Bridges of Hope

On October 3rd 2013, 150 people came together from across the Middlesbrough area to learn, share and pray together about issues of poverty.  The conference was opened by Rt Rev.Terence Drainey, Bishop Of Middlesbrough and included a rich and varied programme, with presentations from Teesside University and Andy McDonald MP, stories from local people and church-based projects.  The key findings of "Faith in Action" a report into Christain Social Action around Middlesbrough were presented and followed up with some theological reflection from Revd Canon Dr Stephen Cherry.

Is UK becoming more compassionate?

The percentage of Britons believing that "benefits for unemployed people are too high and discourage work" seeing its biggest fall in thirty years! This good news comes from the annual British Social Attitudes survey, which shows the biggest softening in attitudes so far. Does this mean that the UK is becoming a more caring, compassionate and tolerant place? Jesus promted us to love our neighbours. We therefore need to empathise with people in need in our communities, not blame them!

Sweeping cuts and barriers block families most in need from using children’s centres

The charity the Children's Society has preoduced a report that's well worth a read. The Children’s Society has serious concerns that funding cuts hitting children’s centres will make it increasingly difficult to help disadvantaged families and is urging for ring-fenced government support.

Problems with Universal Credit?

Yesterday saw interesting differnt views about the new Universal Credit benefit, which aims to roll six previously separate benefits into one.  The National Audit Office has warned that the government's flagship welfare reform has been badly managed, is "overambitious" and poor value for money. Ministers however say that the rollout of universal credit would be delivered "within budget and within the timescale" What are your thoughts?

Warning of increased Debt Levels

The Government run Money Advice Service has warned that consumers are increasingly turning to the costly credit options of personal loans and overdrafts to maintain their standard of living as real wages fall.  According to figures released by the Bank of England, credit grew at its fastest pace in July since December 2008.