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

Free talks from Citizens Advice- Help your clients reduce their heating bills

Are you looking for speakers to come to a group or coffee morning you run, or at a staff team meeting?  Citizens Advice can guide you through:
-Getting cheaper energy: tariffs, payment methods, switching supplier
-Funding and grants available
-Energy debt
-Further help and support

Talks are available across Dorset and typically last about an hour. Please contact Ella for more information on energy@purbeck.cabnet.org.uk  or 01929 550328

Job Opportunities in local Citizens Advice offices

Bournemouth & Poole are advertising for a TRAINING OFFICER full time or job share considered, fixed term to 28 February 2020, Closing Date: 25thJanuary 2019, Interview Date: Week commencing 4thFebruary 2019, read more:

B&P Training Officer Advert – Dec2018

Please email here if you have a job opportunity you wish to advertise.

For Volunteering opportunities, find your local Citizens Advice office here

Job Opportunities in other Agencies

Please email here if you have a job opportunity you wish to advertise.

News and Useful Information

Information advice and guidance on care issues:  there’s still time to complete our survey on how and where people get information about care issues. We’d like to hear from as many people as possible including those of you working with people who have care needs (both paid staff and volunteers).  What information is needed? How easy is it to find information? How do you rate the quality of the information you find? How important is it to have someone to talk it through with? Follow the link:   Survey

Dorset Community Action: Building Better Opportunities – ‘Inspire Dorset’: This project  supports unemployed people across Dorset, using community enterprise to address the barriers many people face to get into training or work.  DCA will provide an accessible, community based, test and learn approach, using community enterprise to build confidence and longer term change.

The programme will work creatively with groups and individuals from varied backgrounds to support them on a life changing journey towards employment by delivering enterprise design, test and learn coaching & training. This flexible approach will aim to provide an alternative to mainstream employment which many of our participants will never have experienced. Providing embedded employment and enterprise skills within a community setting encouraging creative thinking and opportunity development.

More information:Inspire Dorset

Age UK December Benefit Bulletin:

Benefits_Briefing_December_2018

After Thursday 6 December, you’ll no longer receive your State Pension on your 65th birthday. Have you checked when you will?!

The State Pension age has changed a lot over the past few years. Because of this, 1 in 4 people aged between 50 and 64 don’t know when they can claim their State Pension, according to new YouGov research commissioned by Age UK. Nearly a fifth of the people surveyed found their State Pension age was higher than they expected, and 3 in 10 people had never checked (or couldn’t remember checking) their State Pension age. If you don’t know when you can claim your State Pension, you can check on GOV.UK here.

Armed Forces Covenant Training

The MoD funded Armed Forces Covenant programme supports current and former military personnel and their families across Dorset Bournemouth and Poole.

There are now two training modules on their website; these resources have been produced to raise awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant and how you or your organisation can support it. The modules explain the commitment of the Armed Forces Covenant and how it can be honoured and implemented in the Community. It will help you understand and apply the principles of the Covenant in your everyday work and actions. It also provides sources of further information and support.

Link to the modules: HERE

The Armed Forces Covenant Survey, which will take just 5 minutes to complete, is completely anonymous and the information gathered will help us to deliver relevant and meaningful solutions to issues that are currently being faced by the Armed Forces Community in Dorset.

Good Things Foundation working with J P Morgan (Bournemouth)

Good Things Foundation  is working with JP Morgan carrying out some research on the organisations that are working in Bournemouth to support people to find work and with financial capability.  Please complete the short   survey – link below –  to give them an insight in the type of work that is taking place locally.  The survey should take no more than 5 minutes and for each survey they will donate £1 to Save the Children.

Link to the survey HERE

Other Events and Training

East Boro Housing has a new project called Work 4 You a Education & Skills Funded Agency and European Social Fund (ESF) funded activity to support individuals who are unemployed or inactive and aged 25+ in the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership area.

To join the Work4You Project, the participant must be 25 plus years of age, and

  • A legal resident of the UK
  • Able to take paid employment in the EU
  • Aged 25 and above
  • Unemployed
    (in receipt of Benefits)
  • Have a disability, long term unemployed or there is a barrier preventing you from working.

To be referred to theWork4You project a client can be referred by an advisor contact: Robbie Cormack: Tel: 01305 750 403 or 07881 343 148,email: rcormack@w4y.org.uk.  Work4You is based at Unit A2, Littlesea Industrial Estate, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9DN for website click here.

Training with YMCA 2019

YMCA Bournemouth is delivering two further training sessions in 2019:

LEVEL 2 AWARD IN HEALTH & SAFETY IN THE WORKPLACE (1-DAY COURSE) Wednesday 6th February 2019 between 10AM – 4PM.  The has space for of 15 participants and is designed to meet current UK legislation. This qualification enables learners to gain a broad understanding of workplace health, safety and welfare and has a duration of 3 years.  This qualification is aimed at all managers and employees, or those looking to enter/re-enter the workforce. Cost: £45.00 per learner.  Venue: the Hinton Room, YMCA Bournemouth, Delta House, 56 Westover Road, Bournemouth, BH1 2BS.

ACCREDIITED FIRST AID (1-DAY COURSE) Wednesday 27th February 2019 between 9:30 AM – 4PM.  This qualification is aimed at organisations which require a trained and competent first aider. It is a requirement of the Health & Safety law that employers provide a safe and healthy environment to work in. This national award in Emergency First Aid at Work satisfies the requirements of the regulatory body for First Aid. All learners will have the skills and knowledge to provide treatment to their casualties in a prompt, safe and effective manner. The qualification has a duration of three years.  Cost £65 per learner.  Venue: the Hinton Room, YMCA Bournemouth, Delta House, 56 Westover Road, Bournemouth, BH1 2BS.

For course bookings or further information please email Sam Roubaiey here or call 07398 453 476

Research and Reports

47% of reassessed DLA claims result in a lower or nil PIP award

New DWP statistics  show that two fifths of personal independence payment award reviews result in a lower or nil award, and 47% of reassessed disability living allowance (DLA) claims result in a lower or nil personal independence payment (PIP) award.

The statistical report from the DWP  (for April 2013 to October 2018) shows that, of the 1.2 million DLA reassessment claims to PIP cleared in Great Britain up to the end of October 2018, 253,000 (21 per cent) were disallowed after assessment, 49,000 (4 per cent) were disallowed before the assessment and 268,000 (22 per cent) had their benefit decreased. Figures also showed difference depending on the main disabling conditions, including:

  • people with psychosis were most likely to receive less, with 57 per cent of 160,000 claimants received less or no benefit on reassessment;
  • 52 per cent of the 105,000 people with psychoneurosis received less or no benefit following reassessment; and
  • 52 per cent of the 160,000 people with a main disabling condition of arthritis received less or no benefit on reassessment.

The DWP also reports on the outcomes of scheduled reviews of ongoing awards of PIP and change of circumstances reviews (between 25 June 2016 and the end of October 2018), highlighting that:

  • 41 per cent of the 595,000 award reviews resulted in a decreased or disallowed award;
  • people with a malignant disease were most likely to receive less after an award review, with 52 per cent of 20,000 claimants receiving less or no benefit;
  • people with a psychiatric condition were second most likely to receive less benefit following a review with a reduction rate of 46 per cent of 178,000 claimants; and
  • 22 per cent of the 131,000 change of circumstances reviews cleared in the period resulted in a lower or disallowed award.

The Statistics can be seen here.

A rock and a hard place: the Universal Credit frontline – Inside Housing from UC flagship council Southwark

Southwark council has published its second report: Safe as Houses 2: A follow-on report into the impact of Universal Credit on Southwark Council’s housing tenants rent payment behaviour.  Researchers found that tenants were falling increasingly into arrears as time passed, and that those who had made multiple claims due to changing work circumstances were likely to find themselves even more in debt. The researchers’ analysis of Southwark’s rent accounts also found that overall arrears under Universal Credit are significantly higher than they were under the previous housing benefit system.

One alarming measure is the council’s increasing use of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs), which can be given to tenants struggling to pay rent. In 2017/18, the council spent nearly all of its £1.2m DHP allocation from the government, with nearly 1,200 of its 1,800 applications receiving money. It is on track to exceed its £1.3m allocation for the current year, having already handled more than 1,200 applications.

The council insists that it will not evict anyone who is in arrears directly as a result of Universal Credit, but it has no control over private landlords and it appears that only about one in four of these in the borough now take on tenants claiming benefits, while there has been  “a huge increase” in Section 21 – or so-called ‘no fault’ – evictions (more than 250already in this financial year).

The Smith Institute report found that arrears could cost the council £6m a year once all claimants are on the system. That’s a not-insignificant amount for a local authority under pressure.  You can read the full report here.

Squeezed funding and a shortage of workers have left home care sector in a fragile state

The King’s Fund report ‘Home care in England: Views from commissioners and providers’, draws together the findings of three research projects which explored:

  • the factors driving commissioning adult social care;
  • the mechanisms of purchasing and delivery of home care; and
  • alternatives to traditional models of delivering care at home.

Key findings included:-

  • council spending on social care was 3% lower in 2017/2018 than in 2009/2010;
  • 4 in 10 home care workers leave their role every year;
  • more than half of home care workers are on zero hours contracts;
  • in 2016/2017 around 500 new home care agencies registered each quarter and 400 left the market; and
  • in a 2017 survey, many council directors of adult social services had experienced home care providers ceasing to trade in the previous six months (39 per cent) or having contracts handed back (37 per cent).

To read the full report click here.

Funding Opportunities

EU Settled Status: The Government has now opened its grant funding scheme to support vulnerable EEA citizens to apply for settled status from 30 March 2019.  For  more details go to here

Greggs Foundation – Communiy grants. Grants of up to £2,000 for local projects supporting people with significant need such as disabled, carers,  living in poverty, homeless, isolated. deadline 28 Ferbruary 2019.

Read more HERE

Masonic Charitable Foundation: Local and national charities in England and Wales can apply to the Later Life Grant programme, open to charities working to reduce loneliness and isolation of vulnerable and disadvantaged people over 50. Grants can be offered to charities that provide:

  • Mental and physical health support
  • Gateway and access to service, e.g. transport and technology
  • Community based approaches, i.e. volunteering, positive ageing and neighbourhood support
  • Advocacy, social and welfare support

The closing date for the  large grants  fund (amounts of  between £10,000 and £150,000 to charities with an annual income of above £500,000 for projects lasting up to three years)  is the 2nd January 2019 for stage 1 applications.

Read more here

DM Thomas Foundation for Young People: Grants of up to £30k if you work with disadvantaged children/young people (up to age 25). More info: HERE

The Leonardo Trust provides small grants for CARERS: These are mainly  grants for individuals for eg. respite care, appliances and home improvements, social activities and cash in a crisis. However they will also seed fund new carers’ groups. Find out more: HERE