Do you need professional advice?

Do you need quality, professional advice? Although the drop-in advice sessions at STAG have now stopped, Blackfriars Advice Centre is still providing a service for Travellers in the area and STAG are More »

Driving Theory Test

Passing your driving theory can be tough. If you are a Southwark resident, there is free driving theory test practice available. All you need is to have a library number. Follow the More »

Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month

Should all schools celebrate GRTHM in June? Yes, all schools should. No, but schools which have Traveller, Gypsy and Roma students should. No, no schools should. If you would like to find More »

Applying for Schools in Southwark

For the most accurate up-to-date information on applying to school in Southwark it is best to use Southwark Council’s website or call 0207 525 5337. All school applications have to be done More »

CSCS Cards

What is a CSCS Card? The CSCS Card is used by the construction industry to make sure that all workers have enough Health and Safety knowledge to work on a construction site. More »

Make Money From Your Creative Skills!

Do you make greetings cards, jewellery, prints, badges, headband, soft furnishings or anything else? Would you like to sell it in a shop? Spark is a ‘pop-up’ shop about to open in More »

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Information on Scrap Collectors Licence.. no licence you can be fined up to £5,000 !!!!

 

On the 1st of December 2013 (Sunday) the new Scrap laws comes into place. Every Scrap Collector will need to have a Scrap Collectors Licence, you will have to apply for a licence for every borough that you work in or travel through. Any Scrap collector that is stopped by the authorities and doesn’t have the licence can be fined up to £5,000.There is a lot more things that a collector has to put into place for example you will need to apply for: Basic Disclosure Certificate ( Criminal check) , a Waste Licence, A Scrap Licence, Register at the Scrap yard you use and also keep records of all Scrap that you get including Time, date and items collected.

Please click on the link to view the step to step guide that London Gypsy Traveller unit has sent to us to send out to our residents Step by Step Guide for Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

Southwark Council Guidance for applicants  SCRAP_METAL_DEALERS_ACT_2013_–_GUIDANCE_FOR_APPLICANTS

Southwark council Scrap Application form. SCRAP_METAL_DEALERS_ACT_2013 application

 

Please feel free to contact STAG if you need any support or anymore information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be prepared for bad weather!!!! Important information on FREE salt to grit your path!!!!!!!!

Southwark Council is giving away FREE gritting salt to residents in Southwark.

 

With the temperatures dropping and the frost slowly settling in, residents can seek warmth in the knowledge that Southwark Council is prepared for this winter’s challenges.

Whilst the council’s highways team will be out in full force gritting the borough’s most busiest roads, the council is offering local residents a chance to keep their own pathways and footpaths safe with a free 5kg bag of salt.

Residents are welcome to collect a bag for an elderly neighbour or those unable to salt their own pavement to reduce the risk of ice.(Please ensure if you have an elderly neighbour or someone on your site who is unable to get to the places where the salt is been giving away for free that you bring them with you or collect them a bag to)

Two giveaway sessions are planned for Saturday 30 November and Saturday 7 December 2013 at various locations across the borough including Lordship Lane in Dulwich, Walworth Road and Tower Bridge Road.

 

The new gritters and the salt giveaway forms part of the council’s Winter Service Plan 2013 which sets out how we plan to deal with severe winter conditions.

 

Gritting giveaway schedule

Saturday 30 November

09.00-10.30 – Lordship Lane – loading Bay between Matham Grove and East Dulwich Grove )

11.00-12.30 – Half Moon Lane – parking bay outside no. 21-25 )

13.00-14.30 – Rye Lane – loading Bay opposite Aylesham centre entrance

15.00-16.30 – Daneville Road – parking bay outside Morrison’s car park

Saturday 7 December

09.00-10.30 – Walworth Road – loading Bay outside no. 250

11.00-12.30 – Lower Road- Osprey Estate forecourt

13.00-14.30 – Southwark Park Road – loading bay outside the Co-Operative food

15.00-16.30 – Tower Bridge Road – parking bays outside no.105

For further information see:http://www.southwark.gov.uk/news/article/1481/southwark_prepares_for_winter_chills_with_new_gritting_vehicles_and_salt_giveaway

Update on Benefits Oct 2013

Facts on the Benefit changes.. hope you find it useful!!!!!!!!!!!

Disability benefits

(DLA) will change for some claimants who are aged 16 and over from June 2013 it will be replaced with Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
for new claimants the initial claim for PIP must be made by telephoning the DWP 0800 917 2222, this is to check basic conditions of entitlement i.e. residence, ID, hospital admissions, GP details and bank details. DLA will remain for those under 16. people 65 an dover who are in receipt of DLA before 8th April 2013 will continue to receive it. Those in receipt of DLA who turn 65 after this date will have to claim PIP.

There are two components- Mobility and daily living. Each is paid at two rates: standard and Enhanced. The Mobility component assesses your ability to plan and move around. Daily living assesses your ability to look after yourself, most claimants will have to attend a medical assessment with a health professional.

If a claimant is turned down they have to ask for a revision of decision before they will be allowed to appeal.

Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)

ESA is paid to people unable to work due to ill-health, ESA replaces Incapacity benefit (IB), Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) and Income Support(IS) paid on the grounds of incapacity. ESA is assessed under a test called Work Capability Assessment (WCA).it is more difficult to pass the WCA than the test used for IB,SDA and IS, there is a tougher medical examination and more frequent assessments. From 28th Oct 2013 a claimant who is unhappy with ESA decision will have to ask for a revision before payments are resumed as no appeal can be lodged until the claimant have received the outcome of the revision. claimants may have to consider claiming JSA pending the revision decision.

Appeal rights

There are new appeal rules from 28th Oct 2013, Claimants disputing a decision made by the DWP will have to request a revision before being able to appeal the decision. the request is called a @Mandatory reconsideration@ and must be made within ONE MONTH of the date of the decision.

Benefit Cap

The benefit cap was rolled out to Southwark Recently, the cap limits the amount of money paid to claimants by adding together a number of benefits ad ‘capping’ the total.The benefits that are taken into account are Bereavement allowance,Wido mortehr and Parents allowance, carers allowance,maternity allowance,child benefit,guardian allowance,child tax credit,ESA,housinf benefit,Incapcity benfit,Income support,JSA,and Severe disablement allowance.

The cap limits the total amount of weekly benefit to: £500 for lone parents, couples and families and £350 for single claimants.

you are not affected by the cap if you are in receipt of Working tax credit, ESA, Attendance allowance, DLA,PIP, pension credit.

Social fund

Community care grants and crisis loans was abolished in April 2013.it has been replaced by a local scheme Southwark Emergency Support Scheme, this scheme may not be as generous as the social fund. Assistance is often given in the was of food vouchers, goods and services.

Housing benefit

On Traveller sites there is two types of Housing benefits, one is Ground rent benefit and the second is the mobile home rent.

Please be carful with the changes happening to benefits as any benefits that is stopped affects your housing benefit and that you need to seek professional advice asap.

Discretionary housing payments may be paid to meet any shortfall in rent. These are limited and are discretionary so there is NO RIGHT OF APPEAL against refusal. you can seek advice on applying for Discretionary housing payments, you could also try and negotiate with your landlord for lower rent.

Council Tax

was replaced by Council Tax Reduction scheme, Council tax benefit was abolished in April 2013.Council Tax Reduction is paid by local authority and claims have to be made directly to them rather than through the jobcentre.

Maximum reduction of Council tax is limited to 85% of the Council tax bill so claimants have to pay 15% even if they are receiving income related ESA,IS,JSA.

Pensioners are protected from the changes and can get 100% reduction so they don’t pay anything towards there Council tax>Students and those severely mentally impaired are exempt from paying the council tax which means they don’t pay Council tax.

Hardship payments may be available from the local authority for ‘vulnerable clients’.

Please note: Southwark sent 6000 court letters to residents in Southwark as no council tax was been paid. we have had a few Travellers but not many who has been issued with the court letter, there is a few things that you need to know. Paul Jeffery’s (Traveller Housing officer) did issue all residents on the sites with the CT payment card which can be used to make payments at any pay points in shops etc. Residents will have arrears as the Council Tax bill started in April 2012, clients who has come to us (STAG) we have managed to get the court cancelled and the court fee removed because either the balance that is owed was paid in full and/or a payment plan was agreed by the resident and the Council tax officer. Please don’t ignore letters and things just gets worse and money gets added on.

 

Local agencies that can give you advice, guidance and support :

Blackfriars advice centre 020 7358 7035

Southwark CAB 0844 499 4134

 

 

What is Domestic Abuse – information and useful contact details.

According to Women’s Aid, 1 in 4 women will be victim of Domestic Abuse in their lifetime. 2 women are killed every week by a current or former male partner on average. Every minute an incident of Domestic Abuse is reported to the police. A report by  the Equalities & Human Rights Commission estimates that between 61% and 80% of Gypsy or Traveller women had experienced direct Domestic Abuse.

What is Domestic abuse?

• Physical abuse  (baten)
• Mental abuse (mental torture)
• Emotional abuse (running you down, disrespecting you)

• Partner violence
• Family violence
• Intimidation (threats, including threats to your family)
• Stalking

SIGNS THAT YOU’RE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP

Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings-  

Do you:

• Feel afraid of your partner much of the time?

• Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?

• Feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?

• Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?

• Wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?

• feel emotionally numb or helpless?

Your Partner’s Belittling Behaviour

Does your partner:

• Humiliate or yell at you?

• Criticize you and put you down?

• Treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?

• Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?

• Blame you for their own abusive behaviour?

• see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?

 

Your Partner’s Violent Behaviour or Threats

Does your partner:

• Have a bad and unpredictable temper?

• Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?

Your Partner’s Controlling Behaviour

• Control where you go or what you do?

• Act excessively jealous and possessive?

• Threaten to take your children away or harm them?

• Keep you from seeing your friends or family?

• Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?

• Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?

• Force you to have sex?

• Destroy your belongings?

• Constantly check up on you?

 

If you are answering YES to any of these questions- there are organisations which can help.

Organisation that can give you advice, support & guidance
Women’s Aid Freephone 0808 2000 247
SASS 020 7593 1290 or 0808 802 5565

Gypsies & Travellers in Social Care

As a Traveller I didn’t think that Traveller / Gypsy children get put into care and that families would support each other which I know does happen but after seeing these figures I was very shocked. In 2012 there are 170 Traveller/Gypsy children in a care home.

NUMBERS OF CHILDREN IN CARE BY ETHNICITY
Ethnicity ———————- Numbers in care in 2012
Ethnic Origin White ———– 67,050
White British ———————- 52,050
White Irish ———————— 49,910
Any other White background — 1390
Traveller of Irish Heritage —- 50
Gypsy/Roma ———————- 120

Above figures are taken from the Department for Education. (2012). Children looked
after in England (including adoption and care leavers) year ending 31st March 2012.

Now in Ireland there is a Traveller unit that ensures Traveller children are placed with Traveller foster parents. This means that a child who is taking into care will be placed with a family which understands the Traveller way of life.

In England there are 50 Irish Traveller children in care. It would be great if these children could be placed with Traveller foster carers or be adopted in the same community, as what happens in Ireland. Would you like to be a foster parent? Please contact us or visit Southwark council foster carer page on www.southwark.gov.uk/info/159/fostering/698/how_to_become_a_foster_carer .

To read a report and interviews on Travellers/ Gypsys in Social care please click on link to research by Dan Allen from Edge Hill University. The interviews show how hard it is for Traveller children when they are put in care homes with people looking after them who don’t understand or respect their culture. This could change if there were more Travellers applying to become and being accepted as foster parents.

Xmas in Southwark 2013

1) Through the Peckham Glass

Meet at Peckham Space for a guided tour of the commissions created for the exhibition led by artist-curator Adam Walker. The tour will give an opportunity to put your questions about the work directly to the artists themselves, and discover more about the challenges and opportunities arising from creating work to show outside the usual gallery environment. The tour will last around an hour and will be followed by drinks at The Bun House where the discussion can continue. This is a free event and all are welcome.

Next tour: Saturday 17 December, 2pm. The tour will start at Peckham Space, 89 Peckham High Street, CCA, SE15 5RS

The through the Peckham Glass windows started on 10 December and are there until 6 January. The aim of this activity is to get people to come down and see the art in the windows and do some shopping whilst they are there.

2) SE17 – All Wrapped Up

Creation will staff and provide three ‘wrapping stations’, positioned along the Walworth Road, for Christmas shoppers who have chosen to support the Walworth Road and buy their Christmas presents locally. People can either wrap their presents themselves using the rolls of wrapping paper, tape and labels, provided, or one of Creation Trust’s team of wrappers will wrap your gift for you and really take the hassle out of Christmas. One gift wrapped per customer will be free of charge, all others will be wrapped for £1 donation to Mayor’s charities. Wrapping stations will be at Cooltan Arts, M&S and TD Sports.

3) Walworth Road Bags for life

Over the December shopping period, independent local shops along the Walworth Road will be giving their local customers a little extra Christmas present. Anyone spending over £20 in one of the participating businesses will get a beautifully designed bag, featuring a vintage themed picture. Incorporated in the design are the words ‘I shopped Walworth’. While stocks last.

4) Shop Showtime SE17 – Local Acts in Local Shops

Over the course of 17th, a local poet, a local rapper and musician, a local comedian and a local magician will perform along the Walworth Road, in shops and outside on the pavement, in impromptu concerts.

The initiative is designed to provide shoppers with a little light relief as they buy their Christmas presents and to make Walworth Road a more pleasant place to shop, while at the same time showcasing some of the fantastic local talent.

Performing in Showtime SE17 are:
•Natty Bo – musician and dancer, and Walworth resident from the amazing SKA and reggae bands Ska Cubano, and the Top Cats
•Nigel of Bermondsey – singer songwriter of London verses
•Viv The Spiv – Walkabout comedy act, the 1940’s wheeler and dealer
•Adam Keisner – Close up magician

5) Christmas fun at Cooltan Arts, including making Christmas Bunting, enjoying a Christmas themed wine tasting and workshops in how to create herbal gifts

6) Nunhead and Peckham bags

These are while stocks last and they are free.

Christmas Markets

Saturday 17 December – East Street Market

Meet Santa and get a present, do some Christmas shopping and enjoy plenty of festive family activities including face painting and bouncy castle.

From 11am to 3pm. Santa will be visiting between 12noon and 1pm.

Saturday 17 December – North Cross Road Market

For great gifts and stocking fillers come along to North Cross Road’s Christmas markets for handcrafted and vintage clothes and jewellery; delicious meats and cheeses, and unique art. Plus meet Santa in his grotto from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

Saturday 17 December -The Blue Market

Location: The Blue, Southwark Park Road, SE16

Come along to our special Christmas market, join in the festive fun and activities for all the family and pick up some great gifts for your loved ones.

Saturday 17 December – Camberwell Green Market

Don’t miss Camberwell Green’s Christmas and craft market with hand crafted gifts, food and stocking fillers including Christmas toys, food, clothes and jewellery.

Saturday 24 December – East Street Market

Christmas themed market.

(Above information is from Southwarks website)

New Traveller Youth Project 2013/2014

STAG has been successful in a bid for funding from Southwark’s Youth community Restoration Fund.

we will be running a programme of youth activities and trips for Traveller young people who are aged from 13-19 yrs old. All planning will be done by young people with the guidance of the youth worker and STAG team. All participants will create a personal development plan.

The youth worker is a student from Goldsmith college.

we are hoping to use this funding as a way of rewarding and incentivising engagement with school and /or creating positive future plans for young Travellers.

Please note: More information, dates and plans will be updated as soon as there finalised.

Firework Displays

When: Tuesday 5th November 2013

Where: Southwark Park

Display: 19:00

Nearest Tube: Canada Water

Admission: Free

When: Tuesday 5th November 2013

Where: Crystal Palace Park

Display: Children’s display 19:00, main display 20:30

Admission: £6.00 for adults, £4.00 for kids aged 3 – 10. Kids under 3 go free.