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Council news

Care workers helping vulnerable Hackney residents celebrated at annual awards ceremony

12th November 2019
Care workers across Hackney who provide care and help for vulnerable people in the borough, were celebrated at a special ceremony at Hackney Town Hall this month.  Hundreds of care workers were nominated for the third annual Hackney Care Worker of the Year awards by their employers and the people they provide care and help for. They play a vital role in allowing people, who need care and support, to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, helping them to keep their independence. Care workers also play a vital role in combating loneliness and isolation for older people with care and support needs, as they can often be the only person coming into contact with a resident every day or every week.   There were two categories for this year’s awards including Care in the Community and Care in the Home. 17 care workers were shortlisted for both categories and two overall winners were given a trophy and certificate to celebrate their work.  38-year-old Cruesa Lisandra Moutinho De-Casto, who won the Care in the Home category, said: “I was not expecting to win at all and I cannot wait to tell Mrs Bennett, (service user who nominated Cruesa). I was very surprised but award ceremonies like this are important as care workers are not recognised like they should be. I get so much out of the work I do, making a difference to someone’s life." Hirute Gebreselase, who is 37 and lives in London Fields, won the Care in the Community category. She was nominated by service user Patricia Redman, who has been receiving care from Hirute for 14 years. Hirute said: “I didn’t expect to win, but I am really grateful, pleased and honoured. I love Patricia, she reminds me of my mother who I lost at a young age. All of the residents I care for remind me of my parents. I cannot express how grateful I am to the service users and the Council for organising this. I love my job and my children will be happy to see this, as a reward for all of my hard work.” 72-year-old Patricia Redman from Stoke Newington who nominated Hirute, said: “Hirute is always punctual and always goes the extra mile for me. She has seen my highs and my lows but my needs are always her number one priority. She is an exceptional care worker, people like her are the bedrock of our society. Sadly we always hear the negative, rather than positive things about people who do this type of job. I think this is a great initiative to celebrate people like Hirute and really pleased that this has been organised. Thank you for creating this opportunity.  The awards were organised by Hackney Council to recognise the vital role of care workers in communities across the borough, delivering care for vulnerable people in difficult and challenging circumstances. Care workers play a key role in enabling people, who need care in Hackney, to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Nominations for next year’s Hackney Care Worker of the Year Awards will open next summer. “We had some fantastic nominations this year. The judging panel found it extremely difficult to shortlist people but we did eventually identify two worthy winners. Award ceremonies like this are extremely important to recognise care workers. They are a lifeline for some of our more vulnerable residents, many of whom are housebound, and often the only person someone will see in a day. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and to all of the winners too.”Gareth Wall, Head of Commissioning, London Borough of Hackney

Consultation on full fibre internet for social housing residents

11th November 2019
Hackney Council wants to enable the installation of fast, modern internet connections to all social housing in the borough so that tenants and leaseholders will have access to some of the best and most reliable internet service in London at some of the most affordable prices.  The new full fibre connections will replace old and slow copper networks, and the installation and management of the updated systems will be carried out by telecoms companies at no cost to the Council, tenants or leaseholders.  In preparation for the work, the Council is seeking the views of its tenants and leaseholders on proposals. It is also seeking comment on the community benefits that could come as a result, and looking to understand some of the reasons why some residents cannot currently access the internet. Views collected from residents will shape the plans the Council takes forward in negotiations with the telecoms companies. Have your say here.   David Padfield, Interim Director, Housing Services, said: “Internet is now the ‘fourth utility’, an everyday necessity alongside water, electricity and gas, and the Council is committed to improving access to the internet for those currently experiencing difficulty doing so.  “These new full fibre connections will mean impressive social benefits for our residents, including fast, low-cost access to the internet, which in itself brings a range of associated economic and wellbeing advantages.  “Residents will be able to switch to an internet package offered by the new providers only if they want to.” In order to ensure that as many residents as possible can benefit from better internet, the Council will be seeking commitments from companies to: • Install connections to as many homes as possible, not just ones which are easy to connect to • Offer low-cost, subsidised packages for those less able to pay, and options which do not require credit checks or fixed-term contracts. The Council will also ask companies to contribute to social initiatives. These could include: • Free internet connections to community halls • Provision of IT equipment for community use • Digital and online training for residents • Apprenticeships for local people • Employment opportunities for local people. Full fibre describes the material (fibre-optic) used to connect the internet to homes. Old networks run on copper wiring. Full fibre is considered the future as it is fast, reliable and allows households to use multiple services (like Netflix, iPlayer, gaming, and video calls) across multiple devices without a drop in service.  The Government aims to retire the old copper network by 2027, by when everyone will need to have access to full fibre. The Council’s consultation runs until 15 December 2019. Questions about the consultation can be sent by email to: consultation@hackney.gov.uk; or alternatively, call: 020 8356 2467.

Hackney Council celebrates Living Wage Week

In celebration of Living Wage Week from 11-17 November, Hackney Council has raised the Living Wage flag over Hackney Town Hall and will host a business breakfast on Thursday 14 November to commend employers committed to paying the London Living Wage in Hackney. Hosted at Hackney Town Hall in partnership with The Living Wage Foundation and Citizens UK, all 106 of the borough’s accredited Living Wage Employers have been invited - in addition to those without formal accreditation and businesses aspiring to pay the London Living Wage. The event will be an opportunity to share good news stories with Hackney’s business community and celebrate the announcement of the increased London Living Wage, which has been raised to £10.75, an increase of 20p per hour. Speakers at the event will include Daniel Howard from the Living Wage Foundation, Alice Woudhuysen from Child Poverty Action Group, Andy Pakula from New Unity Church and Claudia Mayne from Five Points Brewery.  The event will also be an opportunity for businesses to enjoy breakfast and network with other local businesses.Council officers representing trading standards, environmental health, commercial property, licensing and business rates will also be in attendance to provide support and information on Council services to attendees.Hackney Council was formally accredited as a London Living Wage employer in 2016 by the Living Wage Foundation, cementing a long-standing commitment to pay the London Living Wage. That commitment means that everyone working for the Council, regardless of whether they are permanent employees, temporary staff, part-time or agency staff or apprentices over the age of 18, is guaranteed to receive at least the London Living Wage.Businesses based in Hackney wishing to attend the event can book via eventbrite:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/london-living-wage-business-breakfast-tickets-78196215987Notes to editorsThe real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.The UK Living Wage is currently £9.30 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £10.75 per hour to reflect the higher costs of transport, childcare and housing in the capital. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. There are almost 6,000 accredited Living Wage employers in the UK.
11th November 2019

Raising awareness of rare and uncommon cancers in Hackney, following Council motion

Following a motion passed by Hackney Council over a year ago, to increase awareness and action on rare and less common cancers, work has been ongoing to increase understanding and action from health professionals to improve outcomes for patients in Hackney.  The Council passed a motion in October last year, thought to be the first of its kind in the country, to raise awareness to help improve diagnosis and support for patients. The Council has worked closely with health partners, including City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, (CCG), and charities such as the NET Patient Foundation to provide training for health professionals and engage with residents living with rare and uncommon cancers.  Earlier this year, City and Hackney CCG organised a GP training event in March, supported by Hackney Council’s Public Health team. The GP seminar focused on resources, diagnosis, treatment pathways and the advances in treating some rare and uncommon cancers.  This month following a meeting with patients living with rare and less common cancers a video has been recorded that highlights their experiences of living with uncommon cancers, including neuroendocrine cancers, (NETs). The video which will be will be used as a resource to increase general awareness about the reality of living with a rare or uncommon cancer and as an information tool for families and friends of patients to help increase their understanding and support.  There are more than 200 different types of cancer. A cancer is considered rare if fewer than six in 100,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. However, there are many types of rare and uncommon cancers, and 46% of diagnoses are in this category. Fifty five percent of deaths from cancer in 2016 were from those forms of cancers, and people living with a rare or less common cancer often report difficulties in diagnosis, treatment and care. On average 22 people in Hackney are diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) each year and more than 100 people in Hackney are currently living with this uncommon cancer. More than half of NET cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, often because of the similarity of symptoms to other conditions. Dr Nicole Klynman, Consultant in Public Health, Hackney, said: “We have been working very closely with City and Hackney CCG and other partners over the last 12 months to raise awareness amongst health professionals and partner organisations of such cancers including neuroendocrine cancers, (NETs). Sadly, whilst there have been huge advances in treatment and research overall, it is not the same for some forms of cancer. At least 55% of cancer deaths are from rare and less common cancers. We hope through this ongoing work and engagement we can ultimately improve outcomes for all patients and increase understanding and awareness.” The video highlighting patients' experiences will be published online later this month to help increase awareness and understanding of what it is like for people liviing with rare and less common cancers.  
9th November 2019

People in Hackney urged to check their drinking levels during Alcohol Awareness Week 2019

People in Hackney are being encouraged to check their drinking levels during Alcohol Awareness Week 2019, (11-17 November), to ensure they are consuming alcohol at low risk levels that minimise the risks to their health, wellbeing and personal safety.  More than a third of adults in Hackney are estimated to drink 14 or more units of alcohol every week (14 units a week is the limit for low risk drinking), [1].  More than 70 per cent of residents have a misconception about their personal drinking habits; they believe they are not drinking to excess, but are actually classified as high risk drinkers. It is also estimated that 83 per cent of people in Hackney, who are dependent on alcohol, are not receiving treatment or support for this. Almost half (48%) of Hackney residents report they do not drink and almost 90 per cent of residents say they have at least 2 alcohol free days.  To help residents check how much they are drinking, Hackney’s Public Health team, Hackney’s Recovery Service and Young Hackney are working in partnership joining forces with local health partners to run stalls across the borough, during Alcohol Awareness Week. People can visit any of the stalls to take part in a simple quiz which will help them identify how much they are actually drinking and whether it is within recognised safe drinking limits.  The stalls will be on the following days at the following times in the following locations: Monday 11 November 2019 from 11.30am to 4.30pm at Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, London, E8 1DY  Monday 11 November 2019 from 1pm to 4pm at Homerton University Hospital reception, Homerton Row, Clapton, London, E9 6SR Tuesday 12 November from 11am to 2pm at BSix College, Kenninghall Road, Hackney Downs, London, E5 8BP Wednesday 13 November from 2pm to 4pm in Gillet Square, Dalston, London, N16 8JH Wednesday 13 November from 5pm - 7pm at Dalston Junction station, Dalston Lane, Dalston, London E8 3DE Thursday 14 November from 10am to 12pm at St Ignatius Church, 27 High Road, London, N15 6ND Friday 15 November from 11.30am to 4.30pm at Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, London, E8 1DY Friday 15 November from 2pm to 4pm at Providence Row Housing Association, (PRHA), 15 Elsdale Street, London E9 6QW There is also a simple online test - https://www.alcoholtest.org.uk/alcohol-test - that people can use to check how much alcohol they are actually drinking.  People are also being urged to keep safe when out and about across the borough enjoying Hackney’s nightlife.
7th November 2019

Final phase of award-winning Kings Crescent regeneration approved

Nearly 400 homes will be built or refurbished on Stoke Newington’s Kings Crescent Estate as part of Hackney Council’s programme to tackle the housing crisis after plans were approved. Under proposals unanimously approved by the Council’s Planning Committee this evening, 219 new homes will be built to complete the estate’s regeneration, with a further 174 homes upgraded – with more than half for genuinely affordable social rent or shared ownership. The first phase of the project, completed in 2017, has been recognised internationally as a leading example of modern Council housebuilding, winning awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Mayor of London. Council officers and architects have spent nearly a year working closely with existing tenants and leaseholders, and local councillors, on the latest designs, which include better public spaces, new play areas and community facilities. The final phase will see 28 new Council homes for social rent, 75 homes for shared ownership and 116 for outright sale – to help pay for the rest of the development. Tenants and leaseholders in 174 existing homes will receive new balconies, lobby entrances and refuse stores amongst other improvements. Once complete, 492 new homes will have been built on the estate since 2017, including 97 homes for social rent and 111 homes for shared ownership – with 275 existing homes refurbished in total.The Council will now tender for a construction partner to build the homes, with work due to start in 2021. Residents are expected to move into the first homes in 2023.Around 2,000 homes will be started or completed across the borough by Hackney Council between 2018 and 2022, with more than half for genuinely affordable social rent and shared ownership. Local people always have first dibs on these new homes – with Council homes allocated to residents whose homes have been demolished, tenants in housing need nearby, or homeless families on the housing waiting list.Find out more about the Council’s housebuilding programme.
6th November 2019