Everyday Equality: Challenging Discrimination in Welfare Benefits

Jo Chimes, Everyday Equality project lead, shares her thoughts on our recent conference, Everyday Equality: challenging discrimination in welfare benefits.

During our May 2018 Everyday Equality conference in London, we launched our online handbook, Practical Equality Rights in Welfare Benefits Advice. At the event, we heard many brilliant insights about the challenges and opportunities of using equality rights in welfare benefits advice.

The main themes that emerged at the conference were:

  • A collective impulse to take action to ensure that our clients get the advice about equality rights that they need to solve their everyday problems
  • An urgent need to amplify our client’s stories so that we change the narrative of deep shame that our benefits clients are made to feel
  • The importance of making positive use of equality and human rights to ensure that we help to restore respect and dignity to our clients.

And we received some wonderful feedback:

“I thought it was a brilliant, thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring day! Thank you and well done on a brilliant piece of work.”

“Really useful day. I will be encouraging my team to consider these issues.”

We would like to thank all our speakers and delegates who helped make the conference a success, including those from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Law Centres Network, Public Law Project, King’s College London, Legal Action Group, CPAG, Leigh Day, Garden Court, National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers, rightsnet, Mind, Kirklees CALC, Ipswich CA, Newport CA, Flintshire CA.

We would like to thank the Equality and Human Rights Commission who funded this project.

We are hoping to run another small event later in the year, in Manchester. If you are interested in taking part or attending, please let us know: jo.chimes@edf.org.uk.