Dear friends and supporters,
Welcome to our latest Lewisham Speaking Up newsletter. I hope you are enjoying the longer days and the sunshine.
At LSU we are very worried about people with learning disabilities managing as the cost of living goes up. We hope to run some groups on this soon. If you are or you support somebody with a learning disability and you are struggling with paying bills or managing your money, please get in touch with us – our money management advocate can help.
Our Hate Crime Trainers – Oliver, Abi, Tom and Becky ran a Hate Crime Awareness session as part of Learning Disability Awareness week. 16 people with learning disabilities attended from Lewisham, Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich. It was good that all people knew what Hate Crime was. At the beginning of the workshop 58% of people said they knew how to report a hate crime: at the end 100% of people said they knew how to. 100% of people who attended said the workshop was good.
We were sad to say goodbye to Gabriella, our Hate Crime Training Coordinator and Philippa our Community Advocacy Coordinator during May. We thank them for their hard work with their specific projects over the last couple of years and also their valuable support for LSU. We hope to recruit to both of their roles soon, so keep an eye on our work with us page.
We are pleased to announce that Jenny Buggs will be supporting the hate crime trainers over the summer. She will also be doing some 1-2-1 advocacy work.
People’s Day is around the corner.
Come and say hello to us at our stall in Mountsfield Park, Catford on Saturday 16th July.
Latest People’s Parliament Report
We have published our latest Lewisham People’s Parliament report on the subject of ‘scams’. You can read the report on our website https://lsup.org.uk/reports/2022/lewisham-peoples-parliament-report-on-scams/
We will be discussing the report at the Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board in July. The report has also gone to the members of Lewisham Council’s Healthier Communities Select Committee, as well as local MPs and many others.
On June 23rd we had our Impact Parliament at the St Laurence Centre in Catford. We looked at what we have achieved since our Big Lottery Community Fund grant started in June 2019.
Since 2019 we have held 11 People’s Parliament meetings, mostly on Zoom. It has been difficult doing the People’s Parliament work during the Covid pandemic, but we have still had many successes. People with learning disabilities came to our meetings 355 times.
It was great to see some old and some new faces and we were glad that 32 people with learning disabilities came along despite the train strike!
5 of our People’s Parliament reps took part in ‘We Will Be Happy Here’ a performance exploring the changes people with learning disabilities would like to see in the world.
What gives us hope and what holds us back?
The series of performances were organised by Spare Tyre Theatre as part of the Lewisham Borough of Culture.
The People’s Parliament reps have been busy working with other groups around the country planning for the Positive Voices Self Advocacy Conference in September.
Money Management Benefits Workshop
The next Money Management workshop will be about the different kinds of benefits people with learning disabilities can apply for.
The next workshop will be on:
- Thursday 14th July
- 10.30am – 12.30pm
Phone Michelle on 07565 280 157 to book your place!
Did you know...?
Because our gas bills are going up, the government will be giving back money for our bills. Everyone will be getting £400 put on their gas and electricity accounts.
We do not have to pay this money back.
Have you had your £150 Council Tax rebate yet? You’ll get the rebate if you pay council tax, and your home is in council tax bands A to D.
You can find your band on your council tax bill.
People who claim benefits [Universal Credit, JSA (Job Seekers Allowance), ESA (Employment and Support Allowance), Pension credits, Tax Credits] will be entitled to £650.
People who claim PIP or DLA will also have a further £150 paid to them in September.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is being increased to £300
This is money put onto your Gas and Electricity account or a voucher sent for your prepayment meter.
You can get this under the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you’re either:
- getting the guaranteed credit part of Pension Credit
- on a low income
- claiming Universal Credit, income support or Jobseeker’s Allowance
- claiming PIP
Phone Michelle on 07565 280 157 for any help or support with your bills.
Anything else we can help you with?
- If you are a parent with a learning disability or autism, contact Gemma, our Parents Advocate on 07926 529 595 Tue – Fri.
- If need help with benefits or having trouble with money, contact Michelle, our Money Management Advocate on 07565 280 157 Mon – Thu.
- If you have other problems, call Jenny on 07521 242 026 Thu & Fri.