DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
News

Glasgow beggars will be given benefits help to provide route off the streets

New digital inclusion officer will roam the city streets using a tablet computer to aid with Universal Credit applications

homeless person experiencing homelessness

Glasgow beggars will be given the chance to complete the online-only Universal Credit sign-up thanks to the city council’s new roving digital inclusion officer.

The new role will see a council worker roam the city streets alongside homelessness charity Simon Community’s street team with a tablet computer to make benefits applications, opening bank accounts and securing forms of identification more accessible.

The measures are part of the council’s City Centre Begging Strategy and come ahead of Universal Credit’s roll-out in Glasgow next month.

However, the controversial benefits system has had a troubled introduction in other areas, with the Trussell Trust revealing that Universal Credit had driven up foodbank use by more than 50 per cent in some places earlier this year.

Regardless, it is hoped that providing access to the system for those previously excluded will provide an alternative to begging that will enable those on the streets to improve their engagement with support services.

Councillor Allan Casey, chair of Glasgow’s City Centre Begging Strategy Group, said: “The benefits system can be complicated and confusing – especially if you have a chaotic lifestyle and no access to technology or broadband.

“The application process can be daunting, but this new digital inclusion post will take financial and digital support directly to the most vulnerable to help ensure no-one is missing out on the benefits they are entitled to.”

The role is still to be filled but will work out of Glasgow’s new multi-agency city centre hub for homeless people which is due to open in early 2019.

The hub will be available to use as a correspondence address and will also enable access to online DWP accounts.

Robin Wallace, assistant director of Simon Community Scotland, added: “This type of assistance is exceptionally important for people living on the margins of society. It will ensure people who need help the most, receive it.

“Our experience within the Street Team recognises that people can spend a large amount of time engaged in street begging, and less time engaging in support and connecting with staff and services, therefore it is imperative that we take this service to them.”

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
'Great pity' major parties are ignoring poverty in election, says Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart
Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell
General election 2024

'Great pity' major parties are ignoring poverty in election, says Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart

People with learning disabilities need to make their voices heard on election day
Ismail Kaji of Mencap
Learning Disability Week 2024

People with learning disabilities need to make their voices heard on election day

'I want to get out': The fight for people with learning disabilities to live at home – not hospitals
Learning Disability Week 2024

'I want to get out': The fight for people with learning disabilities to live at home – not hospitals

Labour unveils plan to fix rental crisis and immediately axe no-fault evictions
Labour will ban no-fault evictions, confirms Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer
RENTING

Labour unveils plan to fix rental crisis and immediately axe no-fault evictions

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know