I have received an email asking me to register with Nat West’s Community Force grant programme and vote for the Zaccheus 2000 Trust project (http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/566). Voting closes on the 23rd October.
I am a fan and supporter of the Zaccheus 2000 Trust who are a charity helping people living on benefit or low incomes to access justice when they face claims for debt or fines.
- · They provide intensive help and advice to vulnerable debtors.
- · They act as McKenzie Friends (non-legal support for people without representation)
- · They train volunteers and organisations to provide advice and support to their client group, or to act as McKenzie Friends on their behalf
- · They use evidence from their case work to pursue test cases through the courts and lobby Parliament when the law, legal process or the benefits system is unfair.
I am an alumnus of their training programme for McKenzie Friends. I found it very useful and helpful in my Councillor role when I am trying to help people resolve difficulties with the Council.
Recent changes to the amount of help the government will give people with their housing costs will mean that many thousands of households will be forced away from their homes, jobs, friends and family and into cheaper areas.
The Z2K project will focus on those families. Moving house can be stressful and traumatic for everyone at the best of times, but it is especially for those forced to move while surviving on a small income. It will be particularly difficult for those who are working on low wages who depend upon their local networks for child care help that enables them to work.
Z2K wants to use money from the NatWest Community Trust to employ a part-time co-ordinator to recruit a number of volunteers to assist families to settle in their new neighbourhoods. These locally based volunteers will help with important activities such as enrolling in local schools, registering with doctors while also supporting people with integrating into the local community and making new friends.
A vote costs nothing but the potential return is massive – so please register with Nat West’s Community Force grant programme and vote for the Zaccheus 2000 Trust project (http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/566).