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                          The Small Print
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                               the contributor, no item in whole or in part may be used           January 2009 edition   the community wellbeing members newsletter
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     submitting contributions please see ‘Bare-Bones’ issue 1, or contact us for a copy.                         THE BENEFITS MINEFIELD

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                            Community Wellbeing Team
                                     215 High Street                                                   Marks                      Williams trip
                                       Smethwick
                                     West Midlands                                                     money                      to Norway
                                        B66 3AH
                                Telephone:0121 565 2788                                                saving
                         Email: wellbeing@sandwellmind.org.uk
                                                                                                       tips
                                  Not only, but also…
 A big “thank you” to our valued contributors; William, Adrian, Parminder, Heather,
                              Mark, , Lee, Marek Mike

                 Also, to those responsible for the initial editorial input.

              If you would like to help with future newsletters, get in touch!
                                                                                                     Mike’s Potted Historys
Contents: Edition 12 January 09
                                                                                   Richard 2, came to the throne in      Caroline of Brunswick. She bore
                                                                                   1377 to 1399. He was the grandson     him a daughter, Charlotte, who
     Page 3                                                                        of Edward 3, who’s mother Isa-        would have been queen,. She sadly
                        Domestic violence strategy event                           belle of France, wife of Edward 2,    died in childbirth, and the child
                                                                                   who murdered Edward at a castle       did not survive.
     Page 4
                          Benefits—finding a path                                  in Gloucestershire, with her lover    In George 4 reign John Peel set up
                                                                                   Roger Mortimer, raised an army in     the police force in 1829. Catholics
     Page 5                through the minefield.                                  France to put Edward 3, her son on    were also allowed to be members
                                                                                   the throne. He was a child when he    of parliament.
                                                                                   came to the throne and his
     Page 6                                                                        mother, Isabella, and her lover had
                                                                                   control over him, when Edward was
     Page 7                     Marks money saving tips                            grown up he took control from his
                                                                                   mother and her lover. He punished
                                                                                   them for deposing his father Ed-
     Page 9                       Williams trip to Norway                          ward 2. Her lover was executed
                                                                                   and he imprisoned his mother Isa-
     Page 10                                                                       bel for the rest of her life.         William 4 was next to take the
                                                                                   Richard 2 kept a piece of rag on      throne, he was George 4ths
     Page 11                      Mike’s Potted History’s                          his person to wipe his nose, a        younger brother. William had
                                                                                   courtier made a handkerchief for      served in the navy. William mar-
                                                                                   him. This is how the handkerchief     ried Adelaide of Saxes Meinger;
     Page 12                               The Small Print                         was invented.                         she introduced the Christmas tree
                                      BREAD                                                                              to Britain. John Peel was made
                                                                                   George 4 who was Prince Regent to     Prime minister for a term. In 1833
How simple a piece of bread can be.           Crumbs, how did this come to my      his father George 3, because of       slavery was abolished for children
How rich it is and more than life it be.              head?
                                                                                   his mental health problems for        of nine and under, and women and
Together it brings us sharingly.             I’m hungry, and
                                                                                   many years before he became king.     older children were given right’s
When shared this bread most will-            That’s what led
ingly,                                       To this.
                                                                                   He was married to a catholic Mrs      which bill Peel, put thru the parlia-
Bring us together fillingly.                 A simple piece of bread               Fitzherbert first when he was re-     ment. In 1834, workhouses for the
                                             That gives us strength for the life   gent. His father George 3 talked      poor were set up or invented.
Marek Bartosek     27/09/08                         ahead.                         him into annulling the marriage,
                                                                                   encouraging him to marry Princess     More to follow...
 2                                                                                                                                                         11
                                                                                      Domestic Violence Strategy Event

                                                                              I am always attending events at events at the moment. But the one I at-
                                                                              tended yesterday was good. Because it was domestic violence. The out-
                                                                              come was good. Because it was how you can deal with men who come
                                                                              across with domestic abuse. If they intend to harm you in any way. Why
                                                                              would men act like that? They also discussed how you can get some sup-
                                                                              port from a domestic violence unit within Sandwell Homes to put the per-
                                                                              son where he needs to be and cannot go near the property

                                                                              I have joined the Sandwell Women’s Network Agency last week. It was
                                                                              fun being there because it makes you think. You are part of the crowd. No
                                                                              matter what happens, no-one can change you when you start thinking like
                                                                              them.

                                                                              Happy days are with SWAN
                                                                              Parminder
     Harbour by Lee Ashfield
                         Homebase Window Shopping
“Excuse me. Do you have any fake coal for fake coal fires?”
“No sorry, we just have the real coal and I suppose that won’t do.”
“No, it would just go whooof! and set the fire on fire.”
“Anything else we can help you with?”
“Err, not really, I’m just window shopping. Do you have any windows?”
“Just the ones at the front of the store, and they’re not for sale.”
“Well, they’d be too big. Anyway, thanks for your help.”
“You’re welcome, bye.”
“Bye.”

Marek Bartosek       18/11/07

(Based on a real conversation with the staff at Homebase Selly Oak, today.)




                                                                                   Surfing beach by Lee Ashfield
10                                                                                                                                                  3
                    Benefits - they’re a minefield                                                                            Two Stops In Norway

                                                                                                                     After the cruise ships two stops in Iceland
                                                                                                                         (before the place went Bankrupt).




Anyone who has had a mental health problem will probably know that social security benefits
are a mine-field. Its particularly difficult if you are not feeling well to deal with these things,
and our advice would always be to consult a specialist such as a welfare benefits advice centre
to get the help you need with understanding things and helping you fill in forms. EG. Sandwell
benefits advice
                                                                                                      The ships propulsion unit had been repaired so we were able to proceed
Operate an Advice Line: 0121 569 3158, 10am – 3:30pm Monday to Friday.                                to Norway under our own steam instead of being towed to Bremerhaven.
                                                                                                      That would have been okay as I’d never visited Bremerhaven before and
However summarised below are a few aspects of benefits which may be of interest. We in-                                  we would have featured on the news.
clude points of contact where they are known.
                                                                                                       Our first stop in Norway was Olden which is situated on a fjord. When
                           Incapacity benefit. - The new rules                                        we set foot on the tarmac it was raining and mother was soon fed up and
                                                                                                       went back to the ship. It kept raining and along the fjord there where
Firstly don’t panic ; if you are already on incapacity benefit the new rules do not apply to you       just shops selling tourist-tat. I eventually found a small restaurant and
as long as you continue to fit the criteria and your health and situation has not changed. How-       waited in the slow moving queue. I could tolerate that because the wait-
ever for all new claimants as of 27 Oct 2008 incapacity benefit is being replaced by something
                                                                                                        ress had an absolutely gorgeous bust. After eating my ice-cream I re-
called Employment and support allowance. The focus is very much on getting people back to
work as quickly as possible and includes lots of support to do this. A key concern we have                                        turned to the ship.
though is to what extent this will be used to push people who are not ready to go back to work        The following day our port of call was Stavanger. We had a walk around
into going back to work. Also of major concern is the quality of the jobs out there and the            the town. The prices in Norway are sky-high (£5 for a cup of coffee!).
work conditions for people entering (inevitably) at the lower end of the job market. Surely the       We ended up in a shopping mall where we met a very attractive American
government should be focused on making employers pay more reasonable wages and have
                                                                                                      girl who gave us some cherries. We then headed back to the ship, avoid-
better working conditions in combination with this encouragement to get back to work. For
further information about employment and support allowance go to http://www.dwp.gov.uk/                                             ing the showers.
esa/.
                                                                                                                                                                     Will Smith

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                                                                                                               Disabilty living allowance
                                                                              Not everyone knows this but DLA can be given to people with mental health problems as well
            £££££££££££                                                       as those with a physical disability. The form filling is a nightmare and you will get different
                                                                              levels of allowance depending on the severity of your difficulties. It may be worth noting that
                                                                              in our experience DLA is quite often refused initially and goes to appeal, so be prepared to be
www.entitledto.co.uk                                                          consistent and stand your ground in terms of claiming what you are entitled to. Definitely seek
By spending five minutes filling in some basic details about yourself,        the help of a benefits advisor to help you fill in the forms and support your claim. A social
your pay and status, you can find out if you are entitled to any govern-      worker or support worker may also be able to help you with this.
ment benefits. The site, which is free and funded by the sales of software
to local authorities and other organisations, will list all the tax credits
and benefits you should be claiming. Well worth a visit.

Other Money Saving Tips

Get your central heating system checked out to ensure it works ef-
ficiently. You may be able to get a new system if you have an old
system either free or at a big reduction through a government
sponsored scheme “Warmfront”.

Use the system you have more efficiently by using the valves on ra-
diators, turning heating down in rooms you don’t use and have the
heating go off an hour or so before you go to bed. Add a jumper
rather than turn the heating up. Lots of layers are even better than                                                 Discretionary Trust
one thick one.
                                                                              Some of us may be in a position wherein we are dependent on benefits and likely to be for the
                                                                              foreseeable future, but we may have parents who wish to leave us some money. Under social
Buy your Christmas cards, wrapping paper, crackers etc in January             security rules some benefits are means tested. Currently these are housing benefit council tax
when they’re reduced for the following Christmas.                             benefit and income support. That means if you inherit money more than £16,000 you are no
                                                                              longer entitled to claim these benefits. Anything between £6000 and £16,000 and you will get
                                                                              a reduced amount of benefit. Incapacity benefit and disability living allowance are currently
Downsize your brands – If you buy brand named stuff, buy super-               unaffected
market’s own brands and if you already do that, consider the “value”
brands. Also don’t turn your nose up at Lidl and Aldi.                        There is a way to avoid the savings limit by having your inheritance put into a discretionary
                                                                              trust fund. This is quite complicated to understand but basically means that you will continue
                                                                              to get your benefits and the money you inherit will be held in a separate place and used to pay
Sell stuff you don’t use on ebay (www.ebay.co.uk                              for occasional things or one-off things; say if you need to go into a care home. It isn’t some-
                                                               Mark Wood      thing for anyone to go in to lightly and you cannot set up a trust after you have inherited. It has
                                                                              to be done in the lifetime of the person you will be inheriting from. For more in formation visit
                                                                              rethink website. www.rethink.org Type in “discretionary trust” in the search page and it will
                                                                              link you to the correct page.
8                                                                                                                                                                            5
      Direct payments
                                                                                                                    Mark’s Money Saving Tips

                                                                                                    When I’m not in a manic over spending mind-frame, I can be quite
                                                                                                    canny (ie tight) with my scarce resources. With the increasing avail-
                                                                                                    ability of the internet at home or free in local libraries or community
                                                                                                    centres, I thought I would share with you some of the Internet sites
                                                                                                    that I have found useful. If you know of others you would be able to
                                                                                                    share with our readers, please write in.

                                                                                                    www.moneysavingexpert.com – Martyn Lewis’s excellent site that con-
                                                                                                    tains current moneysaving tips and offers from shops, restaurants,
The idea of direct payments originated in the efforts of people with physical disablilites to       leisure attractions and others. You can even print off vouchers and
have more control over the care they receive. Rather than just having to put up with whatever       get codes to get discounts when shopping online.
care they were given direct payments allowed them to have the money directly and employ
who they wanted to look after them.
                                                                                                    www.mysupermarket.co.uk – A site that uses the online shopping sites
Not many people with mental health problems have used direct payments as of yet; however            of Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Ocado to compare your shopping list
there is a big advertising campaign going on at the moment to get more uptake from people           and tell you where is the cheapest place to buy your shopping. It will
with mental health problems.
                                                                                                    also suggest cheaper alternatives.
First you need an assessment of your needs by a social worker. If the social worker assesses
that you have a need for services (eg floating support) then you can choose to obtain that sup-     www.lastseason.com – A site selling last season’s designer clothing at
port by applying for a payment direct to yourself and then employing someone eg. From an
agency. You have to account for all the money you have received and provide evidence of how         big reductions
it has been spent, so this is not just a top-up to your income. It has to be used on what you say
it will be used for and this will be checked.                                                       www.amazon.co.uk – Well known site giving discounts on books, music,
                                                                                                    electrical items and many other items.
Many people are put off direct payments as it can seem complicated. However there are bro-
kers who can take most of the hassle out of doing it.
                                                                                                    www.saynoto0870.com
For more information contact the Independent Living Foundation in Sandwell.                          To avoid calling pricey 0870 numbers, which can cost about 15p a minute,
                                                                                                    you can use this independent site to see if there is an alternative. Type in
Ideal for All                           Pictures above are for illustration purposes                the name of the company you want to call and you get a list of its cheaper
www.idealforall.co.uk                   only; this is not a worker at Ideal for all                 geographical numbers and even some free 0800 numbers.



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