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During her time as a Finance Officer with North Glasgow HA, Alison Hood has taken part in some amazing fund raising activities for Scottish Autism. Now the charity has recognised her efforts by awarding her Honorary Membership of Scottish Autism. Alison was also presented with a gift made by Art Opportunities.
Since 2002, she had taken part in five overseas events to raise funds including trips to Peru, Malawi, China and Everest Base camp in Nepal.
Alison also regularly does collections at supermarkets, shopping centres and venues such as Hampden, Ibrox and Celtic Park. Over the last nine years Alison has raised many thousands of pounds and encouraged and inspired many other colleagues and friends to get involved.
Alison said: “I started fundraising for Scottish Autism because my friend’s two children were diagnosed as being on the spectrum. I saw first-hand how the charity helps her and her family and also how desperately Scottish Autism needs funds.”
Last year she went to Vietnam where she completed a 400km bike ride from Ho Chi Minh City to Cambodia.
This year she has already committed to a husky trail in Lapland and a cycle challenge in Cuba.
Alison added: “The challenges have allowed me to experience cultures in some of the remotest parts of the world, and the challenging physical and mental aspects combined with the satisfaction of raising money for such a worthwhile cause make the experiences second to none.
“If anyone would like to join me on any of the up and coming adventures just visit Scottish Autism’s fundraising page at www.scottishautism.com.”

TAX CREDITS
Changes to both working tax credit and child tax credit were made on 6th April.

The income limit for child tax credit went down for most people. Find out by checking your award notice.The rules for couples with at least one child also changed.
In most cases to qualify your joint working hours will need to be at least 24 hours a week.
This will mean:
• If you both work, your joint weekly hours must be at least 24 with one of you working at least 16 hours a week
• If only one of you works that person must be working at least 24 hours a week
• If neither of these apply your working tax credit will have stopped from 6th April
There are some exceptions to these new rules - for further information contact your Welfare Benefit Officer.

 

BACKDATING
Previously, tax credit payments could be backdated for up to three months before the date a claim is received. This has now been reduced to one month.


50 OR OVER
If you are getting the extra amount of working tax credit called the 50 plus element this also stopped from 6 April which could mean your payments have gone down.
To continue to receive payments you will need to be working the following hours. If you are not responsible for at least one child you or your partner will need to work at least:
• 30 hours a week
• 16 hours a week if you are aged

 

60 or over or entitled to the disability element of working tax credit


If you are responsible for at least one child you will still likely qualify for working tax credit if:
You are single and working at least 16 hours per week

You are in a couple and meet the new rules for couples.

 

NON-DEPENDANT CHARGES
If you qualify for housing benefit/council tax benefit and have someone over the age of 18 living with you then your award may be reduced, depending on you and your non-dependants circumstances. This is called a non-dependant charge.

From 1 April 2012 non-dependant charges increased from:
• £9.40 to £11.45
• £21.55 to £26.25
• £29.60 to £36.10
• £48.45 to £59.05
• £55.20 to £67.25
• £60.60 to £73.85
If you currently have a non-dependant charge and wish to discuss the increases then please contact your Welfare Benefit Officer.

 

DISCRETIONARY HOUSING PAYMENTS
Discretionary housing payments are extra payments that can be made by Glasgow City Council to help meet your rent and council tax costs. You need to be in receipt of partial housing/council tax benefit and must show that you require some financial assistance to meet your housing costs.
Application are available at your local North Glasgow HA office; if you wish to apply please contact a member of the rent team.

 

Glasgow City Council now provide a one stop shop for access to all Council Tax and Housing Benefit online services.
The Self Service facility allows you to view information about your individual Council Tax and Housing Benefit account online.

 

Once you have registered you can:
COUNCIL TAX
• View your council tax details online
• Pay your council tax
• Report a change of address
• Sign up for a direct debit
• Search for a council tax band
• Apply for a council tax exemption and discount


HOUSING BENEFIT
• View your housing benefit and council tax benefit online
• LHA room calculator
• Benefits calculator
• Apply for housing and council tax benefit online
To register log onto Glasgow City Council website and follow the link to online services.

Six letters have the ability to strike fear – cancer. But early detection increases the chances of beating the disease.
Statistics for all types of cancer show that, on average, one in three people will have cancer at some stage in their lives.
Some forms can be treated much better than others but early detection is a vital ingredient.
Catherine maguire, lead sonographer at monklands general Hospital, says: “in general terms, the earlier something is diagnosed, the earlier treatment can start and the better the potential outcome. “There may be an easier path to go along the earlier it is detected and the treatment may be less intensive. For example, a small lump could be removed and that will be it.
“Not all cancers will kill you. Things have moved on over the years. Thanks to research there is better treatment, better support and we are better at dealing with things.”
Within three years of reaching the age of 50, women should become part of the national Breast screening programme and receive a letter to visit a mobile van. That is an appointment every woman should keep.
Catherine says there can be a level of discomfort but different people have different pain thresholds and not everyone reacts in the same way. But she adds: “A little discomfort now could mean a lot less pain later.”
Catherine says women who feel a lump on their breast must go to the doctor. It could be nothing more than a cyst but it must be checked out.
A mammogram can result in different outcomes. It could be perfectly normal or there could be a recall because of a technical problem or a patient may be referred for an ultrasound scan and maybe further investigation. Catherine says: “early detection is the key as there is a high success rate in the treatment of breast cancer.”
Catherine knows a number of staff and tenants of north glasgow HA through her husband robert and the close links formed before his retirement from Anniesland College.
Her commitment to the fight against cancer goes beyond work and this summer she plans to walk around 100 kilometres for Cancer research.
North Glasgow HA’s logo will be on her t-shirt along with scvlptvr (sculptur) Hair Design and possibly other sponsors. She’ll take part in Walk the Walk, an overnight marathon in edinburgh, the Glasgow 5K Race for Life, two other all women walks in Falkirk and stirling and shine, a marathon distance walk in Glasgow.
Her friends and family not only promised support – some said they’d join the walks so they could have some fun as there’s a great party atmosphere at the events. She would encourage others to join her at the Glasgow 5K Race for Life and hopes to see you there.
For more information about cancer research, including details of the Race for Life events, visit: www.cancerresearchuk.org
ng2 held its first annual staff meeting in February to review the first full year of operation, look at service improvements and plan for future years.
We reviewed all services and all staff were given the opportunity to make suggestions on how we can do things differently and better in future.
The well attended meeting also provided an opportunity for ng2 staff to meet other colleagues.
Many good ideas were discussed and some will be implemented to grow and develop the business.
Thanks to the positive feedback regular quarterly staff meetings will now be held to involve staff more in business development. Martin Baker, 25, who has worked with ng2 since its early days, said: “I was unemployed for eight months and was so low in confidence I nearly didn’t go for the interview.
¨I’m glad I did because working here has really turned my life around. I like being part of something and getting to know people.
“In the really bad weather we helped to dig out cars, clear and grit paths and often went to the shops for people who couldn’t get out. People remember that and we have built up good relationships with local people in the area.¨ Martin said of the staff event: “It was a great idea as it gave all the staff the opportunity to put their ideas forward to the managers. Not every organisation provides an opportunity to have your say on how things are done and how they could be done better.¨

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