Launch of VIEW’s latest issue to highlight how many people are now reliant on food banks

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By Una Murphy, VIEWdigital

Advice workers in Ligoniel, north Belfast, will highlight what goes into an emergency food parcel at the launch of the latest edition of VIEW magazine tomorrow.

Printed copies of VIEW magazine ‘Stories from the Frontline’ will be available at the event at Wolfhill Centre (starting at 11am), which comes as leading charity Advice NI calls on United Nations rapporteur Philip Alston to recommend changes to the controversial welfare benefit Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is currently being rolled out in Northern Ireland and advice workers say that many people are now reliant on food banks due to the welfare benefits changes.

Professor Alston will be visiting the UK in November to find out more about poverty and human rights.  Advice NI has responded to his calls for written submissions.

The international human rights lawyer wants to find out about “the most significant human rights violations experienced by people living in poverty and extreme poverty in the UK”.

Mary McManus, the guest editor of this edition of VIEW magazine is manager of East Belfast Independent Advice Centre.  She said:  “One day a woman came to us who had applied for a benefit but due to an administrative error she had not received any money.  Months had gone by; she did not have money for food or to buy school trousers for her son.”

Bob Stronge. Chief Executive of Advice NI, has warned that the end of the mitigation package which helps vulnerable low income households in Northern Ireland means “we are now rapidly hurtling towards a welfare reform cliff edge in March 2020.”

He added:  “The clock is ticking on the expiry of the mitigations package and the savage cuts this will unleash on thousands of unsuspecting low income households.  This must focus minds on securing the necessary agreement and resources.”

“Advice NI is delighted to sponsor this edition of VIEW Magazine which focuses on ‘Stories from the frontline’. I want to pay particular thanks to our chair Mary McManus who took on the role of guest editor and to all the other contributors and especially to those who agreed to share their particular stories. I hope you will agree that this edition highlights, very effectively, the reality of the lives facing some of our most vulnerable people and communities and the tremendous but often overlooked interventions and support provided by advice agencies and many others. I hope you will read with interest and compassion.”

Brian Pelan editor of VIEW magazine, said:  “We have seen a rise in hardship, especially from those who have moved from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).  This is evidenced by the amount of PIP personal stories in this issue.”

• Download a copy of our latest issue – https://cl.ly/tL1V

• Link to view our online version – https://issuu.com/brianpelanone/docs/austerity_issue_online

• Sign up at http://viewdigital.org/sign-get-view/ to receive future issues of VIEW and regular e-zines on our digital training courses,

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