Stockport MP Ann Coffey visited the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), whose national support line is based in Stockport.
NAPAC is a national charity which offers support to adults who suffered any type of childhood abuse – physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect. NAPAC’s support line is totally confidential and is free from landlines and mobile phones is 0808 801 0331.
During her visit, Ann met some of the busy NAPAC volunteers, who receive extensive training before they take calls. The demand for the survivor support line and e-mail support service has risen substantially over the past three years, with 89,960 call attempts last year.
The reform of the benefit system in our country is long overdue, and the introduction of Universal Credit was planned to simplify a complex system and guarantee that work pays and having a job is better than a life on benefits.
However, instead of improving things, the government has created a system which is not fit for purpose. Universal Credit, which merges six benefits and tax credits into one, is supposed to be flexible, making it easier for people to move into a job, cope with periods of insecure employment and ensure in-work payments for low-income families.
I was surprised to learn recently that there are no definite figures on how many armed forces veterans live in Stockport. The national census, which happens every ten years, does not collect information on the Armed Forces community – information which could help us improve support for our armed forces, both serving and retired.
I met some of these men and women when I visited the Stockport Veterans Breakfast Club earlier this year. They have served our country in conflicts including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.