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

Advice Dorset Partnership

Welfare Benefits Forum Thursday 8 March 2018

This will be held at CLARC, 41-44 King Street, Wimborne, BH21 1EB on Thursday, 8 March 2018 from 9.45 to 13:00

This forum is suitable for staff whose role is solely providing benefits advice to a range of clients, including specialist appeals and tribunals  AND for staff who provide welfare benefits advice as part of their role (e.g. social worker, carers support worker, recovery worker (mental health). The focus will be on Universal Credit – the experience so far – and there will be updates from colleagues from Jobcentre Plus, Westwey Partnership and Citizens Advice.

Tickets are free for Advice Dorset Partnership Plus members and £25.00 for non members

To book click here

Time to renew your Advice Dorset Partnership Membership

If you are already a member of the Advice Dorset Partnership, you will receive an email from SurveyMonkey to complete to        register for 2018/2019.  If you are not a member or can’t wait for the email, please click here

Accessibility Conference, 8 February 2018: we have summarised the table-talk comments, group sessions and other feedback,  and noted the actions for the Advice Dorset Partnership to take forward when the steering group meets in March. These are:

  • Improving communication and availability of information on services, transport schemes etc, and sharing best practice across the advice sector.
  • Improving links with GP practices.
  • What can we get from the private sector – money, help in kind etc?
  • Combining our evidence from service users of the issues and barriers they face and how these can be mitigated.

You can read the conference notes here:  Accessibility Conference Notes FEB 2018

Job Opportunities in local Citizens Advice offices

There are currently no paid vacancies. For volunteering opportunities find your local Citizens Advice office here

News and Useful Information

News from Parliament

The Commons Select Committee has issued a report about how the lack of trust between PIP and ESA claimants and DWP fails both the claimants and the public purse.

Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

“For the majority of claimants the assessments work adequately, but a pervasive lack of trust is undermining its entire operation. In turn, this is translating into untenable human costs to claimants and financial costs to the public purse.”

Read the full report here

The Public Law Project

This is an independent, national legal charity.  They have set up a project on benefit sanctions and are able to take referrals of individual cases where there are concerns that a person is being – or is at risk of being – unfairly or  unlawfully sanctioned. They provide advice on the remedies available: MRs, appeals, complaints and judicial review. In some cases they may be able to provide an advocate for a hearing.

Issues on which they may be able to assist include:

  • Challenging decisions to sanction, including assisting with requesting reconsiderations and representation for appeals
  • Problems relating to interim payments or hardship payments
  • Assisting to modify or amend claimant commitments (for example due to disability or caring responsibilities)

PLP is also able to deliver training on sanctions and related issues, including public law remedies, access to legal services, and funding for legal advice.

For more information see here

To refer a case to PLP, or to contact them about any other issue relating to sanctioning, please email sanctions@publiclawproject.org.uk or call 020 7843 1260.

Stop Loan Sharks 

The Winter issue of their news letter is available here

TO REPORT A LOAN SHARK TELEPHONE 0300 555 2222

OR TEXT 07860022116

Events and Training

Health and Care Forum the next forum will take place on 6th March at Poole Christian Fellowship Hall on Lagland Street in Poole.

The Forum will be a workshop focusing on Ageing Without Children and issues facing over 65’s who do not have children or who do have children but aren’t in regular contact with them.

Booking is essential and if you would like to attend please register via Eventbrite here:

Bournemouth CVS: are partnering with the Foundation for Social Improvement to deliver a subsidised training event on 14th March  for small and local charities and community groups. There will be three workshops on key skills: Supporting & Managing Volunteers, Demonstrating Your Impact and Community & Events Fundraising.

All the workshops are taking place at Kinson Community Centre. Spaces will fill up fast and booking is absolutely essential. You can book onto one, two or all three of the workshops here:   Please note, the bookings are being administrated by the FSI and neither Bournemouth CVS or Poole CVS are able to make reservations on your behalf. If you find that the workshop you wish to book onto is full, please contact the FSI directly to be put on the waiting list. Organisations can book a maximum of 2 places per workshop.

Your organisation will need to register with the FSI which is free for groups with an annual turnover of less than £1.5 million. You will be required to make a £15 payment to the FSI for each of the places that you book. After the session has taken place £10 for each of these places will be refunded directly to you. If you do not attend on the day the full £15 payment will be kept by the FSI. If you have any questions about payments or deposits before or after the training please contact the FSI directly. Bournemouth CVS and Poole CVS will have no information at any time about this.

 The workshops will take place at the following times:

·         Supporting & Managing Volunteers – 10am to 11.30am

·         Demonstrating Your Impact – 11.45am to 1.15pm

·         Community & Events Fundraising – 2pm to 3.30pm

‘Essential Safeguarding Adults Skills’ 1 day course from the Borough of Poole:

Course dates: Fri 16th Mar Last 8 spaces Tue 10th Apr Last 12 spaces

 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.

Poole CVS: There is currently space available on the following training course:

Healthy Conversations – Friday 23rd March

This course is free to attend. If you would like to reserve a space please email kevin.eaton@poolecvs.org.uk

Research and Reports

New NHS website wants your feedback

Stay Well in Dorset offers advice to young people on their physical and mental health.

It also encourages users to learn about the services on offer to them in the county and provides seasonal advice on how to stay well

GP, Dr Sam Abdollahian, said: “We want to provide young people with an engaging, jargon-free site that they find helpful and informative, and which gives them the tools to make informed decisions about how they access health care. By doing this we can help ensure our services are sustainable, both now and in the future.”

“We’re also very excited to be using social media filters and frames to help young people share our messages in a way they can have fun with. It’s a first for the NHS in Dorset, and something we’re keen to test out and develop further.”

“That’s why it’s so important that we hear from Dorset’s young population – we want to make sure we’re providing them with useful, engaging content that will stand them in good stead throughout their lives as NHS users.”

People are invited to give feedback and make suggestions for the Stay Well in Dorset site by visiting staywelldorset.nhs.uk and filling out a short survey, which can be accessed via the feedback button on the site’s navigation bar.

Funding opportunities

Healthwatch Dorset has £10,000 to offer to local community groups to help people across the county have their say and get the best out of health and social care services.

Healthwatch Dorset has launched its Community Investment Fund, to invest in grassroots projects and groups that aim to improve the health and well-being of local people.

“There is no need for the group to be a registered charity or an official group and applying is easy”, said Healthwatch Dorset Engagement and Communications Lead, Louise Bate. “We want this money to make a difference to local people, so we’ll be judging applications on how well we think they could contribute to improving people’s health and well-being.”

Interested groups or individuals just need to send in a short description of their project idea and the amount of funding they’re asking for to louise.bate@healthwatchdorset.co.uk or call Louise on 0300 111 0102.

For more information see here

The MSE Charity is funded by Money Saving Expert and gives grants to charities and not for profit organisations working with clients to make a lasting impact on their financial capability.  Find out more and see if your organisation meets the eligibility criteria here: