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

It has been another very busy month. We had an inquiry about Child Benefit. We had an inquiry about debt. We also had inquiries about a P60 end of work form, registering to vote in the forthcoming general election and an international pensions enquiry.

We had an ongoing inquiry about Child Benefits. We had an inquiry involving Gateshead Council.

We dealt with a housing inquiry regarding a tenancy agreement.

We had a council tax inquiry as the client's son had turned 16 and she didn't know to inform the council and she has now been over paid housing benefits by 3 276 pounds and 356 pounds all backdated two years as her son is now 18. The client has an interview with the council and we are going to help her with it.

We also helped a client who had a problem with neighbours. The neighbours are a couple with no children and they play loud music, making threats to the client's wife so that she is scared to go out. The neighbour said he would contact some gangsters to beat up the client. We called Northumbria Police. The client was due in today. The council had done little about it and the police had not turned up when contacted on numerous occasions. The neighbour had also taken photos of the client's wife with his phone.

We contacted the client and he said that he had gone to the police and the case was now going to court. His wife had also been given a phone number she could call any time she felt she needed help. We also advised the client to keep log of what the neighbour was doing and when, as this would strengthen the case.

On another occasion, we had an inquiry about universal credit debt and another about council tax. We also have had two inquiries for PIPs.

One client had an issue about not being informed about the benfits they are entitled to. This was put right.

We had a visit from Ed Ward from Northumbria Police. We updated Ed on what was happening and discussed issues we are facing regarding hate crimes.

We liaised with a community worker to help us to get free toys for families in the community for Christmas.

We helped a colleague in a school near London which has a large Eastern European Roma intake.

We contacted two local charities with regards to acquiring Christmas hampers and selection boxes.

The Children's Society have attended regularly and helped a number of families with inquiries about Settled Status after Brexit. We are finding that among other issues there is a major problem with families having to get new passports, especially the cost of doing this.

We have been working with the Roma Rights Path project who are involved with the Roma community and we are getting referrals from them. Consequently we are more becoming even more busy now.

We had excellent support from Citizens Advice Gateshead.

Attendance has remained very good, despite the poor weather. On at least one occasion about 30 people have attended. We are continuing to serve the community well.

On Tuesday 26th November there was another health session with a lady from Gateshead SEND Information and Advice Session talking about help which is available for pupils with special educational nreeds in school who need it.

We also liaised with a local organisation, which works to improve the wellbeing of people in the area.

Clients also enjoyed the friendly convivial atmosphere at the kavarna, while young people from the community have been looked after.

We have continued to give out free food kindly donated by Greggs.

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

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


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