneliness and helping communities work together to address local challenges.

“Our match-funding partnership with government will strengthen communities by maximising the potential of spaces where people can connect and co-operate, making an important contribution to Co-op’s wider community work.”

Subscribe to their blog to find out first when the funding becomes available. You can also follow updates on Twitter or Facebook.

Virgin Money & Mencap announce partnership to bring people together through sport

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Virgin Money and Mencap have announced a year-long partnership to bring people with and without learning disability together through sport.

The charity of the year partnership launched this week during Learning Disability Week (17 – 26 June 2019) and starts with a series of sport and inclusion events.

The partnership includes Mencap being charity of the year for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, while the fundraised income from the partnership will directly fund a new inclusive programme, All Move, in schools across the UK aimed at bringing young people with and without a learning disability together through sport to tackle stigma and discrimination.

The partnership with Virgin Money will also fund Scotland’s largest charity for people with learning disabilities ENABLE Scotland to deliver its own inclusion project, ACE Youth Groups.

For Learning Disability Week 2019, Mencap is hosting a series of inclusive sports events across the country to help improve social inclusion and tackle discrimination against people with a learning disability. The ‘Here We Are’ events will be taking place in 15 different locations across the country with activities ranging from inclusive sports days and yoga, a zumbathon as well as a coastal walk along the  Millennium Coastal Path at Llanelli with Dennis the therapeutic Shetland pony.

You can read the full press release here

Rising levels of poverty in working families

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From the BBC

Poverty among people who are working has risen sharply since the mid-1990s, partly driven by higher housing costs and lower earnings growth, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

The proportion has risen from 13% in 1994-95 to 18% in 2017, meaning that about eight million people living in working households are in relative poverty, according to the IFS research, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

“In the mid-1990s, 37% of those in poverty lived in a working household. That has reached 58%,” said the IFS.

You can read the full article here 

You can read the IFS report Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2019 on their website here

Infant mortality rates rise for third consecutive year, hitting poorest communities hardest

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From the Independent

Infant mortality rates in England and Wales have risen for the third year in a row with families in the poorest communities worst affected, official data shows.

Between 2016 and 2017 the infant mortality rate rose from 3.8 deaths per 1,000 births, to 3.9 per 1,000, data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

This means the infant mortality rate has risen “significantly” since it hit a record low in 2014, and in the most deprived communities it stands as high as 5.2 deaths per 1,000.

Overall 2,636 babies died before their first birthday in 2017, the ONS data shows.

While this is fewer deaths than in 2016, the birth rate has also fallen and that means the proportion of newborns surviving to age one has fallen.

You can read the rest of the article here

You can read the full ONS report online here

Advocacy for children

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This report from the Children’s Commissioner follows previous studies commissioned by her and other recent research into advocacy. This work builds on research by the Children’s Commissioner in 2016, which also explored the provision of advocacy across England and found substantial variation across local authorities, with spend per child or young person ranging from £2 to £668 each year.

The intention of this report is to take stock of advocacy provided by local authorities three years on and to highlight ongoing issues observed by the Children’s Commissioner’s Help at Hand service, which provides advice and help to children in care.

This is not a complete review of advocacy provision in England, but is intended to contribute to ongoing work to promote support for effective advocacy and to ensure that children and young people receive a good service wherever they are. While many people can act as a child’s advocate by helping them to have their voice heard, this report focuses on independent, professional advocacy, to which children and young people are entitled by law and statutory guidance.

For more information, and to download the report, go to the Commissioner’s website

Review finds family ties ‘utterly indispensable’ to rehabilitation of female offenders

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A new report by Lord Michael Farmer on the value of prisoners’ family ties has found that healthy relationships are a ‘must have’ when it comes to preventing women from re-offending.

  • Prisoners who receive family visits are 39% less likely to re-offend, and research suggests that these relationships are even more important for women than they are for men.
  • over half of women in prison have children under the age of 18 and only 5% of children remain in the family home when their mother is sent to prison
  • new technology and greater use of Release on Temporary Licence will be used to maintain relationships
  • women’s prisons to have permanent on-site social workers and greater access to information on key familial relationships

For more information go to the Government website

Postcode lottery of adult eating disorder services putting lives at risk

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A new report by Beat published today (18th June) shows that adults with eating disorders in some parts of England have to wait, on average, more than ten times longer for treatment than in other areas and face a postcode lottery in the likelihood of a referral, which the eating disorder charity Beat warns puts patients’ lives at risk.

According to the report, waiting times at one eating disorder service averaged at five and a half months, while another service had average waiting times of two weeks. Nationally, almost one in five adults have to wait for more than four months to begin treatment, at a time when they may be feeling suicidal or at severe risk of their illness worsening.

For more information go to Beat’s website 

You can read the report as an online pdf here

New measures to support disadvantaged children in schools

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The schools admission code will be changed so that the most vulnerable children, such as those fleeing domestic abuse, can access a school place more quickly, Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced on 17 June.

New analysis lays bare the extent of disadvantage, with every classroom having three children who have come into contact with a social worker and 1.6 million children needing a social worker at some point in the last three years. These children suffer further as they often miss out on education, being three times more likely to be persistently absent from school and four times more likely to be permanently excluded.

For more information go to the Government website

NHS sets out ‘care for young carers’ offer in GP surgeries

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NHS England has outlined a series of practical plans and actions designed to help young carers who may be ‘hidden’, unpaid and under the age of sixteen.

Family doctors across the country can volunteer to offer a new package of services for children and young adults who perform an informal caring role for a family member.

This includes priority appointments for carers, home visits, additional mental health checks, and ‘double appointments’ for the carer and those they provide care for.

For more information go to NHS England

Measures to end unequal mental health treatment kickstarted

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New measures to overhaul urgently mental health laws and end the unequal treatment faced by ethnic minority groups have been set out by Prime Minister Theresa May.

The government will take forward key recommendations from Sir Simon Wessely’s independent review of the Mental Health Act, which found black adults are approximately four times more likely than white adults to be detained under the Act.

The Prime Minister also confirmed that a White Paper will be published by DHSC and MoJ before the end of the year in response to the review. This will set out the steps necessary to provide greater dignity and better care for all those treated under the Mental Health Act, and to tackle inequalities in the mental health care system.

For more information go to the Government website