Advice Dorset Partnership E News No 10 – 16th August 2018

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

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

Events

There are no upcoming Advice Dorset Partnership events. Please let us know about your event so we can advertise it here.

Job Opportunities in local Citizens Advice offices

PensionWise Guider:  Citizens Advice Bournemouth & Poole are looking for a PensionWise Guider, Full Time (Job Share Available),Salary -£24,000pa,  Fixed term to 31/03/2019.  For more information click here.

Macmillan Project Manager: Citizens Advice Dorchester, Sherborne & North Dorset are looking for a  part-time (8hours/week) Project Manager for their very successful Macmillan Advice project. The role will be based in Dorchester. Read more:

Macmillan Project Manager Advert August 2018

For Volunteering opportunities, find your local Citizens Advice office here

Job Opportunities in other local agencies

Illegal Money Lending team – LIAISE officer:

A vacancy has arisen for a LIAISE Officer responsible for the development, implementation and management of IMLT Credit Union projects. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will be expected to travel nationally across all local authorities including overnight stays.
The main function of the LIAISE Officer role is:
• To support individuals and communities affected by loan sharks
• To generate intelligence from communities relating to loan sharks
• To work with partner agencies on projects that will stop people using loan sharks

Read more HERE

News and Useful Information

Government’s new Civil Society Strategy

The first Civil Society Strategy in 15 years sets out a vision to create stronger communities. It proposes significant reforms across the public and private sectors to build a fairer society. People, communities and charitable organisations will be at the centre of decision-making. Read more Here

Tax Tips for August: read them here:   Tax_Tips_Aug_2018_Trading_or_Property_Income_003_

Heart Felt Tips

Set up by the artist Jeremy Houghton, Heart Felt Tips is an initiative that organises for children who are suffering economic hardship to receive pencil cases packed with pens and other art supplies: creative tools that they all too often lack. The pencil cases are filled by children at schools and clubs, and then distributed via frontline food banks and faith centres, ensuring that the most deserving kids receive them quickly.

To get involved either by organising donations or requesting help for children please click here for more information.

Universal Credit and rented housing: guide for landlords

This is a guidance document from the DWP which provides private and social sector landlords with information about Universal Credit to help them understand what they can do to help their tenants prepare for:

  • their move to the single Universal Credit benefit payment
  • making direct payments of their housing costs (rent) direct to their landlord themselves

It explains how Universal Credit will ensure that the appropriate protections and safeguards are in place – both the trigger points for intervention by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and recovery of arrears where they occur. It also explains what budgeting and payment support is available for tenants who may need help moving to the new system. This includes alternative payment arrangements if claimants are finding it hard to manage their Universal Credit payment and pay their landlord themselves.

To see the full guidance click here.

Local Government Reorganisation: For information on the Shadow Council go to: Dorset Area Councils

Dorset Voluntary and Community Sector Transition Group: you will have read about the work of this group in previous newsletters. In order to promote the role of sector we have produced a flyer –  uploaded below:  (paper copies are also available).

TG flyer version FINAL 270618 compressed

Other Events and Training

“Making Every Contact Count” – train the trainer: MECC enables individuals and organisations to develop and use an approach to maximise the opportunities to support people to make positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing. MECC Healthy Conversation Skills training enables conversations to be opened with confidence to help explore change and signpost effectively.

This is a three session course, running twice, in September and October; see the Flyer: MECC Flyer v2 Dorset TtT

National Energy Action – Smart Energy GB in Communities  for 2018 – offer free, accredited one-day training sessions for local organisations. The training will be offered to organisations who support  people over 60 (including those who do not have internet access) and/ or people who are severe or profoundly D/deaf as part of their work. Please contact Louise Evans for more information louise.evans@nea.org.uk or  07730 760828.

Dorset Community Action training: 

This bite size course is designed for trustees or committee members of all types of voluntary and community groups, from community libraries to pre-schools and lunch clubs. It is also suitable for those considering taking on the role of trustee. New regulations are coming into effect in July and this course will cover any changes that you need to be aware of. The course will cover:-

  • The general duties and responsibilities of trustees
  • Specific roles – chair, treasurer and secretary
  • How to have an effective board
  • Key policies and procedures overview

Date: 22nd August 2018, 1.15pm registration for 1.30pm start through to 3.30pm finish

Venue: Prospect House, Sandford Lane, Wareham

Cost: £30 pp for voluntary and community groups, £40 pp for statutory groups. Further information can be found here

Research and Reports

More than 11,000 households have had their universal credit capped in full service areas since October 2016

New statistics also show that less than half of capped universal credit households had moved off the cap as at May 2018. More than 11,000 households have had their universal credit capped in full service areas since October 2016, according to new DWP statistics.

Of the 5,800 households that still had their universal credit capped in May 2018 –

  • 87 per cent (5,000) included children, 64 per cent (3,700) were single-parent families, and 23 per cent (1,300) were couples with children; and
  • 3,900 were capped by the equivalent of £50 or less a week, 20 per cent (1,200 households) were capped by the equivalent of £50 to £100 per week, and 2 per cent (90 households) were capped by £200 or more a week.

The figures also show that, as at May 2018, 60,000 households had their housing benefit capped, a slight increase of 300 households since the last quarter, and 9,300 had the cap applied to their housing benefit for the first time in the quarter (a rise of 1,100 since the last quarter).

For more information see here.

Citizens Advice Response to Ofgem’s consultation on Supplier Guaranteed Standards of Performance for Switching

Problems with switching fuel suppliers can cause inconvenience and distress for consumers. Citizens Advice has researched the difficulties energy consumers experience. from a subset of switching problems at £9 million each year.  The most common switching issues seen are – final account reconciliation, failure to refund and erroneous transfers with delayed switches forming a smaller area of complaints, possibly because they have lower direct financial impact. However, the data collected for Citizens Advice supplier star rating shows that delayed switches are a widespread problem, with over 18% of gas switches delayed (8.4% for invalid reasons) and over 16% of electricity switches delayed (7.9% for invalid reasons).  For more information click here.

Other projects

No current updates.

Funding Opportunities

Big Lottery Building Connections Fund: a new funding stream for projects that prevent or reduce loneliness. More information here

Barchester Charitable Foundation: grants for individuals  (aged over 65 and those with a physical or mental disability aged 18+) and small community groups for things which help improve people’s mobility, independence and quality of life. More info here

St Martins in the Field through the Vicar’s Relief Fund (VRF) provides small crisis grants of up to £350 to support people who are at risk of, or currently, experiencing homelessness or are vulnerably housed, to establish and maintain their tenancies. Types of applications include funding to secure accommodation and to clear rent arrears following an eviction notice.

They accept applications from support services eg. Citizens Advice or a homelessness charity.  For more information on how to register to apply for grants see here

Dorset Police & Crime Commissioners’s Safer Dorset Fund – community grants: grants of £100 – £3,000 for projects that meet one or more of the Dorset Police & Crime Plan.  More details here

The TDS Foundation fund projects  to promote knowledge of Landords’ obligations OR  Tenants’ rights and responsibilities. Read more here

The Woodward Charitable Trust make small grants to organisations working with children facing exclusion, disabled people,  prisoners, and for community cohesion work Read more here