Welfare Benefits

West Berkshire Food Bank open to boaters.

Monday, January 9th, 2017

church_collectionOne in five of the UK population live below the poverty line and, of course, this includes boaters. If you are experiencing hard times and could do with some help getting through it, help may be available.

West Berks Food Bank recently helped a boater in food crisis in Hungerford. It made them aware that there might be a greater need amongst boaters on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

In order to get help, ring the Crisis Help Line 01635 760560, open from 08.30 to 18.30. After answering a few questions about your situation you will then be given the information to access the nearest Foodbank and receive help.

They have 4 distribution centres on the Eastern end of the Kennet and Avon, opening hours are;
Thatcham Baptist Church – Monday 1-3pm, Thursday 1-3pm
Newbury Salvation Army Citadel – Tuesday 1-3pm, Friday 1-3pm
Hungerford Methodist Church – Wednesday 1-3pm
Lambourn RC Church – Monday 1.30 – 3.30pm

Park_HouseMore information can be found on the West Berks Food Bank website: westberks.foodbank.org.uk

Of course, if you don’t need their service you may be able to help in some way, further details of how you can get involved are here; westberks.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/

Gypsy, Traveller, Boater & Roma Community Support Service is on Facebook

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

The Gypsy, Traveller, Boater & Roma Community Support Service in BaNES, run by Julian House, is on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/GRTBSupport

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New Waterways Chaplain on the K&A

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Sue Stapleton on nb Eagle, who at present travels mainly between Hungerford and Devizes, has recently become a Waterways Chaplain with Workplace Matters.

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Waterways Chaplaincy on the K&A

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Two Waterways Chaplains are on the K&A until April. Andy and Sue Smith arrived on the K&A last summer in their narrowboat Spring Water. They regularly walk the towpath to find out if any vulnerable people need help, support or advice.

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Liveaboard pensioners can get bus passes

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

One of the issues raised in the Boaters Voices project last year was the difficulty faced by boaters without home moorings in getting the concessionary bus pass that pensioners and disabled people are entitled to. The barrier faced by liveaboard pensioners was that the Councils that administer the concessionary travel scheme would not accept a Poste Restante address or provide a bus pass to someone with no address at all. This was pursued with Wiltshire Council. BaNES Council is also reviewing its procedures for applying for the bus pass.

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Working Tax Credit to end in 2014

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

If you are working on a low income, as many liveaboard boaters are, make sure that you claim Working Tax Credit now, especially if you are self-employed. Working Tax Credit will be phased out next year.

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BaNES Council want to hear from liveaboard boaters

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Bath and NE Somerset Council want to hear from liveaboard boaters on the Kennet and Avon Canal and the River Avon. If you live on your boat without a home mooring, and spend some of your time between Dundas and Hanham, or if you live on a mooring in this area, the Council wants you to tell them about your needs and requirements. Please email scrutiny@bathnes.gov.uk by March 28th 2013.

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Housing Benefit and Liveaboard Boaters

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

If you live on your boat, and your income and savings are low, you are eligible for Housing Benefit. You can claim Housing Benefit to cover the cost of the boat licence, boat safety certificate and third-party insurance. If you have a mooring and/or if you rent your boat, Housing Benefit will cover the cost of the mooring fee and rent up to certain limits.

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Boaters’ group intervenes to get housing benefit re-instated for liveaboards

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

This week Wiltshire Council tried to close the Housing Benefit claims of a number of boaters who live on non-residential moorings. The Council officers in question were unaware of case law from 2006 that confirms that Housing Benefit is payable even when the claimant’s occupation of their home is unlawful or does not have planning permission for residential use.

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