Welcome to the Advice Dorset Partnership E-News bulletin. The bulletin is circulated every two weeks and will bring you news and information relating to the advice sector in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. If you would like to send anything out via the bulletin, please send it to Sue at: advicedorsetpartnership@gmail.com

This is the first E-News of the ‘new’ 2018/19 year and you are receiving a link to it because you and/or your organisation are on our current list of  members of the Advice Dorset Partnership.  There is no charge to be on the eNews mailing list, BUT please make sure you have completed the short Survey Monkey application (see below) so that:

  • we have your up-to-date details and
  • it gives you the opportunity to pay to join the PLUS scheme which gives you access to free or reduced cost events (training  courses, briefings, Welfare Benefit Forums etc).

For other enquiries about the Advice Dorset Partnership contact caroline@caidorset.org.uk.

Advice Dorset Partnership

Reminder: It’s time to renew your Advice Dorset Partnership Membership

If you are a member of the Advice Dorset Partnership, you will have received an email from SurveyMonkey asking you to complete our survey so that you can register for 2018/2019.  If you are not a member or didn’t get the email the survey is still open; please click here:

Immigration Briefing: 9 May 2018

James Davies of the International Care Network will run a morning session giving an overview of immigration matters which may arise in a general advice practice, either as issues in themselves or as complicating factors in other issues.  £15 per place or FREE if you have joined the Advice Dorset Partnership PLUS scheme – see above!  Book your place:

HERE

 Job Opportunities in local Citizens Advice offices

 Advice Session Supervisor, part-time post based in Christchurch, Dorset. Working closely with the Advice Services Manager, the Advice Session Supervisor is responsible for the day to day supervision of the advice team as they provide advice and information face to face and on the telephone and ensuring that the advice meets quality standards.

Closing date: 24 April 2018

For more information click here

For volunteering opportunities find your local Citizens Advice office here

News and Useful Information

BrightHouse changes returns and repossession policy

BrightHouse’s Chief Executive Hamish Paton appeared in front of the Treasury Select Committee – see the video of the Committee here. He said that only half of customers end up owning the goods and if a customer defaults on an agreement, stops paying and fails to return goods, the balance is written off after 120 days. This is in addition to the ‘no quibbles’ returns policy whereby a client can return goods with no further payments to make.

As BrightHouse has not updated their website with the new ‘write off’ policy advisers may need to ask for confirmation that a write off has been made. Debt Camel reports that BrightHouse has confirmed the new policy.

Tax Help for Older People have an archive of Tax Tips, the most recent is about Pension Flexibility, see more here.

Judicial review to lack of transitional protection for universal credit migration

Leigh Day solicitors are bringing judicial review proceedings on behalf of two disabled clients who have lost disability premiums on so called ‘natural’ migration to UC. Natural migration occurs when a claimant experiences a change in circumstances which means a new claim to legacy benefit would be needed. This is not possible in UC full service so the person has to claim UC to get the income formerly provided by the legacy benefit, which will end existing entitlement to other legacy benefits, such as income related ESA.

As part of this Leigh Day are calling for other case studies where natural migration has resulted in the loss of the severe disability and enhanced disability premiums. The solicitors are asking for a short summary of the client’s situation which sets out how they came to be on UC and how the loss of their SDP/EDP is affecting them. Please contact Tessa Gregory – here and Lucy Cadd here

Healthy Homes Dorset is a project funded by Public Health Dorset, managed by Dorset County Council and delivered by The Centre for Sustainable Energy a Bristol based Charity. Healthy Homes Dorset is represented in Dorset by Jon Parvin, who is a Senior Energy Advisor based in Dorchester.  Jon writes:

“Healthy Homes Dorset is able to access funding to provide free cavity wall and loft insulation to residents of Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth who are either on a low income or who are diagnosed with a relevant medical condition or have a disability. We can also arrange for any necessary preparation work to be completed free of charge and can, in some cases, provide new heating systems either free of charge, or at a reduced cost. Independent, impartial energy advice is available from trained staff either over the phone or, when required, through a home visit”.

Part of Jon’s role, in addition to carrying out home visits and individual client casework, is to ensure that anyone who works with people who may be living in cold homes contributing to poor health, can recognise the signs, what help and support is available and how to easily refer for that support. Jon is available to present to meetings and groups across the whole of Dorset on the Healthy Homes Dorset Project and can be contacted mailto:jon.parvin@cse.org.uk

Events and Training

An Introduction to Energy Efficiency, Behaviour Change and Advice NEW DATE!

West Dorset Council are hosting an Energy Efficiency Training  course for frontline workers on Thursday 3rd May at WDDC offices, South Walks, Dorchester.

This course aims to provide delegates with a basic understanding of energy efficiency in the home, and offers a focus on the way that behaviour change theories and ideas can enhance the impact of the advice offered to householders. The course will equip delegates with information about fuel poverty and health, the types of issues encountered by householders with meters and billing, and examine potential measures and assistance that might improve energy efficiency in the home. By exploring the theories behind behaviour change, delegates will also be able to examine how energy efficiency advice can be framed to encourage action by householders.

This course is free to attend, please book by Eventbrite here

‘Safeguarding Adults for Managers of Provider Services’ a 1 day course from the Borough of Poole. Please click on the relevant link to view details about the course and to book yourself/colleagues on:

Mon 14th May Last 4 spaces

Tue 3rd July Last 13 spaces

Please note:

  • Delegates must have attended the one day ‘Essential Safeguarding Adults Skills’ course or equivalent prior to booking this course – dates for this course can be viewed here
  • If your contractual relationship is exclusively with Bournemouth Borough Council please contact Deborah Savage email  or telephone 01202 456700 to book on this course

 The courses can be booked on these dates via CPD online by clicking the date links above where you will also find out details of the content of the course as well as times/venue/costs, etc.

 If your establishment is not yet set up on CPD or a colleague doesn’t have a CPD User Account please email or call 01202 261014.

Research and Reports

Gingerbread have produced a report called Still ‘just about managing?’ looking at the experience of lone parents in an ‘age of austerity’. read more  Here

The Good Things Foundation has a lots of useful information including this recent report on social change:

theory-of-change-playbook

Funding opportunities

Illegal Money Lending Team -Stop Loan Sharks: 2018/19 grant round now open for grants of up to £5,000 to raise awareness of Load Sharks.  Details and application form:

Stop Loan Sharks Community Fund application form – 2018.-2019 V2

The Macdougall Trust, as you’ll have read in previous editions,  can award grants of up to &250 (£350 under exceptional circumstances) mainly for household or essential items. They are not able to pay off debts. Applications need to be supported by an adviser or other frontline worker, and payment cannot be made directly to the applicants, so your organisation needs to be able to accept and disburse monies on behalf of clients. If required, they can write cheques to Argos and Dorset Reclaim.

They have now updated their application form:   Here