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12th January 2021
by Gareth Jones

The Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Mental Health has reported its latest findings

Access to physical health care and opportunities to be active must be increased for people with mental health problems, in order to tackle inequalities. Continue reading

12th January 2021
by Gareth Jones

The SSPCA has said the rise is down to new pets being taken on during lockdown

An animal charity has reported a significant rise in families giving up their pets.

The Scottish SPCA has revealed a 134% increase in calls to its animal helpline to give up unwanted animals.

Between 1 September 2020 and 5 January 2021, the charity received 476 calls from people looking to give up their animals. This compares to 205 calls in the same period in 2019/20. Calls about unwanted dogs increased by 103% from 105 to 213. Calls from people looking to give up cats jumped 151% from 61 to 153.

Chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We predicted an increase in unwanted animals last year after an explosion in demand for pets among people at home due to the pandemic.

“Whilst not such a big issue for kittens, a generation of pups will have grown up in a household where the family is often around. Once that situation changes it can be hard for a dog to adjust and this can lead to behavioural issues and separation anxiety. These issues can lead to dogs being destructive and it is at this point many owners considering giving their pet up.

“What they don’t realise is that the dog is acting this way because of its own experiences not because of any ingrained issue.”

The charity has not yet seen an increase in abandonments despite the growth in calls about unwanted animals.

Flynn said: “A rise in abandonments is something we’ve been worried about since last March. If anyone is no longer able or willing to look after their pet, they should contact us for advice and we will do what we can.

“People should consider their future lifestyle and how to help their pet adapt. Spending time away from their pet so they can get used to being alone is a good start.

“It is heart-breaking to see a healthy animal which loves their family given up because the owners have lost interest or not considered how their circumstances may change. We would urge people to consider a reputable behaviourist or training before they give up their pet.

“Our aim is to keep people and their pets together in a happy home. People who are considering adopting an animal should think long and hard about their circumstances and whether it is the right thing to do.”

Anyone considering giving up their animal should contact the SSPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999 in confidence.

The above information is from Third Force News Weekly Environment & International roundup Thu 14/01/2021

The below information is from Focus on Disability A wide range of information, advice and products for disabled people and their carer’s in the UK.

Page 1 of 2 (Benefit Rates for 2018 to 2019 are also given)

The new DWP Benefit Rates from April 2019 to 2020 and the Benefit Rates from April 2018 to 2019 – Page 1

April 2013 saw the phasing in of Universal Credit and the Personal Independence Payment replacing certain existing benefits via welfare reforms.

The DWP benefit rates for 2018 to 2019 are also listed. The Government has frozen increases on many benefit rates and you may see no increase for 2019 to 2020.

Included are pension and tax credit rates. The amount of benefit or credit that you may be entitled to is calculated based on your individual circumstances. Please note that the rules for benefits and tax credits are very complicated and you should seek advice if you are not sure about how the benefit and tax credit rules work.

To view the Benefit Rates in the UK for 2019 to 2020 from The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Click on the following link from Focus on Disability https://www.focusondisability.org.uk/brates-1.html

The above information is from Focus on Disability A wide range of information, advice and products for disabled people and their carer’s in the UK.

Do you help individuals and families in need of emergency financial help? This comprehensive, up-to-date and easy-to-navigate guide containing 1700 grant-making charities giving £308.5 million in funds, will simplify the often difficult task of finding the most appropriate support for your clients by outlining the eligibility criteria, amounts available and how to apply.

You’ll benefit from extensive advice on how to select funds and make successful applications, as well as a directory of useful organisations.

The 16th edition of The Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need, containing over 200 new grant-makers, is the only publication to provide a comprehensive listing of all sources of non-statutory funding available for individuals in the UK.

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