SELECT – New and exciting project at Community Links
We are delighted to announce the introduction of a new ground breaking project to be known as SELECT. SELECT is an acronym for Supporting Employment and Learning by Empowering Communities in Technology, and is funded by Scottish Government’s People and Communities Fund.
The main aim of the project – which will be operated by local volunteers – is to improve employment and education attainment for residents of South Lanarkshire through the use of ICT and the Internet.
We are now looking for enthusiastic individuals to help take the project forward so if you would like to share or increase your ICT skills – volunteering with the SELECT Project may be the ideal opportunity to do so. Community Links will provide extensive training and support for all volunteers and it is a great way to meet new people and give something back to your community. Experience in volunteering also looks great on CVs and job applications but, most of all, it is great fun.
Welfare Reform – Benefits Are Changing
Are you aware of the changes to the benefits system starting in April this year, affecting people of working age claiming benefits? If not, here are some of the key points that you should know:
- New Universal Credit will replace working age benefits (income related Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits, Housing Benefit)
- This Credit will be paid in a single monthly payment (in arrears) for a whole Household.
- Current Housing benefit will become part of the Universal Credit and paid directly to claimant.
- The Universal Credit will be administered online with clients being responsible for managing their individual accounts and keeping information up to date.
- More sanctions on job seeking with benefits given on the basis of agreed activity and plans to return to work – failure to comply could, at its most extreme, mean a loss of benefits for 3 years.
- Changes taking place – in three phases - between April 2013 and 2017.
You can also download South Lanarkshire Council’s “Benefits Are Changing” PDF . The council have also created a video explaining the Welfare Reform which is available to watch on South Lanarkshire Council's YouTube channel.
Local Volunteering Opportunities - Hamilton Citizens Advice Bureau
Neighbourhood Champion/ First Response Volunteer
Knowing Your Rights isn’t always easy and people don’t always know who to ask for help with a problem. Hamilton Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) offers free, confidential and practical advice on things like money, housing, benefits, work and changes in the law. There are lots of changes to benefits this year and your help is needed to make sure people in your neighbourhood know about these and get advice when they need it.
CAB is not run by the Council or government, so the advice they give is 100% independent. Most of their advisers are trained volunteers – 18 to 80 years old and from many different backgrounds. CAB helps people with problems but they also help people who work with them to build up confidence, learn new skills and gain lots of experience.
Welfare Reform and Carers
Would you like some information about Welfare Reform and how it will affect you and the person you care for?
South Lanarkshire Carers Network and Partners are holding free local events to provide you with information to help you.
You will have the opportunity to speak to someone who can provide help and advice about changes to benefits or to make an appointment to speak to someone who can help.