Letters, Saturday, April 20, 2013

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Free benefit guide to help families

OVER the coming months many families will have to deal with a large number of changes to the benefit and tax credits system.

 This month has seen the introduction of the bedroom tax and the replacement of council tax benefit with local schemes, which will result in many low income families paying council tax for the first time.

 There are two other huge changes on the horizon that local families with disabled children may not be aware of.

 In June personal independence payments (PIP) will be introduced. PIP will replace disability living allowance (DLA) for those aged 16 and above.

 In October all means tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age will be replaced by a new Universal Credit.

 Contact a Family – the only UK charity that supports families with disabled children, whatever their disability or condition – speaks to many parents who are confused and worried about how these planned benefit changes will impact on their family.

 Given the range and speed of these reforms, it’s never been more important for families with a disabled child to find out how their current benefits may change.

 To help families make sense of how their benefits will be changing, we have produced an easy to understand guide. Personal independence payment, universal credit and other forthcoming benefit changes – a guide for families with disabled children, is available free from our free phone helpline on 0808 808 3555 or email helpline@cafamily.org.uk.

 We hope that using our guide will help reduce any confusion families with disabled children may have about the changes and increase their chances of getting what they are entitled to. For more information about Contact a Family visit www.cafamily.org.uk

Srabani Sen,


Selfless dedication from Mind staff

I AM writing to praise the dedication of all the staff and volunteers of Sunderland Mind, the mental health charity, in Norfolk Street.

 The staff are all fantastic. They always make time for you if you have a problem – they are there.

 They deserve recognition for what they do to help people and I feel they don’t get enough recognition for what they do.

 I was in a bad place two years ago, but with the help I recieved from Mind I am getting better. I do art with Norma Gowland who is fantastic and did a self-esteem course with Jean Walker, which has helped me loads.

 All the staff are fantastic and make you welcome and put you at ease. They do deserve recognition and they don’t ask for anything in return.

 Dot, the project manager, is fantastic as well. They work really hard to help people.

Vanessa Barrow

Thank you sent to wrong address

I HAVE received an envelope in the post, addressed to a Mr and Mrs Kirtley, but unfortunately addressed to my address.

 Inside is a little thank you card for the present following the birth of their baby girl.

 There is such a lovely little photo of the new baby – Rosie Margaret Corner. The parents are Zoe and Martyn.

 If Rosie’s parents live locally, could they please telephone 584 4374 so that I can pass the information back to them.

A Farrow,