On 25 November 2016 date CASE Central celebrated an alliance with Brighton Unemployed Centre Family Project (BUCFP), to collaborate and share expertise to support families and vulnerable people in Brighton and Hove. The two centres have been busy fighting the consequences of recent benefits cuts and sanctions which have caused increasing poverty and desperation in our City.
As part of this new alliance, it was indeed agreed that their Welfare Rights team leaders would meet regularly to exchange information about new benefit rules, summaries of recent interesting cases, and other useful information.
The ceremony was attended by users, volunteers and Trustees of both centres. Two spokespersons from each centre gave a short and inspiring speech. BUCFP’s Welfare Rights Project Coordinator, Richard Connolly, said: ‘Cooperation is needed more than ever to tackle the rising demand, particularly as a result of savage disability benefit reform, and also in light of the rolling back of statutory services’. CASE Trustee Felton Shortall said: ‘The welfare cuts have caused extreme poverty, even families in work now need to recourse to food banks. We are glad to start this collaboration’.
The celebration of 25 November 2016 involved the return of a painting which had been made by late Bob Edward. Bob was a local Brighton artist and had been a member of Brighton Unemployed Centre. The painting represented Bob’s father Dudley, one of the founders of this Centre. The painting of Dudley Edward had been misplaced for many years but it was found and safely stored by people at CASE Central, to be returned to its delighted owners. The painting is now displayed at BUCFP.
Since 25 November 2016 the Welfare Rights Team leaders of both centres have visited the other centre, attending very interesting meetings. This friendly exchange has been beneficial to us and our clients. We have discussed the newest cuts and how they affected our clients, in particular the Bedroom Tax, Benefit Cap, Habitual Residence, Universal Credit and the backlash of the cuts to legal aid on people’s benefits. We have also discussed how to get the most from recent Case Laws and victories in Court. This enriching exchange is currently continuing and we at CASE Central are really pleased about it.