Welcome to the Advice Dorset Partnership E-News bulletin. 

This is the second bulletin of the new ‘world’ of the two unitary local authorities. The Advice Dorset Partnership continues to cover the geographical / historical county of Dorset, ie the areas covered by the  two new unitaries. It will still be circulated every two weeks and will 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).

We are aware that some council emails have changed so as usual feel free to forward this email to  colleagues and  they can get in touch with us 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: Advice Partnership  and other organisations

Dorset Race Equality Council: the first Sherborne multi-cultural meet up taking place on the 27 April 2019 at Pageant Gardens (by the bandstand) for more information click here or contact 01202 392954/ jane.jones@dorsetrec.org.uk

2019_April_Sherborne multicultural meetup

Routes to Inclusion: Data and Mapping. Helen Dobson and James Beecher from Citizens Online gave a presentation of their work on mapping the data story for Dorset on the 29th of Januar;y  here is their presentation:Citizens Online Switch Dorset Jan 2019.

The next session is on the 1st May, where Citizens Online will be discussing their findings and asking us what we think the priorities should be. To sign up to the session, please follow the Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-routes-to-inclusion-in-dorset-whats-next-tickets-56569575122  – we will receive a notification when you’ve signed up, so you don’t need to print anything off.

Working in partnership to support customers in vulnerable circumstances:  Wessex Water, with  Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks invite you to a partnership event:  THURSDAY 9th May 2019 at Wessex Water Operations Centre, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7WW.

Start 9:30 registration and networking; event 10:00 to 15:00, lunch included. The purpose of this event is to:

  • Provide you with an overview of our current approach to supporting customers in vulnerable circumstances:
  • Raise awareness of Priority Services in Water and Energy including how we are working together;
  • Identify opportunities for us to work together to support our mutual customers

The interactive event will include: Presentations, networking opportunities, and workshops to seek your views and identify ways in which we can work together to support mutual customers in our region. This event is for organisations, including local authorities; support services; health organisations; and other key stakeholders who are supporting customers with extra communication needs or who may find themselves vulnerable in the case of a supply interruption

To register for this event, please click on this link . If you are unable to attend this event but it is relevant for a colleague, please share this invitation with them.

Once registered they will be in touch to discuss any travel or dietary requirements with you. A full agenda will be issued closer to the event.  If you have any questions, please contact communitypartners@wessexwater.co.uk

Workshop for Chairs and Vice Chairs: WEDS 12 June, Bournemouth

Bournemouth and Poole CVS have been working with Beacon to deliver local briefings,  and the next workshop in Bournemouth is on  ‘Managing Relationships and Board Dynamics’. This will look at how to work with trustees, staff and volunteers, and how to manage the dynamics between them. It looks at how to put processes and systems in place to avoid difficult situations down the line. In particular the session will explore the complexities of chairing a smaller organisation where people can have both operational and governance roles and the executive role is often
part-time or voluntary.

Follow this link to register with Beacon and book:

Beacon – registration

Job Opportunities in local Citizens Advice offices

EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME: Citizens Advice Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole will be working in partnership with CAiD and Dorset Race Equality Council to support people applying for settled status. This Home Office funding targets ‘vulnerable’ EU nationals who will need additional help to make their on-line applications This includes those with disabilities,  older people, those who have experienced abuse, modern slavery or trafficking, those with no fixed abode, and vulnerable children.

The posts available are as follows and all will be fixed term to 31 March 2020; closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 13 May:

  • Project Co-ordinator 0.4 fte  Actual salary £9,369 (+ 3% pension contribution)
  • 2 x Caseworkers, full time   Actual salary £19, 466 (+ 3% pension)

These three posts are based at CitA BCP, though both caseworker posts will  deliver the service from various venues, one focussing on BCP the other the Dorset Council area. For more details contact: mailto:dan.stannard@citizensadvicebcp.org.uk

2 x 0.4 Engagement Officers,one working with DREC (mainly covering BCP), the other with CAiD (mainly covering the Dorset Council area). Actual salary £7,927 (+3% pension)

CAiD:    mailto:caroline@caidorset.org.uk or

DREC:   mailto:nathalie.sherring@dorsetrec.org.uk

Citizens Advice Purbeck requires an Energy Affordability Adviser.  The ‘Keep Warm for Less Project’ will be based at the Wareham Office, funded for two years by The Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Fund.  The Adviser will be responsible for the delivery of a new service providing energy advice and practical home energy assessments to clients. The project aims to reduce fuel poverty in households who are vulnerable due to long term health or disability problems.

22.5 hours/week on NJC scale 18 (fte £24,313).  2 year post. Closing date: 29 April 2019.

For more details: Energy Affordability Adviser Advert Apr 19. final

Citizens Advice Central Dorset require a Gambling Support Project Worker  based at their Gillingham Office, funded for 2 years by GambleAware and part of the national Gambling Support Service,working in conjunction with Citizens Advice.

As a project worker you will be able to deliver a Public Health approach to high quality information and advice to those who are experiencing Gamble Related Harm (GRH) and refer where applicable to specialist support services. You will also be required to deliver high quality training to frontline staff to help and promote advice, assistance and early intervention for such clients which may be recognised as experiencing GRH. You will be required to deliver this service through various channels of communication and across the whole of the South West region.

Hours: 37 per week (some flexibility will be required for occasional evening/weekend work)  Salary: £25,000 (per annum) plus additional pension benefits. South West Region 2 Years funded

For Application packs or for an informal chat, contact: Daniel Cadisch: Chief Officer: By email: chiefofficer@dsnd.org.uk
Write to: Citizens Advice Central Dorset, 1 Acland Road, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1JW. Telephone: 01305 269051.

Closing Date: 26th April 2019             Interview Date: week commencing 29th April 2019

For national Citizens Advice jobs click here.

Job opportunities in other organisations

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

News and Useful Information

Universal Credit and mixed age couples: From 15 May 2019, mixed-age couples will be excluded from entitlement to Pension Credit. At present, and until that date, mixed aged couples can claim the more generous Pension Credit as long as the member of the couple above retirement age makes the claim. They can also claim Housing Benefit (without the Benefit Cap or the bedroom tax) rather than Universal Credit. There are no extra elements for being a pensioner under Universal Credit, making clients worse off.

Clients who claim either Pension Credit or Housing Benefit, before this date will remain on those benefits for as long as they are still entitled.

Age UK warn this change could  leave some couples £7,000 per year worse off. Advisers should look out for clients who might be entitled and advise them to make a claim for Pension Credit/ Housing Benefit now!

April’s TAX TIPS can be found either in  Word (https://taxvol.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6496a371ed4e73e72cb597048&id=3929c84b18&e=6b015bf43c) or pdf versions (https://taxvol.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6496a371ed4e73e72cb597048&id=e69d8b5cee&e=6b015bf43c)

DWP’s approach to explicit consent is ‘unduly restrictive’ and puts people at risk of ‘significant prejudice’, says ICO:  The DWP must take active steps to ensure policy works on a practical level for both individuals and their representatives;  their approach to explicit consent is ‘unduly restrictive’ and puts people at risk of ‘significant prejudice’, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Following a complaint in December 2017 to the ICO – made by a group of advice charities and organisations – about the treatment of consent in universal credit, the ICO has examined the DWP’s consent policy and guidance and found –

‘…  the DWP’s approach to consent for representatives is unduly restrictive and … we are not satisfied that the DWP’s current approach constitutes data protection by design and by default….The effect of this overly restrictive approach by the DWP is, in our opinion, likely to mean that people are at risk of significant prejudice as a result of excessive time being spent by DWP staff, representatives and individuals resolving authorities to act; peoples’ (including vulnerable persons’) legitimately authorised representatives’ contact being refused by the DWP; vulnerable people being unable to obtain necessary assistance from representatives; and in some cases vulnerable people having an appointee established where this is not necessary or appropriate….’

copy of the ICO’s opinion is available from the rightsnet discussion forum.

Help to Claim  The new Universal Credit support service from Citizens Advice – 0800 144 8 444 (England)  – Calls are free and lines are open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Trained advisers can can support anyone who needs help in the early stages of their Universal Credit claim – from the application through to the first full payment.  Support is available online, over the phone and face to face.  Click here for Citizens Advice website.

PARTNER LINE: If you need to contact one of the Citizens Advice offices in the Dorset Council area on behalf of a client, or find out more about local services, there is a new Partner Line (not for clients): see the flyer:

Cit Advice Dorset Partner Line flyer

Let’s Talk Shop:  Let’s Talk (part of Charis) helps charities,  housing associations, local authorities and other organisations who support those who are vulnerable in society.  The Lets Talk on-line shop has a number of products available including emergency fuel vouchers,  smart LED light bulbs and a range of energy efficient white goods including washing machines, fridges, freezers, gas and electric cookers and other appliances for which they can arrange delivery and connection at your client’s home.

 If you would like to sign up to the shop, please complete the registration form below and return it to shopadmin@lets-talk.online.

Copy of Let’sTalkOnlineShop_Registration Form

 Website:   https://www.lets-talk.online/

The Welfare Benefits Upper Tribunal Project has Moved!

Avon & Bristol Law Centre has become Bristol Law Centre, and moved to a new address: 2 Hide Market, West st, Old Market, Bristol, BS2 0BH. They have capacity for more cases. The telephone numbers are the same, (0117 916 7719 ) but have new email addresses for referrals are jackm@BristolLawCentre.org.uk and andyk@BristolLawCentre.org.uk tel

They are particularly looking for PIP cases where the claimant either needs to use a bed to get changed (daily living activity 6) or needs to use a SatNav to be able to follow journeys (mobility activity 1). There are some unfavourable Upper Tribunal decisions on these issues which we believe may be open to challenge. All they need is a name and contact number.

They still have capacity to take on cases in these areas:

  • ESA, PIP and DLA,
  • Housing Benefit,
  • Tax Credits,
  • Appealable overpayments of any benefit or tax credit,
  • Right to reside/ Habitual residence.

Training

BCP COUNCIL TRAINING OPPORTUNITY: Places available on Dementia Awareness course on 21st May 2019

This is a one day event which will look at how to deliver an effective, person-centred support service to people with dementia and their carers.  Click for more information and to book here

YMCA Bournemouth is delivering further training sessions in 2019:

Accredited Fire Marshal Training:  One day 10AM-12PM,

Dates: Thurs 9th May; Wed 10th July; Wed 11th September 2019, Price: £50 per learner

Level Two Health and Safety in The Workplace  One day 10AM – 4PM

Dates: Fri 3rd May; Tues 16th July; Fri 20th September 2019 Price: £60.00 per learner

Level Three First Aid at Work  One day 9.30AM – 4PM

Dates: Tues 30th April; Thurs 13th June; Fri 6th September 2019 Price: £65 per learner

Level Three First Aid at Work Three-Day: 9.30AM – 4PM each day

Dates: Monday 13th, Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th May 2019 Price: £170 per learner

Venue for all training days: The Hinton Room, YMCA Bournemouth, Delta House, 56 Westover
Road, Bournemouth, BH1 2BS

For more information contact Heather Chandler, Business Development and Marketing Assistant Email: heather.chandler@ymcabournemouth.org.uk Telephone: 01202 290451 Ext: 4005

Research and reports

How the Government can fix the private rented sector [in 3 steps!]: read this recent Citizens Advice post HERE

Funding

The Energy Redress Fund has opened applications to the Energy Redress Scheme for another round, with funds totalling £300,000. This round closes on Friday 17th May,.

They are offering support to charities who are looking to make a submissions,  via a webinar: ‘How to Submit a Standout Application to the Energy Redress Scheme’. It’s vital for anyone who is considering to apply for Energy Redress funding. Whether this is your first or sequential time applying for funding, we want to ensure that you have all the tools required, in order to submit a strong application to secure the funding your proposed projects.

This free webinar will provide you with helpful tips to make your application standout. This will be presented alongside background information about the Energy Redress scheme and will finish with a Q&A session. The webinar will take place on:

Date: Thursday 2nd May 2019    Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (BST)

Secure Your Place: https://connect.est.org.uk/e/552192/register-6642589945926318338/5tgj3/420334324?h=S7YpuVov_ZfDZHJsFOW7uycdDjOQApV68qX1TEmu6EM

Groundwork are launching Community Training Grants:  applications go live in early April for three LEP areas in the South of England: Swindon & Wiltshire, Dorset and Thames Valley & Berkshire.

They will be looking to fund projects which help to support individuals who are either unemployed, out of education, or economically inactive. Individual charities and small organisations (less than 49 people) can apply for grants between £5,000 and £20,000.  Projects must help move individuals either into employment, or establish a route towards employment, by helping individuals through education and training opportunities, advice, guidance and information.

If you live in one of the area,  send them your initial expression of interest by completing this survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ESFAgrants