Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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Leeds GATE Blog

Fit to work? Employment Support Allowance assessments pile on the pressure

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  March 15, 2013 |

Fit to Work?There is a sadly familiar story for those currently unfit to work and receiving ESA, what for many used to be Incapacity Benefit.  They will have likely in recent months received another Limited capability to work Questionnaire, a twenty page pink booklet containing questions exploring what they can and can’t do in their daily lives. 

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Living without identity – Being trapped out of the system

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  March 8, 2013 |

One big challenge we consistently find at Leeds GATE is just how hard the ‘system’ makes it for many Gypsies and Travellers to complete important forms and documents.  I am not talking about being able to read and write, though that is of course a big barrier for some. Rather, it is the demand to provide information and proof that presents a problem. Worse, there is the assumption that this is straightforward which means there is little room to account for those unable to meet these demands.

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Next article: "Are we ready for Universal Credit?"

Are we ready for Universal Credit?

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  March 8, 2013 |

Ben ChastneyBen Chastney, Advocacy Worker at Leeds GATE, has some thoughts about the new Universal Credit and other welfare changes

As we are all now hearing, there are going to be some big changes to benefits over the next year or so.  Sadly it is not straightforward situation, with different benefits changing in different ways at different times. To get our heads around this and to increase awareness of the likely impact of such proposed changes for Gypsies and Travellers, Leeds GATE and ITMB have held roundtable discussions, including, amongst many others, the Department of Work and Pensions and Council Benefits Service.

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Twitter? Can it make a difference to Gypsy/Traveller health and wellbeing outcomes?

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  February 22, 2013 |

Claire tackles Twitter
Claire Graham from GATE trying to get her head around Twitter!

What? What is Twitter?

Lots of Gypsies and Travellers that we know are using facebook now.  It makes a positive change that the technology, and increasing use of 'text speak', is enabling young Travelling people to keep up with the fast paced world of social media that we find ourselves living in.

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Next article: "Reflections from Helen Jones on the meaning of 'improving accommodation'"

Reflections from Helen Jones on the meaning of 'improving accommodation'

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  February 1, 2013 |

Helen Jones ReflectsThe wording of Leeds GATE objective of ‘improving accommodation’ is a bit problematic.  If we were working with people who wanted to live in houses, we could speak of “improving housing” and anticipate that people would know what we were talking about.  If we want to estimate the effectiveness of our work to improve accommodation we need to clarify exactly what we are aiming at.  So a quick resort to the internet for assistance is in order.

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