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A Living Tradition CIC Gateshead Roma Kavárna Project Report for September 2019

This has been another very busy month at the Kavarna drop-in after the summer break.

We had a client with bad toothache, who had an inquiry about getting dental help.  This involved giving advice about the level of service that should be provided and how to make a complaint There was also a schooling inquiry.

There was a council tax inquiry from a client from  Newcastle. A parent came with a form from a school in Newcastle. There was more work done on a debt inquiry. We also resolved an international pensions issue.

We had two clients who needed help with PIPs forms.  One of them needed help with a review after having been eligible and claiming it for a year now.  We had an inquiry from a client regarding membership of NE First Credit Union. We had a client asking about an appeal to Tesco regarding a parking issue. 

We discussed new funding ideas with Becci Varnham from Gateshead Carers.  We helped to provide entertainment for pre-school children at the kavarna.

Andy Crosbie from the Collective Impact Agency CIC visited and interviewed workers at the drop -in and Katy from CAG.  We told many stories about our work and the issues facing the Roma community. Andy is putting together a survey of communities in Gateshead to see how they can better supported and better work together.

We also had a visit from the Children's Society to help liaise our work to support the Roma community with gaining Settled Status. We had a client in who was wanting help with a Settled Status application.     

We also discussed the information that came from the publication of the report into Operation Yellowhammer the previous evening and the effects of a No Deal Brexit on low income families.

The Children's Society came and helped us a second time, asking if clients needed help with getting Settled Status and then getting some assessment information about them.  The Children's Society are also checking to see what kind of identity documents people have.  They see if they need support and then get them booked into help sessions in either Newcastle or Gateshead, depending on which is most convenient.  Among the clients the Children’s Society have had are a lady speaking on behalf of herself and her husband and a family with six children.

We have also spoken to a large academy in Newcastle, and helped them to direct parents to our drop-in and the advice service offered by the Children’s Society.  

Julie Cooper, a nurse, came in and spoke about support for clients and how they can access the NHS effectively.  

Clients also enjoyed the convivial atmosphere.

Many thanks again to Greggs, Citizens Advice Gateshead.  NE First Credit Union, Northumbria Police, Gateshead Council and the Allen Lane Foundation.

Peter Sagar, Company Secretary, A Living Tradition CIC, and Irma Karchnakova, interpreter and worker, October 2019

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