£10 million to help disabled or seriously ill children in England during Coronavirus

The organisation Family Fund has received extra funding worth £10 million from the Department for Education to provide grants for families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children in England this year.

This emergency funding has been provided in response to the crisis presented by the COVID-19 and will help more parents and carers to look after their children. Families can apply for grants to make their lives easier while implementing social distancing measures, including computers and tablets, outdoor play equipment and sensory toys.

To find out more and how to apply, please click here.

Public consultation on improving Social Security

A ground-breaking public consultation on proposals for a better UK social security system has been launched with all solutions being developed by those with direct experience of the system.

Following a call for solutions for a better benefits system which received over 1000 responses, the public is being asked what it thinks about the ideas.

The public consultation is being led by the Commission on Social Security – all Commissioners are Experts by Experience who have lived experience of the benefits system.

Ideas in the proposals include:
• Establishing a Guaranteed Decent Income so everyone has a secure, reasonable amount of money coming in
• Getting rid of the benefit cap
• Raising Child Benefit to £50 per child per week
• Ending zero hours contracts
• A social model approach to disability benefit

To respond to the public consultation, visit the Commission's dedicated website by clicking here.

The consultation closes on 30 September 2020.

A message to all West Sussex Blue Badge holders

Blue Badge parking permit holders in West Sussex are being urged to check their badges’ expiry dates and, if these are approaching or already expired, apply for a renewal as soon as possible.

Following the start of the COVID-19 crisis and Government advice, West Sussex County Council advised permit holders of a relaxation to the rules: that district and borough councils in West Sussex should not issue penalty charges for using badges with an expiry date from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

This relaxation will end on 30 September 2020 and anyone using an out-of-date badge after this date may receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) or other enforcement action.

For information on how to apply, please click here.

Survey launched ahead of new equalities strategy in Croydon

Croydon Council is asking residents for their views on how it can better support its diverse communities ahead of a new long-term strategy on equality, fairness and inclusion.

The council is currently updating its equality objectives, and will develop a strategy which will set out how it plans to tackle and reduce inequality in Croydon over the next four years, including areas such as access to public services, employment opportunities and health inequality issues.

To help develop this, the council is asking all local residents, community groups and voluntary sector organisations to complete a survey and share their views on what the council and its partners do well in tackling and reducing inequalities and what they can improve on.

The council is particularly keen to hear from community representatives and those who support vulnerable residents, as well as anyone that shares a protected characteristic under the Equality Act – these are race, disability, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity.

The council will then take on board all views before it updates its equality objectives and develops the Equalities Strategy 2020-2024 in the autumn to shape council services and equality priorities.

To access the survey, please click here.