An actual almost bog standard GMWRAG meeting. Oh no, hang on. Brexit and Benefits.

Some of us have forgotten what an actual ordinary GMWRAG meeting looks like. Between Neal Couling; Everyday Equality North; a new GM UC Forum; sell out rooms and new booking systems it’s been a busy 8 months.

The next GMWRAG meeting was originally scheduled for April 2019 and was to be hosted by Stockport Help With Benefit Appeals as a half day meeting along with a half day GMWRAG GM UC Forum. We had plans for 2 speakers and a broad agenda of Brexit and Benefits. Alas, as with the B word itself, matters were not straightforward. We delayed in empathy (honest :)!

“Events dear boy. Events!” as Macmillan once allegedly said.

We are please to announce that the next GMWRAG meeting will be hosted by Stockport Help With Benefits team on Friday the 17th of May 2019 in BS 1.22 (N Atrium) in the Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University. See https://venues.mmu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/11764-Business-School_First-Floor.pdf and https://venues.mmu.ac.uk/venues/business-school/

GMWRAG is hugely indebted to Ngaryan Li of GM Law Centre for making this happen.

GMWRAG is especially taken with the MMU Business Centre strap line “It is a real hub of activity where great minds meet”. We’ve made a joke about this in the previous post. It’s still worth finding 🙂

This will be an p.m. only meeting following on from the a.m. GMWRAG GM UC Forum meeting which will conclude circa 12pm at the same venue.

Please note that the meeting will be open for refreshments/networking at 12:30pm and will start at 12:45pm. You have not misread this. The intent would be to finish at 4pm as per usual.

We are fully aware this is an unusual start time but would appreciate people arriving promptly as the timings have been arranged to accommodate the fact we have 2 excellent speakers giving freely of their own time (and who are travelling a long way to do so) as well as deal with some GMWRAG business which has not been addressed as part of an agenda since (we think) Bolton in April 2018. More details of our speakers will follow but we can confirm that we have

1pm – Professor Charlotte O’Brien from York Law School. You can read more about Charlotte here but we’re confident many GMWRAG members will recall her excellent contribution on the consequences of Brexit at PLP North in 2017. We certainly do. The phrase “administrative cataclysm” has resonated down the years.

2:30pm – Alexandra Sinclair from the Public Law Project. will be talking on ”

“Brexit, Statutory Instruments and Social Security: An early analysis”.

You can read all about the SIFT project here. and you’ll immediately see the link with the many recent social security Statutory Instruments and Brexit.

The exact subject matter/titles for the above will be detailed in due course but if you haven’t figured out it’s “Brexity” then you haven’t been clicking on those links have you! Tsk. EDIT: The title of Alexandra’s talk is now detailed above. Charlotte’s will follow.

We also hope to deal with some routine GMWRAG business such as the appointment of a new Treasurer; web site management; take-up work etc.

Please note that unlike our last 2 meetings there is no booking process for this meeting. It’s a GMWRAG meeting and you can just turn up. However, as per our last 2 meetings, we are expecting a full room so please arrive early if you want a seat.

If you’re unable to make the meeting we have tentative plans to live stream but again we’ll let you know about that in due course. In the meantime we look forward to seeing you all there.

Oh yeah, transport. Ahem, nearest railway station is Manchester Oxford Road and the venue is a small walk from there. We won’t talk about buses because if you can’t get a bus down Oxford Road then you’re really not trying. We strongly recommend cycling as Oxford Road has 2 cycle lanes. We strongly recommend insurance though as we’ve never been able to figure out which way the cyclists are supposed to be going.

See you all there.

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Almost certainly bound to end in tears but…

GMWRAG has been asked to provide an updated version of one of the presentations at our Everyday Equality event. This is the sort of thing which always goes wrong when we inevitably link a file to the wrong presentation but we’re going to give it a go anyway.

So, if you head over to our “Presentations and notes from GMWRAG meetings”   page (which can be found on the sub menu* for “Our meetings”) you will find that clicking on the presentation titled “EHRC presentation on “Strategic work, past, present, future” by Francine Morris.” will now give you a revised version of the presentation which that link served up right up until today. The previous version is no longer available so if you have downloaded it since the 1st of February 2019 (and we know that more than 300 of you have) then please download the new version from the link above.

* “sub menu” – a sub-menu (we know some of you still struggle with using web sites and IT in general) is a menu which only appears when you hover your mouse** over another menu. So, hover your mouse over our meetings menu and a sub menu with 5 items will appear. 1 of those is the Presentations menu. Double click that.

** “hover your mouse” – actually means “hover your mouse pointer”. If you hover your mouse then, weirdly, it stops working and people will generally think you’re an oaf!

Presentations from Everyday Equality are now available for download.

Alan Turing banner at LGBT Foundation in ManchesterGMWRAG is very pleased to say that all of our speakers at the recent Everyday Equality Act have now provided us with their presentations from the event for download. We also have a bonus presentation from Ryan Bradshaw of Leigh Day which was not available on the day.

Please note:

  • there are no minutes available for the January 2019 meeting. There were 14 speakers and the presentations below represent all the content available from the event bar images posted by @GMWRAGTweets and other attendees.
  • a number of presentations have been subsequently updated or revised by speakers. The versions on this site represent the most up to date versions.
  • all presentations are detailed below in this post but will be permanently available on our “Presentations and notes from GMWRAG meetings” page.
  • The minutes which would ordinarily be on our “Minutes” page link to the above page.
  • Some of the presentations have similar titles. Please be assured that all presentations are distinct. No content is repeated.

Jo Chimes, whose magnificent work was pretty much solely responsible for making the whole day happen, has also kindly added her own summary of the take away messages from the event and we’ve added that as well..

Full details of the January 2019 GMWRAG Everyday Equalities event are now available.

We’re going to keep this as simple as we can.

The full details of the next GMWRAG meeting are now available and they are pretty much as per our September 2018 post. This is a unique opportunity for GMWRAG members so book quickly to avoid disappointment.

There are three additional pieces of information you need to know:

  • A buffet lunch will be provided courtesy of our friends at the EHRC. However, anyone coming to the meeting will need to let us know their dietary requirement else there may be nothing available to meet your needs.
  • This is a ticket only event. Tickets are only available from Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/everyday-equality-challenging-discrimination-in-the-welfare-benefits-system-tickets-50261737209. Anyone attending without a ticket won’t be getting past reception at the venue (unless you’re a speaker at the event :))
  • Registration is for 1 person only. There are no group bookings. If you want to attend then you need to register personally.
  • NWMHWRAG members. The lucky 20 of you who have already reserved a place will need to bring your confirmation email with you else you also won’t get past reception.

The full agenda for the day can be viewed when you register for a place. It can also be downloaded from here. The minutes of the last meeting can be downloaded from https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/our-meetings/minutes-of-previous-meetings but there is currently no intention to go through normal GMWRAG business at this event.

The Equality and Diversity Forum launch “Practical Equality Rights in Welfare Benefits” handbook.

Equality and Diversity Forum have now launched their ground-breaking online handbook, Practical Equality Rights in Welfare Benefits Advice, to help everyone providing advice or information on welfare benefits to use equality rights to solve everyday discrimination problems. The handbook is part of the Everyday Equality project, funded by the EHRC.

What is the Practical Equality Rights in Welfare Benefits Advice handbook?

For welfare benefits advisers and information providers working in community groups and advice organisations, the handbook has tips and tools about identifying discrimination. For advisers we have case studies, checklist and tools to help you use the Equality Act to solve your client’s everyday problems in a practical way.

For advice managers, the handbook has a new guide about managing and improving the delivery of discrimination advice.

The handbook also includes a new guide to demonstrating the equality impact of welfare benefits advice, using the Equality and Human Rights Commission Measurement Framework, an A-Z of Equality Rights, a directory of equality resources, FAQs, four downloadable posters, and a downloadable ‘quick guide’.

What’s next?

They are developing a short set of materials to help advice agencies to use the new online handbook and to raise awareness with their advisers. If you are interested in piloting or using these materials please let us know: jo.chimes@edf.org.uk

They are hoping to run a small event later in the year, in Manchester. If you are interested in taking part or attending, please let them know: jo.chimes@edf.org.uk

They would be pleased to hear from you with questions, suggestions and feedback on the handbook. Please contact them at info@edf.org.uk.

View our online handbook or download our quick guide (pdf).

To stay in touch with their work, and for updates to the handbook:

Everyday Equality Conference… and…

GMWRAG invites you to Equality and Diversity Forum’s Everyday Equality conference on the 10th of May 2018 in London. They will be launching our groundbreaking online handbook: Practical Equality Rights in Welfare Benefits Advice, a tool to help information and advice providers use equality and human rights to solve everyday discrimination problems in the welfare benefits system.

The conference will be chaired by Julie Bishop, Director of Law Centres Network and EDF trustee, and other speakers are experts in benefits or discrimination (or both).  (We are awaiting a few confirmations before finalising the agenda, but these definitely including PLPMIND and Steve Hynes from LAG.)

The conference will be held 10.30am-4pm, at NCVO, 8 All Saints St, London. I have attached our draft agenda for the event.

It is appreciated that this event is in London but GMWRAG would be more than happy to arrange to chat and or do a presentation in Manchester, about the project and the handbook and several of our members are already lobbying for a northern version of this event. Don’t let this put you off signing up for a trip to London as we have nothing confirmed as yet.

The draft agenda can be downloaded from here.

The event is part of the Everyday Equality project funded by the EHRC.