BREAKING BUDGET NEWS!

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Unfortunately this evening called for Birmingham City Council to release their final decision for their oncoming budgets of 2017/18. A lot of work from the extremely kind public and the youth homelessness charity, St Basils, was put into stopping these cuts by having a petition signed, flash mobs, letters to councillors, tweets and hashtags such as #saveoursupport. These have not gone unnoticed and will have, of course, raised more awareness to such a charity who helps over 5000 young, vulnerable 16 – 25 year olds per year across the West Midlands. Awareness is amazing and extremely benfitial, however, it is money that can drive many aspects of the services; money helps provide housing for these young individuals, money provides means for the charity to grow and improve services to give each and every service user the opportunity to regain structure, focus and stability into a life which may have become somewhat unpredictable . The money that comes from the Supporting People budget has been cut by £5 million, which is 20% down from the original proposal of £10million (42%). Even though the cut is lower than the original proposal, the charity still faces an uncertain time and will be working extremely hard to make sure this doesn’t impact the services they can provide.

If you would like to donate or do your own fundraiser, here is the place to go; http://www.stbasils.org.uk/help-us/

Or, if you would like to sign the petition to help save the support for St Basils go to; http://www.stbasils.org.uk/news-resources/news/sign-our-petition-to-save-our-support/

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Chloe Bell.


For more information or to contact the Press Office, please email press@hugosearthquake.org.

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LIVE TWEETING: Westminster Member of UK Youth Parliament Election Results: 18.10 | Press Office

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PRESS RELEASE

Tonight, Campaign Founder Hugo Sugg will be attending the Westminster MYP Elections at London’s City Hall.

Starting at approximately 18.10 GMT, the new Member of UK Youth Parliament for Westminster will be announced live. Hamza Taouzzale, the MYP for the last year, specially invited Hugo Sugg to represent Hugo’s Earthquake Campaign and to introduce himself to the new MYP.

Hamza and Hugo met last week to discuss a possible homelessness awareness Campaign Hub in Westminster. Hamza supported this, and invited Hugo tonight to get homelessness on the agenda of the new MYP’s portfolio.

JOIN Hugo Sugg live Tweet on our Press Office Twitter Account @EarthquakePress from 18.00.

APOLOGY: Oxford Cllr John Tanner

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Oxford City Councillor John Tanner has published a Press Release apology for his “disgrace” comment on rough sleepers:

“I unreservedly apologise for the remarks I made on local radio about beggars in Oxford. It is a disgrace that we have beggars on the streets of Oxford but I do not blame the beggars for this situation.”

 “My comments were very ill-advised and do not reflect what I really think. Beggars often have mental health, drug or drink problems and deserve our support. I am sorry for the offence I have caused by my remarks.

“Oxford City Council plays a leading role in helping the street homeless off the streets. I recognise that only some beggars are also street homeless. I encourage everyone not to give money directly to beggars but to support charities like OXPAT (Oxford Poverty Action Trust).

“With Government cuts in benefits and bans on receiving public funds more and more people are being left destitute in Oxford. It is a disgrace that in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe some of our citizens end up begging on the streets.”

Statement: Oxford Councillor “Disgrace” Comment.

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The homeless community have once again been verbally attacked by a person in power, an individual who should be helping these rough sleepers who are in need, rather than acting as if they are a burden to society. John Tanner, an Oxford City Councillor, has had an official complaint made against him after he took part in a local radio interview (BBC Radio Oxford) and subsequently branded the cities rough sleepers as a ‘disgrace’. What is the true disgrace, is the fact that this city councillor should know better than to throw such demeaning descriptions around and not expect an uproar. It is a disgrace that he feels this way and as a campaign we hope that this lash back will encourage Tanner to take a moment and reflect on how hurtful comments like this can be detrimental to already mentally and vulnerable individuals. As a board member for clean and green Oxford, you’d think he’d have the same compassion for human beings in a tough situation as he does for a more sustainable environment. Both are vitally important for the progression of a modern society.

As a campaign we think this comment was awful and hope an apology is made and that Tanner and other councillors take on board the fact that the city’s homeless are not a disgrace. We hope they become more educated on the situation in hand and encourage the rough sleepers to become aware of the services available to them and know the council isn’t there to judge, but to assist.

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For more information or to contact the Press Office, please email press@hugosearthquake.org.

Press Office: LIVE TWEETING from meeting with Westminster Member of Youth Parliament Hamza Taouzzale

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Campaign Founder Hugo Sugg is due to meet with MYP Hamza Taouzzale at 17.30 GMT today to talk about homelessness in Westminster and how, together, we could tackle it.

FOLLOW this meeting on our @EarthquakePress Twitter account, and turn on our notifications for the very latest.

#JusticeForCardon EXCLUSIVE: FULL Letter rejecting official ‘#TentDeath’ investigation

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#HugosEarthquake can EXCLUSIVELY publish the FULL, unedited letter which rejected a Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) into Cardon Banfield’s death and circumstances of discovery – sent on 19th December 2016.

At first, this was a massive blow to the #JusticeForCardon Campaign, however there is some good – Healthwatch Worcestershire have got involved – and this will most certainly bring answers. Campaign head Hugo Sugg said “I am relieved this hasn’t gone away. It is taking longer than expected, but we have kept it alive and relevant. Worcester will NOT get away with overlooking the death of Cardon Banfield. We will get answers, and we will get justice!”


cardon-banfield-review-letter

Imagine: You’re homeless, the Council isn’t helping and you don’t know why…

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If you watched the Channel 4 Dispatches programme the other day, you would have seen the brutality of Local Authorities when it comes to homelessness assessment.

Although it reflected what Council’s do very well, I think it’s important to say that it’s not all their fault when it comes to denying someone housing.

The law is very strict, doesn’t allow for manoeuvre nor does it directly provide assistance to the Council. The Local Authority can only give you what they have to give, if you’re accepted as homeless – and unfortunately that is very little anyway. This is because Councils are strapped on housing supply, Officers to support and money to assist people who are in dire need of help.

This puts Councils in the firing line of people who are rejected help, because many don’t understand the complex machinery behind the Homelessness Team. With homelessness rising nationally, they have hundreds of applications with very little resource.

I think it is generally unfair that Officer’s get this flack, although sometimes they do deserve it, but the issue shouldn’t lie with them. Government are the ones who set the legislation – it’s them with the responsibility as to why you haven’t been housed when you need it.

Vulnerability is also an area that many fight with to get assistance, but Council’s deny all the time. The reason? Because according to Case Law – they have to see that you “are more vulnerable than an ordinary street homeless person“.

Yes, that’s right – how do you measure something as obscure and grey-area’ed than this!? But they have too… And this can determine whether you’re eligible for assistance or not. If you are more vulnerable, you are (unfortunately) in the minority to be helped, not the majority.

It’s difficult for both parties, especially the person who is facing homelessness or is indeed homeless. My one piece of advice if you know you will be homeless in a number of days:

Do not sit on this, knowing you’ll be homeless, and approach the Council or hostel the day you become homeless – but instead the MOMENT you know! If they have enough time, they will have a better chance of really helping you – but if you give them no time, they’re not magicians.

This piece of advice was given to me, and it saved me from being street homeless again right before University in 2012. It’s the timing you give which tends to determine how much help you’ll be given.

If you need help or support, please see England and Wales Homelessness NumbersScottish Numbers Directory and what will happen when you apply to the Council as homeless.

It’s vital that if you’re homeless, you get support – and this post is here to help you get the most out of a system that is at near-breaking point, through no fault of your situation.