We are extremely saddened to announce that our North-West rep, Terry Patterson, passed away just before Christmas.
Terry was one of the driving forces behind NAWRA. He was a friend, a father, a comrade and a bloody good welfare rights worker.
He will be remembered fondly and hugely missed by many members and by all of us on the NAWRA committee. Rest in peace Terry.
On Mon 8 Feb, there will be an online event for all who knew Terry to remember him and celebrate his Welfare Rights work. Since we can’t get together at this time, the event will give us an opportunity to share memories of him and his work . It is free, of course, but you need to book in. To see details and book in go to A Tribute to Terry Patterson.
Greater Manchester Welfare Rights Advisers (GMWRAG) have also offered a heartfelt tribute on their website which you might also like to read.
In light of recent events in the United States, and the worldwide response led by the Black Lives Matter movement, NAWRA wishes to affirm our hatred of racism and our commitment to ensuring that NAWRA is a fully inclusive organisation.
As a membership-led body, we are strongly committed to ensuring we represent all of our members. We strongly value the diversity of our membership and we make a commitment not to tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination.
However, we recognise that we cannot be complacent about racism within our own organisation and the wider inequalities within society. The NAWRA committee is looking at ways that we can improve. We are committed to ensuring that NAWRA is an inclusive organisation where members are free from discrimination, but we know we can do more.
We know that learning more about the inequalities faced by the Black community and reflecting on them, is crucial. We welcome all our members’ thoughts and ideas for where we can take positive action that helps us make a stand against racism more broadly and to challenge structural and institutional racism that perpetuates these injustices.
Full details are now available for our online conference next week. This takes place from 1pm on Thursday 11th June and concludes at 3pm on Friday 12th June. There are a range of sessions you can attend, including ‘formal’ conference sessions, a social evening and an online Yoga class! Something for everyone!
Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to our first online event on 15th May 2020. As promised, we are in the process of uploading the sessions to our YouTube channel and all sessions are now available!
The first session starts with a welcome from our Chair followed by a fantastic workshop on ‘Catching up with COVID-19 benefit changes‘ led by Tom Messere (Big Book of Benefits, NAWRA Committee). There is also a Q&A session included.
Part Two focuses on a workshop by Gareth Morgan (Ferret, Welfare Rights Advisers Cymru, NAWRA committee) who takes us through examples of how the new rules and rates work after the April and COVID-19 changes, including how Universal Credit and legacy benefits compare and more detail on how the benefit cap can negate many of the increases.
Part Three features the lively information exchange, wonderfully handled by our Vice-Chair, Daphne Hall and featuring contributions from a range of members and committee representatives. the session ends with a live feedback session!
The government has conceded to an Early Day Motion, tabled by Mark Tami MP and signed by 73 others, calling for Universal Credit to be payable up to the day before State Pension is paid.
In response to the news, NAWRA released the following statement:
This is a great achievement by Mark Tami and will make a huge difference to all the pensioners who are currently being left with a big gap in income.
NAWRA is delighted to see the government conceding on one of the many design flaws within universal credit and we hope that this indicates a willingness to continue listening to those with knowledge and experience of the hardships being faced by many universal credit claimants.