Merton CIL News

We are seeking a passionate and committed person to join Merton Centre for Independent Living as a Disability Hate Crime Caseworker. Merton Centre for Independent Living is a values-based, user-led charity which supports Deaf and Disabled People in the London Borough of Merton to live independently, challenge discrimination and achieve change locally.

We are wishing you all a lovely Easter and relaxing bank holiday weekend. It has been a hectic few months and we will be taking a short break over Easter. Our office will be closed on Friday 2nd April and Monday 5th April. If you need support or have an update for us please leave a voicemail on 0203 397 3119 or email us at info@mertoncil.org.uk and we will get back to you in our return. You can find a list of organisaton that can provide support while we are closed here - https://www.mertoncil.org.uk/useful-information/chapter-1-advice-advocacy-an/

Merton CIL has responded to Merton Council’s draft new planning framework with a call for more plans to maintain and develop disability access. The New Local Plan will set out the Council’s planning framework for the next 10 years with strategies for new housing, economic growth and development and addressing climate change.

As an organisation that is committed to challenging discrimination and inequality, Merton CIL stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and Black communities in the UK and worldwide. We are hopeful that we can all come together and achieve real change. Our organisation will listen, learn and understand. We will address the needs of Disabled people who have lived experience of exclusion and discrimination because they are Black and Disabled – which is referred to as intersectional discrimination. We will support people to speak up about issues that matter most to them and help make change happen.

We are seeking a passionate, committed Deaf or Disabled person to join Merton Centre for Independent Living as a Trainee Caseworker. People who live with a long-term health condition who may not consider themselves as Disabled are invited to apply. Merton Centre for Independent Living is a values-based, user-led charity which supports Deaf and Disabled People in the London Borough of Merton to live independently, challenge discrimination and achieve change locally.

Merton CIL will close for the holiday season on Thursday 24th Dec 2020 at 3pm. We will reopen on Monday 4th Jan 2021 from 9am. While we are closed you can still contact us via email or leave us a voice mail if you need support and we will get back to you when we open. If it is urgent please try and contact one of the organisations who are proving support over the holiday season mentioned below. 

Help us raise money this holiday season to keep our important work going in 2021 and be in with the chance of winning a hamper with over 20 goodies inside. You can enter the raffle in two ways: 1. Donate £5 here - https://bit.ly/3krBHbv or 2. Complete our (short) annual survey and leave your contact details here - https://bit.ly/2H7ZNdE

Welcome to the 25th edition of our CIL Matters Newsletter. This is the first CIL Matters newsletter presented by the Senior Management Team (SMT) of Merton CIL – Charlet, David, Stuart & Michael. We are honoured and excited to be co-managing the organisation. You can read about our new management structure and what we have been up to over the past year in our newsletter, where we provide an update of what happened at our annual general meeting, share our new impact report and more.

Merton CIL is supporting a government plan to increase the number of accessible homes.‘It’s surprising and really unacceptable that new homes are being built without the access features they are meant to have,’ comments Merton CIL’s Policy and Strategy Manager Michael Turner. ‘But that’s the situation we’ve been in for many years and we now have the prospect of action to improve things.

Merton CIL has given a positive response to the recommendations of the independent Commission on Social Security. The Commission was set up by Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations and claimants and user groups. All the commissioners have lived experience of the benefits system.

Today, Merton Centre for Independent Living launches its new disability hate crime report ‘Starting to Stop It’. This report reviews recommendations and what has been done in the borough over the past 4 years since we published ‘Make it Stop’, a report with Stay Safe East that conducted extensive research into hate crime in 2016.

We wrote to local MPs Siobhain McDonagh and Stephen Hammond asking them to help us scrap benefit sanctions once and for all. 

Merton CIL has responded to the council’s consultation about the delivery of new housing in the borough as part of the development of the local plan for the next 10 years.

Our Vice Chair Gina Vettese has penned an open letter to stores based in Merton reiterating that not all Deaf and Disabled people are able to wear face coverings and it is important that organisation's are understanding of this. The letter also expresses concern about how the mandatory wearing of face coverings may affect local Deaf and Disabled people. 

We are delighted to announce that Merton CIL has raised £1,000 via the Aviva Community Fund.

We are pleased to announce that Merton CIL was recently re-awarded the Advice Quality Standard (AQS) for the third time.

We are seeking to recruit a highly motivated Deaf or Disabled person to join our busy advice & advocacy team as a caseworker, specialising in welfare benefits and low income. 

We are seeking to recruit two highly motivated Deaf or Disabled people to the following posts in our busy Advice & Advocacy Team: Caseworker (Welfare Benefits and Low Income) and Trainee Caseworker (Community Care and Personal Independence Payment) Closing date for applications: 11pm Tuesday 30 June 2020

We are writing to inform you that our Chief Executive Officer, Tom Lichy, left the organisation with effect from 1 May 2020. We hope you will join us in wishing Tom well for the future and we thank him for his service to the organisation.

In light of Tom’s departure, we have reviewed our management structure and are excited to announce a new co-managed structure, drawing on the strengths of our highly experienced senior management team to take the organisation forward in the next phase of our planned growth and development.

 

Following government advice around coronavirus, we have had to make some temporary changes to how we operate. However, we are still open and supporting local Deaf and Disabled people. Our team will be working remotely until further notice. Our telephone line is monitored daily and you can also email and visit our website or social media platforms for general information and advice. We are operating a reduced service but our advice and advocacy service is open to new benefits, community care and hate crime cases. Please get in touch to arrange an appointment. We have temporarily changed the way that we conduct appointments. We will provide advice over the telephone, via email, in a letter or via video calling platform such as Zoom or Skype. We will not provide any face to face advice in order to protect our service users and staff. We are doing all that we can to ensure that we adapt and continue to provide a supportive and accessible service for Deaf and Disabled people in Merton. Unfortunately, our Craftivism and Chat groups have been cancelled until further notice. We will keep you updated on when we expect that it will return. My Voice Matters 2020 was scheduled to take place on 25th June 2020. Unfortunately, this event will be postponed until late October 2020