Archive for the ‘Incapacity Benefits’ Category

Disability Advice Project

February 25, 2008

The Disability Advice Project is a Torfaen based charity that serves the needs of disabled people, their families and carers in our community and surrounding areas of Torfaen, South-East Wales.

The Disability Advice Project covers the surrounding areas of Torfaen such as Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire and Newport.

The Project is an independent charity that is a member of DIAL UK and affiliated to SCOPE. This status means we can operate without the expensive and time-consuming bureaucracy of a national charity and yet we are able to utilize their experience and expertise when needed. The Project is run by a group of volunteers who either have the experience of being a disabled person or of caring for a disabled person. This innate knowledge combined with a continuous training programme has created a committed group of individuals with a considerable expertise in all disability issues but particularly welfare rights and access auditing. There is a charge to service providers for our auditing and training service, with all monies being reinvested into the Project to fund our free welfare rights work for individual clients. We are also dependent on donations from our clients and any other individuals, as we do not receive funding from local government.

Since April 1999, we have represented over 300 people at disability benefit tribunals, with only 20% being unsuccessful. We have dealt with up to 250 enquiries in one month. We achieved the Investors in People standard in March 2001 (one of only 3 voluntary organisations in the UK and the first in Wales) and were awarded the Community Legal Service Quality Mark in January 2002. Both awards have subsequently been maintained.

In 2000 the project was awarded a Wales Training Award and in 2005 was the winner of a National Training Award at a UK level.


Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User and Carer Forum

February 14, 2008

The next meeting of this Forum will be at The Sessions House, 43 Maryport Street, Usk on Wednesday 20th February, 1.30 – 3.45 with a break in the middle.  You are welcome to arrive from 1pm onwards for a hot drink and a chat before the meeting starts.

As the Forum now meets once every two months it is important to take this opportunity to meet with others and talk about developments in our services and other matters.   Also, on this day there will be an opportunity to meet Jennifer Berry, the newly appointed Joint Commissioner for Mental Health in Monmouthshire.   Jennifer Berry has taken over the post recently vacated by Bernard Boniface, and this would be a good time to welcome her and also find out about her hopes for mental health services in our County.  Karen Vowles, Assistant Director, Health and Social Care, GAVO also hopes to come along.  

The Agenda is:    Minutes of the meeting of 28th November 2007 – the last joint meeting of the Forum and Network;

                               Welcome to Jennifer Berry and informal general service discussion;

                               Changes in Welfare Rights Service provision in Monmouthshire –  important as this will affect your current services

                               Planning for Gwent wide anti-stigma and discrimination event – April.

                               Discussion with Independent Police Complaint’s Commission (IPCC) representative with intention of further meeting.

                               Update on developments – Jen Pearce, GAVO MHDO.  

You can see that this meeting needs your attendance and support – please come if you can.  As always, help can be given with transport.  Need more information or support? – please call 01291-673728.