Boost for welfare advice organisation

An organisation which gives advice on welfare rights to unemployed, underemployed and unwaged people has received a £39,750 boost from Derbyshire County Council.

The controlling Labour group voted to reinstate the funding to Derbyshire Unemployed Worker’s Centre (DUWC) on Wednesday after the previous Conservative administration’s cut it in 2010.

Glynn Power runs a DUWC wefare rights surgery at Salcare, Ray Street, Heanor, on Fridays from 9am to 12.30pm. He said: “It is good news. It keeps a presence in the Heanor area. This service is like a beacon. It seems like we are in a Third World country with food banks.”

During 2011/12 DUWC dealt with 8385 enquiries in North Derbyshire and represented over 300 people at appeals tribunals.

Mr Power said recent successes included an appeal against a disability benefits assessment of a Heanor man with major health problems who had been ruled fit for work. He warned that incorrect assessments of people who are ill prevented them from meeting the terms of their jobseekers’ agreements and led to unfair sanctions.

Colin Hampton, DUWC co-ordinator, said: “This funding is essential in helping the increasing numbers of people that are coming to us for help. The simple truth is most people in poverty in Britain are in work but are either not paid enough or can’t find enough work. This is a crisis and we’re glad we’ve got the funding to help people.”