Welcome to the Advice Partnership E News Bulletin

The Advice Dorset Partnership covers the geographical / historical county of Dorset, and is circulated every fortnight, to bring you news and information relating to the advice sector in Dorset and Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole. The Partnership is supported by Citizens Advice in Dorset (CAiD). 

As usual feel free to forward this email to  colleagues and  they can get in touch with us if they wish to go on the list.  If you would like to send anything out via the bulletin,  and for all other enquiries about the Advice Dorset Partnership contact Caroline Buxton: caroline@caidorset.org.uk

Events

Dorset Community Action Conference: Delivering Impact – the role of Dorset’s voluntary sector: Friday 6 December, 9.30 – 1 at the Dorford Centre, Dorchester.

With the upcoming Dorset Council review of funding for our sector, if you are concerned about the future sustainability of your organisation and want to find out more about where we are working with the Statutory Sector, and how to better communicate our collective value, then you will not want to miss this event. Attendees will have the chance to hear from speakers from local voluntary organisations and be able to take part in workshops around the themes of health & social care, low Carbon, and community led economic development. More info and link to book:

https://www.dorsetcommunityaction.org.uk/eventbrite-event/delivering-impact-the-role-of-dorsets-voluntary-sector-dca-conference-2019/

Job opportunities

Shelter Dorset: Team Leader (based Bournemouth): £31,923 pa + excellent benefits inc. 30 days holiday, fixed term contract until December 2020. Closing date: 19 November.

“As a Team Leader you will be line managing, coaching and mentoring staff, setting them goals and objectives and making sure service delivery adheres to quality standards and meets contractual and internal targets. Supporting the integration of volunteers into the service and having input into their recruitment, training, management and organisation will also be a key part of your role. You will also assist in the marketing and promotion of the service, working with the HUB Manager to develop a marketing strategy, building effective relationships with appropriate external agencies and internally as well as across various divisions”. More info:

https://my.corehr.com/pls/shlrecruit/erq_jobspec_version_4.display_form?p_company=1&p_internal_external=E&p_display_in_irish=N&p_process_type=&p_applicant_no=&p_form_profile_detail=&p_display_apply_ind=Y&p_refresh_search=Y&p_recruitment_id=029240

News and other useful information

Charities and elections: you may find it useful to remind yourselves of the guidance to charities during an election campaign. The link below takes you to the Charity Commission guidance:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/591355/Charities_Elections_and_Referendums_new.pdf

The DWP newsletter Touchbase is published monthly. Here’s a link to the October edition, which also includes a link to the DWP’s Facebook page:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/touchbase-dwp-news-about-work-working-age-benefits-and-services/october-2019-touchbase-edition-138

Five ways to tell if something might be an online scam: useful blog from Citizens Advice: https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/5-ways-to-tell-if-something-might-be-an-online-scam-c2f8c586bfa4

Tax Help for Older People: November’s update covers how to claim back tax paid on interest from savings – and from PPI refunds. Read more:

Taxaid is a charity with a lot of useful information on its website, for example the link below takes you to information for those having difficulty paying their tax:

https://taxaid.org.uk/guides/taxpayers/tax-debt

Community Front Rooms are open to anyone over 18 who needs face-to-face support. They are staffed by mental health professionals and peer specialists, and are there for people who are struggling to cope and may be approaching a crisis point.

CFRs are welcoming, informal, safe spaces where people can discuss their problems. Staff will not offer medication or structured therapy, but rather self-management advice and support. There are three CFRs serving people in the more rural areas of Dorset – Bridport, Shaftesbury and Wareham – which are open Thursday to Sunday from 3.15-10.45pm. There is no referral or appointment needed, just turn up and ring the doorbell. More information; https://www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/access-mental-health/community-front-rooms

Training

No new courses have been notified to us this week. Useful websites to search for training include:

Research and Reports

Trussell Trusts Report: State of Hunger. This 3 year research project reveals the key drivers of food bank use. Problems with the benefits system were widespread – two-thirds of people who have used a food bank in the Trussell Trust’s network had had a problem with the benefits system in the year before they needed emergency food. Ill health and challenging life experiences like eviction or divorce are also pushing many people into hunger and poverty, and many either don’t have or have exhausted formal and informal support options. Read more:

https://www.trusselltrust.org/state-of-hunger/

Citizens Advice: Council Tax debt collection isn’t efficient or effective: An estimated 2.2 million households are behind on their council tax, and it is the most common debt problem Citizens Advice helps people with.

Overall, council tax collection rates are very high. But this does not tell the whole story.  When people fall behind on council tax, centrally-set regulations govern how they are collected. These regulations mean that when people miss a single payment they become liable for their full annual bill soon after. They also push councils to use the court process, and don’t set out what good collection looks like.  That can push people further into debt and limits the ability of local councils to take a more flexible approach to collecting council tax arrears. The data from a recent Freedom of Information request can be viewed here:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/policy/policy-research-topics/debt-and-money-policy-research/council-tax-debt-collection-isnt-efficient-or-effective/

Funding

Dorset Community Foundation – Neighbourhood Fund

The Neighbourhood Fund supports local charities and community groups whose work addresses local issues, social problems and disadvantage due to age, illness, disability, isolation, discrimination or financial hardship. We are looking to support services that assist those in need, effect positive change and bring tangible improvements to their quality of life.

The Fund can award grants of up to £5,000, and has two particular areas of interest so applications working in these areas will be prioritised: Older people and Mental Health. Closing date: 15 January 2020. Read more:

https://www.dorsetcommunityfoundation.org/funds/neighbourhood-fund/

Rural Development Programme for England: Growth Programme

A new funding programme for rural businesses based in England has opened in order to create jobs, boost tourism, and unlock rural growth called the RDPE Growth Programme. This programme, which opened to expressions of interest on the 4 November 2019, provides grants to rural start-ups and businesses to grow, diversify, and ultimately, benefit their local economy. [Closing date for EoI: 16 February 2020.

Minimum grant is £20,000 and a minimum of 40% of eligible costs may be funded, meaning more small rural business projects are now eligible. Grants of up to £750,000 are available. Under the RDPE Growth programme, there are grants under the following headings, and charities/not-for profits may be able to identify some opportunities:

  • Food processing
  • Business development 
  • Rural tourism infrastructure 

Read more: https://www.adas.uk/News/rdpe-growth-programme-grants-now-open-to-rural-businesses