Petition Tag - funding cuts

1. Hub4Health Services at Risk due to funding cuts

Hub4Health currently offers a large range of clinical health and social services throughout the Break O’Day Municipality. A reduction in funding will result in a cut in many of the services we offer. We are petitioning the government to recognise our regional isolation and continue base funding in both clinical and preventative health.

2. Save befriending services for the vulnerable in Derbyshire

Befriending is an essential service for lonely and isolated people in Derbyshire. Withdrawing its funding is a false economy. Local charities and organisations are fighting the spending cuts which will cause loneliness and isolation and affect the health and wellbeing of Derbyshire’s most vulnerable.

Befriending services in Derbyshire deploy volunteers to support people who are lonely and isolated. A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation, found chronic loneliness increases the chances of an early death by 14% - a similar impact to being overweight or smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Volunteers provide a vital social lifeline as well acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community, looking out for people who are most vulnerable.

With a quarter of the population of Derbyshire now aged over 65, the need for befriending has never been greater. While referrals for befriending from families, GPs, social services and others have never been higher. However many of these vital services are facing cuts to funding up to 100% if Derbyshire County Council goes ahead with proposed reductions to voluntary and community groups.

Derbyshire Befriending Services are asking funders to think again, as this is clearly a false economy. Volunteer befrienders make a massive social and financial contribution – a 2015 survey of provision found that 754 volunteers giving their time to 31 befriending services contribute around 1571.5 hours’ time each week. If they were all paid the minimum wage this would cost £439,517 per year.

Volunteer-based befriending offers high-quality care at a rate which represents incredible value for money. One of the largest befriending projects in Derbyshire requires just £30k a year to operate a full service to well over 100 clients, deploying over 80 fully trained, screened and dedicated volunteers – including two weekly social gatherings and two members of staff.

If such a service were to be withdrawn, the consequences for social care, A&E, GPs’ surgeries, nursing homes, health visitors and others, would be enormous and hugely expensive. In truth, axing funding for befriending organisations is an invitation to greater costs and significant insecurity, as well as being the cruel removal of a much needed and relied-upon service.

At the Volunteer Centre in Chesterfield service users were quick to point out the difference the project had made to them:

“It is a great relief to know that The Volunteer Centre and its caring members exist as I don’t know what we would have done without their support. This is a worthy project that needs to continue in order to assist the forgotten minorities.”

“What a difference your project has made. You found me a wonderful chatty and humorous lady. I went from being rigid with fear to laughing.”

Kerrie Fletcher, from South Derbyshire CVS (which coordinates the Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network) said:

“The befriending service in Derbyshire, like others around the county – provide a vital lifeline to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, linking them up with the friendship and support of trusted volunteers. In return for a relatively small investment, the difference they make to people who are lonely and isolated is huge. I very much hope that the funders will reconsider their decision and find a way to continue to fund these valuable services.”

Source: facebook

3. Stop School Funding Cuts

PARENTS already struggling with the rising cost of living now face increased school fees after the state government yesterday slashed education funding by almost $2 billion.

A total of 1800 jobs will go - bureaucrats, public school administration staff and TAFE teachers - while Catholic and independent schools will lose $116 million over four years and TAFE fees will rise 9.5 per cent.
In light of recent media coverage of the Government’s decision to cut funding to education we encourage parents and caregivers to band together to voice your concerns.

The executive of Maitland Primary Principal’s Association are planning to meet with Maitland’s Local Member for Parliament Robyn Parker on Thursday 4th October. In support of your children it is asked that letters of petition opposing the funding cuts are collected and presented to Robyn Parker at this meeting.

“Students in all New South Wales schools and TAFEs will be the losers as a result of the announcement made by the O’Farrell Government yesterday,” Dr White said. “Make no mistake: this decision will hit hard right across the education sector. For non-government schools, the four-year funding freeze means a cut of $116m. This will certainly have an impact on the services that we will be able to provide to students in the years ahead. I believe that our children deserve better.” (source media release education office 12/09/2012)

4. Urge Canadian Government to End Victim Blaming and Violence Against Women

Society, media, and the judicial system in Canada are constantly reinforcing myths and stereotypes about rape. These myths and stereotypes result in victim blaming and sex shaming rather than placing responsibility on the perpetrators of these crimes.

The goal of this petition is call on the federal government to take this issue seriously, restore funding to feminist initiatives and create a national strategy to end violence against women in collaboration with women's groups.

We invite you to sign this petition calling for the the federal government of Canada to make meaningful change to promote women’s equality.

5. I LOVE SIDE GALLERY!

The Arts Council has axed Side Gallery as a revenue client in its ‘National Portfolio’. The reasons for the decision are:

1. The gallery is part of a collective and therefore doesn’t have a board;

2. The gallery needs Arts Council funding and therefore isn’t sustainable;

3. There are too many galleries dedicated to humanist documentary photography in Side’s geographical location.

This flies in the face of the fact that the collective has continued to deliver what is unquestionably the strongest cultural legacy created in the North East over the past 40 years.

Unlike many Arts organisations, its egalitarian collective governance has meant Side Gallery has never approached the Arts Council or Northern Arts for a bail-out. It is the only gallery in the country dedicated to documentary photography.

6. UK scientists oppose cuts in the Arts and Humanities

The government has announced large cuts to the funding of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Whole departments are to be closed. One persistent theme in the framing of this decision is the claim that these subjects are not strategically important and do not contribute economic value.

As researchers and teachers in the natural sciences, we know that the balance of teaching and research subjects at each university cannot be remade by a product-oriented central plan, and we strongly believe that our universities are indivisible.

Healthy natural science teaching and research are inseparable from healthy humanities and social sciences; witness the tremendous investment of world-leading technology universities such as Caltech and MIT in their schools of humanities and social sciences.

Computer scientists collaborate with linguists and psychologists on translation software; mathematicians collaborate with economists on financial models; social scientists collaborate with biologists to guide the application of genomics discoveries; and all depend on philosophers and historians to establish the foundations of their subjects. Students who are preparing for the challenges of the 21st century need to be exposed to this thriving interdisciplinarity.

Lord May, former president of the Royal Society, expressed this well in 2002: “Science does no more than setting the stage, providing and clarifying the choices. Our values and feelings about the society we wish to build, in this wiser world of tomorrow, then will write the play. But whence the values? What shapes them? What guides the subsequent choices? These are hugely difficult, yet utterly fundamental questions. Ultimately the answers ... will illustrate better than anything else just how indivisible is the continuum from the arts and humanities through to the sciences. Studies in the arts and humanities continue, in many different ways, to illuminate the mechanisms of social interaction and cohesion in human institutions.”

7. Keep Meadowcroft Open

Hampshire County Council is proposing to make cuts in the services they provide for people with learning disabilities.

Part of these cuts include the closure of Meadowcroft.

Meadowcroft is the only facility of its kind in the Rushmoor and Hart area and provides a life line to parents and carers knowing their dependant is happy in a safe familiar environment.

It is proposed to close Meadowcroft in August 2011 but it is hoped that a new facility will be built in 2015.

8. Save the Arts

Radical cuts to current levels of arts funding will decimate what has been one of the UK's chief success stories over the past 20 years, and will bring an end to the UK's reign as a global capital for culture.

Arts organisations all accept the need to reduce their budgets. But while the arts can possibly sustain a ten percent funding cut, the 25-30% cuts that the government is currently considering would result in the closure of many smaller arts organizations and would also have a crippling effect on the functioning of the country’s leading arts venues.

The arts are a major employer, and they generate far more revenue than they cost to fund. In addition they are a major attraction for tourism in the UK. While cutting arts funding may save money in the short term, in the long run it risks undermining what has been one of the country’s most vibrant areas of growth over the past fifteen years, and destroying one of the national achievements that we should be most proud of.