CEO blog February

After a lifetime at work Rita could no longer hold down her employment after she developed a painful dry skin infection. Her skin would dry, crack and lead to heavy blood loss. On several occasions she ended up in hospital. When Rita came to see us, she was living in a poorly maintained bedsit and was having significant issues with her benefits. Although her doctor said she was not fit for work, the Department for Work and Pensions felt she was and suspended her benefits. We got to work assisting Rita with her claims and a subsequent appeal – which against the Department for Work and Penion’s bureaucracy is Kafkaesque. Almost two years later, and one week before her appeal hearing, they granted Rita Universal Credit and a back payment of over £4,000.

Rita’s health and benefits were not the only issues, as her accommodation was appalling. We helped her with an application for sheltered housing and two weeks ago, she was successful in her application. She now has a flat in good condition and her benefits sorted out. She is so happy that she keeps popping into Launchpad to thank staff.

Charles is in his fifties and came to Launchpad in 2014. He was a rough sleeper who had problems with alcohol and cannabis. We helped him get his life together and move into one of Launchpad’s properties. But his health began to fail and he had real issues with his mobility. He was living in a second floor property so was becoming increasing isolated – so Michelle, one of our housing staff, helped Charles make an application for accessible housing with the council, that is also closer to his elderly mother. After several months of support with his application, Charles was successful and moved into a property on the ground floor near to his mum. Michelle also steered him through the complexities of Universal Credit so he is claiming his benefits correctly.

A few recommendations from me:

TV series of the month: Baghdad Central

Baghdad Central is an incredible look at the American occupation of Iraq and Baghdad specifically – all through the eyes of the local community. Corruption, murder and assassination are rife but ex-inspector of police, Khafaji, fights for his family, justice and his country. A gripping story and fantastic TV.

Book of the month: The Legacy of Alexander

The Successor War of the Diadochi is one of the most fascinating periods of history. The death of Alexander the Great led to a whole series of wars and murders that would rival Game of Thrones. My favourite Diadochi must be Antigonus One Eye, a giant of a man.



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