When prejudice commands, reason is silent.”

“My disability is that I cannot use my legs. My handicap is your negative perception of that disability, and thus of me.”

Eradicating FGM: Don't cut your daughters' bodies

Diversity Living Services (DLS) is running monthly participatory forums with Enfield refugee and migrant women and girls and campaigners to discuss and explore the issues of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

This project aims to:

· -Increase knowledge and awareness of the risks and negative impacts FGM on women and girls

· -Agree and adopt strategic actions and approaches from the community about ways to fight against FGM

The forums will cover a range of FGM related topics including health, access to services and the law in relation to FGM, safeguarding Children, etc.

Women and girls suffering from FGM or at risk of FGM will have access to face-to-face advice sessions including referral to appropriate treatment and counselling services.

If you are worried about someone who is at risk of FGM or has had FGM, join our workshops or call us on 02088036161 for confidential advice.

When and how to attend:

The January 2017 forum will take place on 09/01/2017 from 11 am to 1pm. Then from February 2017, the forums will take place on every first Monday of each month from 11 am-1pm.

If you plan to attend the worships, please book your place by calling 02088036161 or email eradicatefgm@diversityliving.org

Venue:

Edmonton Shopping centre

First Floor

54-56 The Market Square

Edmonton Green

London N9 0TZ

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Advice E-Newsletter , August 2011

Employment

Guidance on employing refugees and asylum seekers

The Refugee Council welcomes the publication of crucial new guidance on employing refugees and asylum seekers by the UK Border Agency. The booklet, Guidance for employers on illegal working: refugees and asylum seekers, gives employers clear information on the documentation checks they need to carry out when recruiting refugees and asylum seekers, and also includes details of the employment rights of refugees, the bespoke documentation they are issued with in place of a national passport, and how refugees differ from other foreign nationals in the UK.

Immigration and Asylum:

New multilingual telephone advice service begins
From Monday 20 June 2011, the Refugee Council will start operating the free and confidential Own-Language Telephone Advice Service (OLTAS). We will no longer provide a ‘drop in’ service and our current telephone advice will be transferred to OLTAS. This service is already successfully operating in our Birmingham office
Limited leave creates barriers for those wanting to rebuild their lives
Refugee Council publishes briefing on applying for indefinite leave

Finance

Social Fund
1. The Social Fund (SF) is a scheme to help people with needs which are difficult to meet from regular income. It is made up of two distinct parts:
  • a regulated scheme which provides entitlement to maternity, funeral, cold weather and winter fuel payments for people who satisfy certain qualifying conditions
  • a discretionary scheme under which people may be eligible in certain circumstances for a:
  • Community Care Grant (CCG) - to meet, or help to meet, a need for community care
  • Budgeting Loan (BL) - to meet, or help to meet, an intermittent expense
  • Crisis Loan (CL) - to meet, or help to meet, an immediate short term need
2. This guide deals with discretionary payments only.

Benefits

Incapacity Benefit

Incapacity Benefit (IB) is the main benefit paid to people who cannot work as a result of a health condition or disability

Budget 2011 - benefits and tax credits

The Chancellor confirmed that Child Tax Credit is to increase by £255 for low income families. Also, find out about the changes to benefit and tax credits that will come into force from the beginning of April announced in the June 2010 Budget.

Important changes to Housing Benefit

There are important changes to Local Housing Allowance from April 2011. These changes will affect people getting Housing Benefit, who pay rent to a private landlord.

Impact of changes to Local Housing Allowance from 2011


Budget June 2010 - benefits and tax credits
The Budget announced changes to payments and the way you claim Child Benefit, Child and Working Tax Credit, Disability Living Allowance and Housing Benefit. Child Benefit is frozen for three years. If you're a lone parent you're encouraged to return to work once your children are in school.

Changes affecting Housing Benefit, Local Housing Allowance, and Council Tax Benefit

The government has changed some of the rules which apply to Housing Benefit (including Local Housing Allowance) and Council Tax Benefit. More details are listed below. Most of the changes take effect from April 2011, although some people who already get benefit may not be affected straight away. Some of the changes limit or reduce the amount of benefit that the council can pay. If you get Housing Benefit, or are thinking of applying for it, or moving home, you need to consider these changes to LHA before you renew or make a new tenancy agreement with a private landlord.
In addition, the government has also announced proposals for major changes to the welfare benefits system in later years. These will affect most other benefits and allowances as well as those mentioned above.

Benefits: Welfare Reform Bill 2011

On 16 February 2011 the Welfare Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament. The Bill legislates for the biggest change to the welfare system for over 60 years. It introduces a wide range of reforms that will deliver the commitment made in the Coalition Agreement and the Queen’s Speech to make the benefits and tax credits systems fairer and simpler by:
• creating the right incentives to get more people into work by ensuring work always pays
• protecting the most vulnerable in our society
• delivering fairness to those claiming benefit and to the taxpay


Advice Guides:

Working with Black and Minority Ethnic Communities: A guide for Stop Smoking Service managers
Information for Black and minority ethnic voluntary and community organisations
Asian Women, Domestic Violence and Mental Health A Toolkit for Health Professionals

Advice E-Newsletter , June 2011

Poverty  and social exclusion:
Information about poverty in UK
The Department for Work and Pensions has published the latest set of information about poverty in UK, Households Below Average Income: An analysis of the income distribution 1994/95 - 2008/09. The figures show that there are currently 3.9 million children in the UK growing up in poverty, a fall of 100,000 in the past year and 600,000 over the last decade.
Poverty pathways: ethnic minority women's livelihoods
Ethnic minority women are amongst the poorest and most socially excluded people in the UK. Yet very little is known about their lives, or how to lift them out of poverty. Mainstream approaches simply do not see these women or their needs.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation Publishes Report on Poverty and Social Exclusion
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the New Policy Institute recently published their thirteenth annual ‘Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion’ report on poverty and social exclusion in the United Kingdom.  Follow this link for further information and downloads: 
‘Children in Care Councils’ Report
London Councils Publishes Research on 'Children in Care Councils' London Councils has recently published the report of research they had commissioned into ‘Children in Care Councils’, which provide opportunities for children in the care of a local authority to discuss and comment on care services.  Follow this link for further information and downloads:
Grants
Asylum and Immigration:
Refugee Council report on understanding why asylum seekers come to the UK
Refugee Council has commissioned a research investigating the decisions made by asylum seekers who come to the UK and examines the extent to which these decisions are a reflection of chance or choice. The research was undertaken by Professor Heaven Crawley, Director of the Centre for Migration Policy Research at the University of Swansea. To see the report go to: http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/policy/position/2010/18jan2010
Finding a place to live – your council and housing association options
Important changes to Housing Benefit
There are important changes to Local Housing Allowance from April 2011. These changes will affect people getting Housing Benefit, who pay rent to a private landlord.
Apply for a council home
If you’re looking for a place to live, a council property could be the answer – although you’ll probably have to wait for one. Find out who is eligible for council housing, how to apply, how councils decide who gets housing and where to get housing advice.
Changes to Income Support for lone parents
Your entitlement to Income Support may stop when your child reaches a certain age, if you are only claiming it because you are a lone parent. However you may be entitled to other benefits and support.
Benefits if you are ill or disabled – changes you need to know about
Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Income Support paid because of illness or disability are being phased out. If you get one of these benefits your claim will be reviewed to see if you’re capable of work or can get other benefits. Find out how your claim will be reviewed.
Lawyers urge for support for destitute asylum seekers
Applications for a judicial review have been made to The High Court, urging them to bring forward a decision on providing support for asylum seekers who are destitute. This action was taken by lawyers as asylum seekers have to travel to Liverpool to give fresh evidence on their claims. Since October last year, failed asylum seekers who want to submit fresh evidence to a claim made before 5 March 2007 must travel to Liverpool in person. They were previously able to provide their evidence by post. The High Court is said to be looking into whether the procedure is legal before a carrying out a judicial review of whether destitute people who want to make fresh claims should be given section 4 support, which gives failed asylum seekers accommodation and a small amount of financial help. The judicial review on whether the system is legal has been planned for October 2010.
Asylum seekers survive on as little as £10 a week
As asylum seekers can't work or claim benefits and some have nowhere to live, their only means of survival is one £10 food voucher a week. Four failed asylum seekers tell their desperate stories.
Consumer rights
Parenting:
Parenting UK
Parenting UK is a national membership body for the parenting workforce, promoting parenting support, keeping you informed, sharing best practice and representing your views
What is the Criminal Records Bureau
The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) helps employers in England and Wales make safer recruitment decisions. A number of roles, especially those involving children or vulnerable adults, are entitled to a criminal record check. Our aim is to help protect children and vulnerable adults by providing a first-class service to support organisations recruiting people into positions of trust.
Advice Guides:
Guide to BME cancer resources January 2011
Caring for Black and Minority Ethnic Children and Young People
A Guide for Foster Carers
Information for Black and minority ethnic voluntary and community organisations
Guide to financial support for disabled people
There is a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions. This is a general overview with links to detailed information
Childcare for a disabled child
When it comes to childcare for a disabled child, a lot of the considerations are the same as for any other child. There are a few extra things to think about, such as specialist training or a child's medical needs. Find out about different types of childcare
About Legal Aid
Legal aid information leaflets
A Step-by-Step Guide to Legal Aid

Advice E-Newsletter , February 2011

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for people who have a limited capability for work because of a health condition or disability. ESA was introduced in October 2008 and replaces Incapacity Benefit and Income Support paid on incapacity grounds for new customers.
Guide to financial support for disabled people
There is a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions. This is a general overview with links to detailed information
Housing:
Finding a place to live – your council and housing association options
Apply for a council home
If you’re looking for a place to live, a council property could be the answer – although you’ll probably have to wait for one. Find out who is eligible for council housing, how to apply, how councils decide who gets housing and where to get housing advice.
Benefits:
Changes to Income Support for lone parents
Your entitlement to Income Support may stop when your child reaches a certain age, if you are only claiming it because you are a lone parent. However you may be entitled to other benefits and support.
Benefits if you are ill or disabled – changes you need to know about
Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Income Support paid because of illness or disability are being phased out. If you get one of these benefits your claim will be reviewed to see if you’re capable of work or can get other benefits. Find out how your claim will be reviewed.
Childcare for a disabled child
When it comes to childcare for a disabled child, a lot of the considerations are the same as for any other child. There are a few extra things to think about, such as specialist training or a child's medical needs. Find out about different types of childcare
Immigration and Asylum
How do I apply for naturalisation as a British citizen?
To apply for naturalisation, you should use application form AN. Before you apply, you should ensure that you have read the section on eligibility. You must be aged 18 or over to apply for naturalisation. http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/applying/applicationtypes/naturalisation/
What is the habitual residence test?
Health:
Exploring the Attitudes and Behaviours of Bangladeshi, Indian and Jamaican Young People in Relation to Reproductive and Sexual Health
ETHNICITY AND HEALTH
Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups generally have worse health than the overall population, although some BME groups fare much worse than others, and patterns vary from one health condition to the next. Evidence suggests that the poorer socio-economic position of BME groups is the main factor driving ethnic health inequalities. Several policies have aimed to tackle health inequalities in recent years, although to date, ethnicity has not been a consistent focus. This POSTnote reviews the evidence on ethnic health inequalities, the causes and policy options.
Improving mental health support for refugee communities – an advocacy approach
The Refugee and asylum-seeker mental health advocacy project was developed to build a better understanding of the mental health concerns of refugees and asylum-seekers in England and to use these data to improve their ability to find pathways to appropriate mental health support. The core approach was to work with advocates from refugee community organisations to develop a robust form of mental health advocacy. This form of advocacy includes not only focused support for individuals, but also advocacy for the community as a whole. In the community function the aim was to create a dialogue with the community on issues of mental health (including stigma) and to engage with primary care trusts and other provider agencies to develop community-focused services
A civilised society Mental health provision for refugees and asylum-seekers in England and Wales
Inside Outside: Improving Mental Health Services for Black and Minority Ethnic Communities in England
This document sets out proposals for reforming the service experience and service outcome of people from black and minority ethnic groups who experience mental ill health and who come into contact with mental health services, as users or carers. The plans set out in this document also aim to improve the overall mental health of people from black and minority ethnic groups living in England. The main focus for change is the pervasive ethnic inequality that currently exists within mental health services. The central objective of this initiative is to reduce and eventually eradicate such disparities and, by doing so, make mental health services appropriate for and relevant to a multicultural society.
http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@en/documents/digitalasset/dh_4019452.pdf

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for people who have a limited capability for work because of a health condition or disability. ESA was introduced in October 2008 and replaces Incapacity Benefit and Income Support paid on incapacity grounds for new customers.

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/international/benefits/employment-and-support/

Guide to financial support for disabled people

There is a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions. This is a general overview with links to detailed information

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/FinancialSupport/Introductiontofinancialsupport/DG_10020535

Housing:

Finding a place to live – your council and housing association options

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/Councilandhousingassociationhomes/Findingsomewhere/DG_188604

Apply for a council home

If you’re looking for a place to live, a council property could be the answer – although you’ll probably have to wait for one. Find out who is eligible for council housing, how to apply, how councils decide who gets housing and where to get housing advice.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/Councilandhousingassociationhomes/Councilhousing/DG_188701

Benefits:

Changes to Income Support for lone parents

Your entitlement to Income Support may stop when your child reaches a certain age, if you are only claiming it because you are a lone parent. However you may be entitled to other benefits and support.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/On_a_low_income/DG_175842

Benefits if you are ill or disabled – changes you need to know about

Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Income Support paid because of illness or disability are being phased out. If you get one of these benefits your claim will be reviewed to see if you’re capable of work or can get other benefits. Find out how your claim will be reviewed.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Illorinjured/DG_188859

Childcare for a disabled child

When it comes to childcare for a disabled child, a lot of the considerations are the same as for any other child. There are a few extra things to think about, such as specialist training or a child's medical needs. Find out about different types of childcare

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/CaringForSomeone/CaringForADisabledChild/DG_10027203

Immigration and Asylum

How do I apply for naturalisation as a British citizen?

To apply for naturalisation, you should use application form AN. Before you apply, you should ensure that you have read the section on eligibility. You must be aged 18 or over to apply for naturalisation. http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/applying/applicationtypes/naturalisation/

What is the habitual residence test?

http://www.housing-rights.info/habitual-residence-test.html

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/pc10s-guide-to-pension-credit/people-who-have-come-to-great-britain/#habitual

Health:

Exploring the Attitudes and Behaviours of Bangladeshi, Indian and Jamaican Young People in Relation to Reproductive and Sexual Health

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/b/briefing%205.pdf

ETHNICITY AND HEALTH

Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups generally have worse health than the overall population, although some BME groups fare much worse than others, and patterns vary from one health condition to the next. Evidence suggests that the poorer socio-economic position of BME groups is the main factor driving ethnic health inequalities. Several policies have aimed to tackle health inequalities in recent years, although to date, ethnicity has not been a consistent focus. This POSTnote reviews the evidence on ethnic health inequalities, the causes and policy options.

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/post/postpn276.pdf

Improving mental health support for refugee communities – an advocacy approach

The Refugee and asylum-seeker mental health advocacy project was developed to build a better understanding of the mental health concerns of refugees and asylum-seekers in England and to use these data to improve their ability to find pathways to appropriate mental health support. The core approach was to work with advocates from refugee community organisations to develop a robust form of mental health advocacy. This form of advocacy includes not only focused support for individuals, but also advocacy for the community as a whole. In the community function the aim was to create a dialogue with the community on issues of mental health (including stigma) and to engage with primary care trusts and other provider agencies to develop community-focused services

http://www.mind.org.uk/assets/0000/5696/Refugee_Report_1.pdf

A civilised society Mental health provision for refugees and asylum-seekers in England and Wales

http://www.mind.org.uk/assets/0000/5695/refugee_report_2.pdf

Inside Outside: Improving Mental Health Services for Black and Minority Ethnic Communities in England

This document sets out proposals for reforming the service experience and service outcome of people from black and minority ethnic groups who experience mental ill health and who come into contact with mental health services, as users or carers. The plans set out in this document also aim to improve the overall mental health of people from black and minority ethnic groups living in England. The main focus for change is the pervasive ethnic inequality that currently exists within mental health services. The central objective of this initiative is to reduce and eventually eradicate such disparities and, by doing so, make mental health services appropriate for and relevant to a multicultural society.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@en/documents/digitalasset/dh_4019452.pdf

Monday, 17 October 2011

Advice Newsletter July 2011: Health and Advice Links

Diabetes:

Diabetes is a long-term condition caused by too much glucose, a type of sugar, in the blood. It is also known as diabetes mellitus.
There are two main types of diabetes, which are explained below:
In the UK, diabetes affects approximately 2.8 million people. More than one million people are thought to have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes/pages/diabetes.aspx
The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis that is found only in men. About the size of a walnut, it is located between the penis and the bladder. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis.
The main function of the prostate is to help in the production of semen. The prostate produces a thick white fluid that is then liquefied by a special protein known as prostate-specific antigen (PSA). The fluid is mixed with sperm, produced by the testicles, to create semen.
The prostate may get bigger as men get older. This causes no problems for two out of three men over 50. But if the prostate gets bigger it can press on the urethra and cause urinary symptoms. This is called benign prostate disease or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It usually affects men over 50 but is not cancer, and is treatable.
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer-of-the-prostate/pages/introduction.aspx

Stroke:
A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.
Like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain damage and possibly death.
Strokes are a medical emergency and prompt treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Stroke/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Benefits, care and debt advice links


ableize disability directory
Covers all aspects of disability from arts, education, sports and support and contains the largest UK disabled groups and clubs section on the Internet with listings for all UK counties.

action for blind people
Has fact sheets, briefings and other information on medical conditions, welfare benefits, housing and employment aimed at blind and partially sighted people.

advice northern ireland
(formerly association of independent advice centres) Northern Irish site with information regarding social welfare and legal matters.

adviceguide
Detailed advice database on a number of subjects including benefits. Also has information on how to contact a local Citizens Advice Bureau. 

advicenow
Information on the law and your rights from a wide range of advice and information services. A project of Advice Services Alliance.

adviceuk
Support network for free, independent advice centres. Formerly Federation of Independent Advice Centres (FIAC).

advice services alliance
Gives an overview of the whole range of alternative dispute resolution options. Aimed at legal advisers, advice agencies, solicitors, judges, and also to the general public.

benefitsandwork.co.uk
Has guides on benefits, law and work issues but you have to pay a subscription to get hold of most of them. Also offers training.

child poverty action group
Provides information on CPAG campaigns, publications and training. Has an ESA resource which includes the employment and support allowance (esa) operational guide for local authorities interim process (october2008).

citizens advice
Home site for National Association of Citizen's Advice Bureaux. You can access adviceguide from this site.

counsel + care
Offers information and support on community care issues for older people, their families and carers through an Advice Line, responses to emails and letters as well as factsheets and guides.

counselling directory
From this site you can find a counsellor or psychotherapist dealing with Debt Management.

debt advice foundation
Debt Advice Foundation is a registered national debt advice charity offering free, impartial support and advice to anyone worried about debt.

disabilities forum
Gives advice, assistance and representation  in matters concerning Housing, Benefits, Employment, Education, Training, Equipment Grants, Travel and Leisure.

directgov
Provides wide ranging information on benefits and services. Has sections on:

disability law service (dls)
DLS provides advice and information on these six areas of law - Disability Discrimination, Consumer, Community Care, Further and Higher Education, Employment and Welfare Benefits (Greater London Area only).

elderly accommodation counsel
A national charity that aims to help older people make informed choices about meeting their housing and care needs.

ferret
Sells numerous computerised benefits advice systems. Also has an online benefits calculation service.

firststop
An independent, free service providing information and advice about care and housing for older people and their carers.

homeless uk  
Has an excellent "services" search facility which enables you to search, by area, for agencies providing benefits and debt advice (be sure and type benefits in the "text" box).

lasa
The home site of Lasa offering details of the services they provide across the UK.  These include welfare benefits resources, technology advice and training, and policy work.

lisson grove
Primarily sells benefits calculation programs but also has basic online information.

mobility advice line
Provides help to disabled people, their families, carers and friends. This can be advice,signposting or just simply someone to chat to. Whatever the question is, Mobility Advice Line will try and help you or find someone who can.

money advice health checker
Online financial health checker has been launched to help people make the most of their money. Offering straightforward money advice, it takes just five to ten minutes to complete, doesn’t involve any paperwork and your answers are confidential.

mulkulti
Provides translated information in the following areas of welfare law - debt, employment, health, housing, immigration and welfare benefits. Part of lasa.

the national careline
A not for profit company offering information about care and support for older people, their carers and their families.

national debtline
Helpline which provides free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems.

newcastle welfare rights service
Has benefit and debt information and news. You can also sign up for a 'benefit bulletin' email on important benefit issues and news.

payplan
Provides free debt advice, debt management plans and Individual Voluntary Arrangements.

quickcalc
Online calculation tools for tax credits, income support, jobseeker's allowance, housing benefit, council tax benefit and tax. There is a subscription fee but you can use their 30 day trial for free.

rightsnet
Provides access to all for information, discussion forums, news and law updates in relation to all aspects of benefits. Part of lasa.

turn2us
Turn2us exists to help people access the funds they need that are available to them – through benefits, grants and other financial help

Advice Newsletter April 2011: advice and legal services

 Housing advice helpline

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/how_we_can_help/housing_advice_helpline

Find a Mediation Service

http://www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk/find-service.php

Acas Helpline

Call our Helpline for FREE support and advice

Whether you are an employer, employee or representative, you can call the national Acas helpline for free and impartial advice. Simply get in touch and we'll provide you with clear and confidential guidance about any kind of dispute or query that you have about relationship issues within the workplace. You may want to know about employment rights and rules, best practice or you may need advice about a dispute. Whatever it is, just give us a call, our team are on hand to respond within the hours below.

Helpline numbers

Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm: 08457 47 47 47
Advice:
Helping you get through life
Whether you're concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines can offer expert advice.

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/Helplines.aspx


Your rights at work

If you have a long-term health condition, it’s usually a good idea to tell your employer. You're not alone. One-in-six people of working age has a long-term condition or disability. Continuing to work will help your confidence and is an important way of keeping life going as normally as possible.

Jobs and Skills search




Discipline and grievances at work

This guide provides good practice advice for dealing with discipline and grievances in the workplace. It complements the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Extracts from the Code of Practice are reproduced in shaded boxes accompanied by further practical advice and guidance. and grivances at work

Adult learning and skills

If you need advice, please try the following:

Community Legal Advice (formerly Community Legal Service Direct) is the website of the Community Legal Service in England and Wales. It contains a directory of solicitors firms and advice organisations holding the CLS Quality Mark, including those providing specialist help under the legal aid scheme to people who qualify financially for such help.

Advicenow is run by ASA and provides information on the law in England and Wales. Advicenow also contains the Community Legal Advice directory of solicitors firms and advice organisations.

ADRnow provides independent information about alternative dispute resolution in the UK, including mediation and ombudsman schemes.

Most of our have websites containing directories of their own member organisations.

Solicitors Online is the Law Society's directory of solicitors firms in England and Wales.

The Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission website contains a directory of solicitors firms in Northern Ireland.

The Law Society of Scotland website contains a directory of solicitors firms in Scotland

Links

This page contains details of other organisations concerned with the provision of advice and legal services.
Government

Civil Justice Council

Community Legal Advice

Constitutional Affairs Committee

Court Service

Ministry of Justice

Directgov (the gateway to government and public services)

Legal Services Commission

Northern Ireland Court Service

Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission

Scottish Court Service

Scottish Legal Aid Board

back to top

Legal Profession

Bar Council (England & Wales)

Bar Council of Northern Ireland

Faculty of Advocates (Scottish Bar)

Institute of Legal Executives

Law Society (England & Wales)

Law Society of Northern Ireland

Law Society of Scotland

ProBonoUK
 
Management and Development

Charities Aid Foundation

Directory of Social Change

Inclusive Quality Project

National Council for Voluntary Organisations

National Occupational Standards for Legal Advice

Quality Development Initiative

Practitioners' groups

Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Employment Lawyers Association

Housing Law Practitioners' Association

Immigration Law Practitioners' Association

Institute of Advisers

Legal Aid Practitioners Group

Money Advice Association

Solicitors Family Law Association

UK Environmental Law Association

Regulation of Legal Services (see also Legal Profession)

Legal Services Ombudsman (England and Wales)

Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman
 
Research

Cardiff Law School

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Legal Services Research Centre

University College London - Faculty of Laws

Other Useful Links


Adfam
Charity helping families deal with drug and alcohol addiction
020 7553 7640

ADRnow
Charity advising on Alternative Dispute Resolution as an alternative to the courts X
020 7398 1470 – (Advice Services Alliance)

Advice UK
Charity with over 1000 members offering a range of advice services
020 7407 4070

Age Concern
Charity providing information and support for older people
0800 00 99 66

Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies
An independent association promoting standards in the industry of civil enforcement
01924 350 090

British Bankers Association
Organisation promoting the voice of the banking industry in the UK
020 7216 8800

British & Irish Ombudsman Association (BIOA)
Organisation listing complaint-handling bodies that help complainants
020 8894 9272

Building Societies Association
The trade association of building societies in the UK
020 7437 0655

Business Debtline
Charity providing debt advice specifically for UK businesses
0800 197 6026

Call Credit
UK credit reference agency
0870 060 1414

Childline
Confidential advice and support for children – a service run by the charity NSPCC
0800 1111

Child Support Agency (CSA)
Government organisations responsible for collecting and distributing child maintenance payments
0845 7133 133

Child Trust Fund (CTF)
Savings and investment account for children funded by the Government
0845 302 1470

Community Legal Advice
Legal advice and information about legal aid run by the Government’s Legal Services Commission
0845 3454 345

Consumer Credit Association’s Website
Organisation that represents businesses within the home credit industry
01244 312 044

Consumer Credit Trade Association
Organisation that represents business throughout the consumer credit industry
0845 257 1166

Consumer Council for Water
Organisation supporting water and sewerage consumers in England and Wales
0845 039 2837

Consumer Direct
Government run service providing consumer advice and information on consumer rights
0845 404 0506

Consumer Focus
Statutory organisation campaigning for a fair deal for English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish consumers
020 7799 7900

Council of Mortgage Lenders
Organisation working with the mortgage industry and government to work on policy from arrears and possessions to valuation issues
0845 373 6771

Credit Services Association
Organisation representing those companies responsible for collecting unpaid credit
0191 286 5656

Cruse Bereavement Care
Charity promoting the well-being of bereaved people
0844 477 9400

DAAS online
Online money advice resource

Debtology Org UK
Free debt advice mobile application

Dial UK
Charity with a network of over 120 local disability information and advice services
01302 310 123

Directgov
Government website giving access to information about public services
0800 88 22 00

Energy Ombudsman
Service helping resolve disagreements between energy companies and domestic and small business customers
0845 055 0760

Enforcement Services Association
Organisation that promotes ethical and professional standards for bailiffs
0117 907 4771

Equality & Human Rights Commission
Works to remove discrimination and protect human rights in the UK
0845 604 6610

Equifax
UK credit reference agency
0870 010 0583

Experian
UK credit reference agency
0870 241 6212

Financial Ombudsman
Service helping resolve disagreements between financial service providers and consumers
0845 080 1800

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
UK’s statutory fund of last resort protecting customers financially against the inability of authorised financial firms to pay claims against them
020 7892 7300

Gamblers Anonymous
Charity offering support, advice and meetings for compulsive gamblers
020 7384 3040

Gamcare
Charity providing support, information and advice for those with a gambling problem
0845 600 0133

Gingerbread
Charity supporting single parent families in partnership with The National Council for One Parent Families
0800 018 5026

Help the Aged
International charity aiming to free older people from poverty, isolation and neglect
0808 800 6565

Jobcentre Plus
Government department providing the unemployed with job hunting and benefits advice
0845 606 2626

HM Revenue & Customs
Advice on Tax, Tax Credits, Child Benefit
0845 302 1444 – Child Benefit
0845 300 3900 – Tax Credits

Law Society
Organisation representing solicitors in England and Wales
020 7242 1222

Local Government Ombudsman
Service helping resolve complaints about councils and some other authorities
0845 602 1983

Mind
Charity working to end discrimination against mental illness whilst supporting sufferers
0845 766 0163

Money Claim
HM Court Services offering small claims service online
0845 601 5935

Money Made Clear
Information and guides about financial products for consumers from the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
0300 500 5000

My Money Steps
An excellent online debt advice service run by National Debtline

Ofcom
Regulator for the UK communications industry including television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communication services
0845 456 3000

Ofwat
Ombudsman service for solving disputes between water companies and customers
0121 625 1300

Otelo
Ombudsman service helping resolve disputes between public communication providers and customers
0845 050 1614

Office of Fair Trading
Organisation responsible for promoting and protecting consumer interests
0845 722 4499

Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Carries out investigations into unfair, improper action or poor service UK Government and the NHS
0845 015 4033

Pension Service
Government department for work and pensions
0845 915 1515

Refuge
Charity supporting victims of domestic violence in partnership with Women’s Aid and Refuge
0808 2000 247

Relate
Charity offering relationship counselling and relationship advice
0845 130 4016

Rights of Women
Charity aiming to empower women on their legal rights
020 7251 6577

Samaritans
Charity providing non-judgmental emotional support 24 hours a day
0845 790 9090

SANE
Charity aiming to meet the challenges caused by mental illness
0845 767 8000

Shelter
Charity providing help and support for those with housing needs, including the homeless
0808 800 4444

TaxAid
Charity providing a wealth of information on all Tax related issues
0845 120 3779

Tenant Services Authority
Government regulator for the provision of affordable housing
0845 230 7000

Which?
Consumer focussed organisation offering advice, testing and reviews on consumer products
01992 822 800


Our Vision and Services

Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health.

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.

Our Services

· Provide information, advice, advocacy

· Represent diversity communities in Health Care services, policies and strategies

· Organise training in health and social care in collaboration with local colleges

· Provide human resources ( including interpreters) who are suitable to the diversity communities especially to break language and cultural barriers

· Provides domiciliary care and support

· Provide services such specialised support for people with mental health needs, including people who suffer from short-term memory problems, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

· Provide visits to elderly people and help them with outings and home services

· Participate in local authority and NHS consultations , research events and programmes to voice the needs of diversity communities.

· Increase access to services and rights for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable of our society

· Help and support unemployed people to look for work, including training and job preparation

· Provide legal advice in a range of issues from on Immigration and Asylum , welfare benefits, housing, health, education, community care, and training, employment, etc.

· Provide advice and guidance, information and practical help so that our service users can access opportunities they are entitled to

· Organise training and other community learning opportunities that provide new skills, increase confidence and motivation

· Support our service users to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training

· Provide support for young people with their education, training, confidence building, employment and social needs.

Objectives of our Diversity Living Programme:

· To promote the inclusion and participation of diversity communities* in integrated care.

· To inform policy, locally and nationally, and assisting in the formulation of effective policies, strategies and good practices in integrated care in order to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people from the diversity communities (e.g. Black and minority ethnic communities) and to ensure health services are able to meet their specific needs.

· To improve the quality of life for diversity people with disability, mental health problems and their families and carers through integrated care by providing inclusive advocacy and information.

· To provide service that enable diversity groups and individuals with disability /elderly and their carers to make the right choice for themselves and have an influence on decisions made about their future.

· To promote the rights of diversity people with disability, their families and carers and make sure their rights are safe and protected.

· To promoting access to information regarding healthcare issues and to raise awareness of the needs of diversity disabled children, young people, older people and their families.

· To promote the rights of older and disabled diversity people, helping them overcome and enable them to participate in decisions about their future

· To provide support and information to those suffering the isolation and loneliness that can be associated with disability and old age

· To fight against mental health stigma in refugee, black and minority ethnic communities and ensure no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health or disability.

*Diversity communities are older people, disabled people, Black, Asian, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities.