Surviving a Winter of Discontent

Surviving a Winter of Discontent

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Online event

Universal Credit and lessons from the frontline

About this event

Confirmed speakers

  • Anthony Richards, Poverty and Prevention Strategy Development Manager Swansea City Council
  • Ian Cory, Welfare Reform Manager Aster Group
  • Jeff Mitchell, Managing Director Clean Slate Training & Employment, home to Quids in!
  • Jo Goodman, Senior Manager (Income Maximisation) The Trussell Trust

For non-working Universal Credit claimants, it's back to square one now the £20 a week uplift to help them through the pandemic has gone. As before the lockdown, it's down to them to stretch a few hundreds pounds across the whole month. Meanwhile, inflation is pushing up prices and energy prices are rocketing. And while working claimants can enjoy more generous allowances for earning while claiming, that may come as cold comfort once national insurance rates rise and another wave of energy price increases take effect in the Spring.

Quids in!'s last readership survey of social tenants across the UK found 42 per cent were already turning off the heating despite being cold and 39 per cent were skipping meals. For many, it was not a choice of 'heat or eat', they couldn't do either properly. In turn, 25 per cent became physically ill and 59 per cent reported feeling anxious, frightened or depressed on account of money worries. That was pre-Covid. Pre-high unemployment. Pre-shielding, (that affects the most vulnerable). And the world is a different and less certain place now.

While it's a policy issue that people caught by the welfare safety net are forced to turn to foodbanks, community activists are rolling up their sleeves to try to mitigate the human costs of this emergency. This event is not about making problematic policies work, it's about ensuring kids get to eat. What can be done to help low-income households stretch and grow a limited budget?

Surviving a Winter of Discontent is an event bringing together practitioners keen to explore what more we can collectively do to support claimants through. Speakers will present on the implications of current welfare decisions on claimants, their communities and the organisations they work for, be that local authority, housing provider or support agency.

We'll explore how Clean Slate saved hundreds of claimants an average £950 with its money health-check service over lockdown.And hear from the Trussell Trust on moving beyond food parcels to sustainable change and a new income maximisation strategy. The event is a chance to hear more about good practice and identify opportunities to do more within our own organisations. A Q&A with the panel will help build new ideas and collaborations across the network and look at ways to do more together in future.

Numbers are limited. This event will be recorded to extend its reach to participants who cannot not attend.

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