A Living Tradition CIC Gateshead Roma Kavárna Project Report for April 2019
We have continued to be busy during April. As part of their outreach, Citizens Advice Gateshead dealt with another PIP application. It concerned an appeal and a complicated set of choices, which the client had to make. There was also a query about an application for Employment Support Allowance. There was another query regarding working and tax. There was another query about Disability Allowance with regards to mobility and mental health issues. Another query was with regards to somebody not knowing that they had to re-apply for PIP after going back to Eastern Europe for four months and the client was also concerned about gaining Settled Status after Brexit. We also dealt with an issue regarding HMRC and renewal date for the end of the tax year.
We have had a client asking about Disability Allowance. This client had come all the way from Middlesbrough. It was an issue regarding the payment of Disability Allowance being stopped after client returned to Eastern Europe after the death of father and mother having a heart attack. It was explained to the client that they need proof about being in this country, proof which he has from a doctor - he was told that he must go to a court hearing and prove that he was in the country.
There was also a query about tax and the HMRC and we had another client with a PIP application.
Then there was a client wanting to sign in for Universal Credit; a client who had stopped working last December. Somebody said that they were working, and clients have to write it on their Home Journal, but there was a miscommunication from the manager. We also had a confirmation of a births register for a passport application for Czech Citizenship. There was another client who had not put the date on a form for car ownership and wanted to know what a Dental Exemption Certificate was.
We have also dealt with another PIP Appeal, which has gone to a tribunal and a Universal Credit 50 form.
We held a meeting with Judith Wood-Archer from Citizens Advice Gateshead. This was a very positive meeting, particularly concentrating on support for Roma in Newcastle. During the meeting the idea was mooted of Irma and Zaneta receiving training from Citizens Advice, which we hope can happen.
We met with Steven Kelly from Northumbria Police to discuss the current review taking place regarding the Community Safety Hate Crime Strategy.
We checked to see if Settled Status was changing as a result of the Brexit extension and received an email reply suggesting that at present there is no change.
Phone calls were made to St Chad's about and to Kelvingrove Primary School about helping children from the Roma community to attend a homework club at St Chad's.
Adam Hussein from Northumbria Police visited and spoke to somebody from the community about possibility joining the force. We also had a visit from Mick Kelly from Gateshead Council.
We checked out the details about Settled, an organisation set up to help vulnerable groups get through the Settled Status process in the event of Brexit taking place.
We contacted Andy Leane at Eton and Slough School regarding Roma children at his school and spoke about the issues that face such a community. He mentioned that they were thinking about setting up a drop-in similar to the kavarna. It was agreed that we should keep in touch and swap ideas.
We have organised a meeting with the Acting Headteacher of Kelvingrove Primary School, regarding helping Roma children at the school to access an after school homework club at St Chad's.
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 and Allen Lane.
Peter Sagar, Company Secretary, A Living Tradition CIC, and Irma Karchnakova, interpreter and worker, May 2019