Youngsters in South Liverpool spread message about Government benefit changes
Published by Michelle Bloore for South Liverpool Homes in Housing
The talented cast of '4 Ur Benefit'
Young people in South Liverpool are proving to be a true inspiration after they took the lead in a production to raise awareness about the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill to tenants.
South Liverpool Homes’ (SLH) Junior Board, a group of young people aged 11-22 years, spread the message about the changes in benefits in the ‘4 Ur Benefit’ play which was staged for the second time last week in Speke.
SLH, like many other housing providers, have been communicating the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill to tenants for some time now, particularly the ‘bedroom tax’ which will be introduced in April this year. But because some of the changes are so complex, they recognised that they needed to be more innovative with their communication methods so that tenants can get to grips with the intricate rules and regulations and fully understand the implications for themselves and their family.
The young people worked closely with SLH’s Neighbourhood Team throughout the creation of ‘4 Ur Benefit’ to ensure they fully understood the Welfare Reform Bill. They all played an integral part in writing the script and creating characters which they felt other tenants could relate to. Nineteen year old Danielle Southern, Chair of the Junior Board said “We wrote the play ourselves so we spent a lot of time researching welfare reform as we wanted to make it as relevant to tenants as we possibly could. A number of the reforms are going to have a big impact for young people, especially Universal Credit and the proposals to abolish housing benefit for people aged 16-24 years.”
Debbie O’Hare, SLH Neighbourhood Engagement Manager said “The production was a great way of bringing the benefit changes to life and we chatted to lots of tenants after the show about their concerns. However, we appreciate that raising awareness is not enough, we want tenants to have enough information to be able to make decisions which are right for them and their family. We have been holding road shows in the community for the past nine months now to talk to tenants about their concerns and to help and advise them about their options.”
To watch the play, visit www.youtube.com/user/slhgroup