ERDA 2018/19 New Committee

2018/19 committee was elected at ERDA AGM on 25th June, 2018

Chairperson                                Michael McEwan 

Vice Chair                                    Colette Walker 

Treasurer                                     Mark Chisholm 

Social Media Organiser                Chris McCusker 



The Big Lunch

East Renfrewshire Disability Action , in collaboration with other organisations , are holding a free event called The Big Lunch – We hope to see you there 

Campaign for accessible taxis in East Renfrewshire

Following our successful campaign for accessible taxis in East Renfrewshire , we are pleased to announce that East Renfrewshire Council has published a list of those currently available on their website. Here is link :

Access to Work


If you’re disabled or have a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job, you can:

Talk to your employer about changes they must make in your workplace

Apply for Access to Work if you need extra help

Your employer must make certain changes (known as ‘reasonable adjustments’) to make sure you’re not substantially disadvantaged when doing your job. These could include changing your working hours or providing equipment to help you do your job.

You should talk to your employer about reasonable adjustments before you apply for Access to Work.

Get help from Access to Work

If the help you need at work isn’t covered by your employer making reasonable adjustments, you may be able to get help from Access to Work.

You need to have a paid job, or be about to start or return to one.

You’ll be offered support based on your needs, which may include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace.

An Access to Work grant can pay for:

Special equipment, adaptations or support worker services to help you do things like answer the phone or go to meetings

Help getting to and from work

You might not get a grant if you already get certain benefits.

The money doesn’t have to be paid back and won’t affect your other benefits.


What you’ll get

How it works


Keep Safe Scotland

I Am Me Scotland work in partnership with Police Scotland to raise awareness of and tackle disability hate crime. Keep Safe is a national initiative that works with a network of businesses and community buildings to create ‘Keep Safe’ places for people who may be feeling lost, scared or vulnerable while out in the community. Keep Safe places are identified by the I Am Me logo sticker in the window, although a full list of Keep Safe places can be found on I Am Me Scotland’s Keep Safe Scotland app can be used to:

Provide a full list of Keep Safe places across Scotland, with contact information and opening times for each business.

Plan routes, highlighting Keep Safe places along the way, promoting independent travel.

Find out information about local news and events.

Submit a hate crime report to Police Scotland, through a confidential online form.

Contact Police Scotland on 101 (non-emergency) and 999 (emergency), while giving the app user their approximate location

Support for Mortgage Interest is changing

Support for Mortgage Interest is changing


Does the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) help with your mortgage interest payments?

From 6 April 2018 help from the DWP with your mortgage is changing to a loan. The DWP will write to you about this change and offer you a loan to help pay your mortgage interests.

The questions and answers below provide a brief explanation of the change taking place, but If you require any further details or advice on this please call the Money Advice and Rights Team(MART) on 0141 577 8420.

  • What is Support for Mortgage Interest benefit?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) currentlyoffers a benefit called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), also known as Help with Housing Costs.

SMI pays towards the interest on a mortgage and othereligible home improvement loans.

On 5 April 2018, the SMI benefit will end.

  • What is replacing Support for Mortgage Interest benefit?

Replacing SMI benefit will be SMI loans, which will be introduced on 6 April 2018. SMI loans will be offered to both new and existing claimants.

Claimants receiving Income Support, income-relatedJobseeker’s Allowance, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit or Universal Credit will be offered SMI loan payments.

  • How will SMI loans be calculated?

SMI loan payments will be calculated in the same way as the current SMI benefit, using the standard interest rate and outstanding mortgage capital limits in place:

• For most working age claimants the limit is currently £200,000 outstanding mortgage and some home improvement loans

• For pension credit claimants the limit is currently £100,000 outstanding mortgage and some home improvement loans.

The interest rate can be revised twice a year, with anychanges (up or down) taking effect on 1 January and 1 July.

  • How and when will an SMI loan be repaid?

A claimant will have to repay the total of the SMI loan payments made plus interest from any remaining equity once their property is sold or ownership is transferred. If there is not enough equity available to repay the SMI loan in full, the amount of SMI loan that cannot be repaid
will be written off. Alternatively, the claimant can make voluntary repayments at any time (e.g. on the return to work of a working age claimant). The minimum amount that can be voluntarily repaid at any one time will be £100. The full amount can be repaid if the SMI loan amount is less than £100. Once the SMI loan has been repaid in full, anycharge that was placed on the property will be removed. There will be no early repayment fees.

  • How can I find out more about SMI loans?

The DWP will contact existing claimants before April to provide them with the information they need to make an informed decision about whether to accept the offer of an SMI loan.
Current claimants will receive a letter and an information leaflet on SMI loans. These are being sent out by a company called Serco on behalf of the DWP; however the loan itself is from the government, not from Serco. The letter and leaflet will explain the “offer” of a loan. It is an offer because the claimant does not have to accept it, but if they do not, their SMI payment will end in April 2018.

  • What do I do if I want to accept the SMI loan offer?

To accept the SMI loan offer, claimants are required to have a telephone conversation that will outline their other options.  The claimant (and partner if the house is jointly owned) will then need to sign the loan agreement and a charge form. This documentation is over 60 pages long and it is essential that it is read fully. The charge will be registered at the Land Registry. This means that if your home goes up for sale you will not be able to release the proceeds  of the sale until any money owed to the DWP is repaid.

If there is anything within the documentation that you are unsure of, or if you have any further questions on the documentation, the Money Advice and Rights Team(MART) can help. Call the team on 0141 577 8420.

Source :

3rd Party Reporting Centre

ERDA are happy to announce that we are now a 3rd Party Reporting Centre. 

Many people, for a variety of reasons, do not want to get in touch with the police in person. Third party reporting allows you to tell the police about an incident without contacting them directly.

Glasgow has over 60 organisations that can take a report from you and forward it to the police.

These are community organisations, housing associations, voluntary organisations and some council services, where you can talk to someone in confidence about hate crime.

If you want to make a report to the police, we can do it for you

Contact us at : 

East Renfrewshire Disability Action

56 Kelburn Street, Barrhead, G78 1LR

Tel : 0772 107 4384

Email :



Self-Directed Support Forum ER Monthly Coffee Morning

Self-Directed Support Forum East Renfrewshire members would like to invite you to join them for an informal chat over coffee at the Redhurst Hotel, Eastwoodmains Road, Giffnock

1st Tuesday of the month between 10.30am – 12.00pm

If you require any further information please get in touch with the office on 0141 638 2525 or


The Night Visitors – Home Care Service in East Renfrewshire

The Night Visitors provide personally tailored care in South Lanarkshire, South Glasgow and East Renfrewshire.

They provide high quality overnight care in the form of evening or night care visits , and can be very flexible to suit your needs. They can provide evening visits at a time of your choosing to help you safely to bed or visits throughout the night for pressure or incontinence care.

This is an innovative service and is designed to meet the needs of people who need overnight support but do not require a full night sitter. The organisation provides a tailored service suited to your timings , as they appreciate   that everyone is different.

They assess, evaluate and provide a tailored in-home care service based on the needs of each client.

Their service is flexible and respects your rights of privacy, independence, dignity and personal fulfilment.

They wish to promote independence and allow people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. They can help:

Frail and vulnerable adults
People with dementia or other mental health issues
People with Physical Disabilities
People with Sensory Impairment
People suffering from or recovering from illness
People with learning difficulties

If you live in South Lanarkshire, South Glasgow or East Renfrewshire and would like a free assessment and quote for services please contact them via below website . They will arrange a time for a meeting where they can discuss your needs for evening or night care.

More details can be found at

Disabled Access Day – blog by Rose Daly

So, today is the day! Today is Disabled Access Day. It also happens to be the day that my husband has gone out so I am planning a quick escape to “visit somewhere that you’ve never been before”.

I’ve checked on the website, read the material, embracing the encouragement to “try a least just one new place”

Goodness! The world is my oyster! (Well, Barrhead. Maybe even go further afield to Newton Mearns!) How many exciting new places will I get to see today? I wonder how many other people will be out-and-about, taking in the sights and scenes.

Right, better think about getting dressed, seeing as how my lovely hubby ironed my clothes and laid them out before he left. These joggies are great for loafing around the house, but not for showing my face to the big bad world!

Och Wait! There is no one here to help me on with my clothes. I couldn’t have put them on anyway; I haven’t showered or even washed today. .If only I had access to some kind of care package… (Baby wipes rock!)

My wheelchair is left outside the front door (house doors are not wide enough to bring the chair inside and the step doesn’t help either). I finally manage to drag myself outside and plonk myself in the chair.

Right, Tally Ho! Onward and upward! Try as I might, I cannot get myself up that hill. The handrail helps a bit, but still I struggle. With grit and determination, a lot of sweat and perhaps the occasional swear word; I finally managed to get to the corner.

The bus driver is trying to explain to me that there is no room on the bus (due to a lovely wee mum with her baby and pram) so there’s no point in him dropping the floor height to chair level,,,, I can feel anger rising up…breathe…BBBREAAATHE!

I will call a cab. A taxi will take me to “somewhere that (I’ve) never been before”. Grrr! ER Cabs “ I am sorry Madam, but there are no facility taxis available in your area.”

ENOUGH ALREADY! Disabled Access Day? Don’t make me laugh!

Tired, Angry, exhausted, I am off home. At least today, I will have access to something…the remote control! Sigh!