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

The next E-News will be published on Thursday 12 April.

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

Advice Dorset Partnership

Reminder: It’s time to renew your Advice Dorset Partnership Membership

If you are a member of the Advice Dorset Partnership, you will have received an email from SurveyMonkey asking you to complete our survey so that you can register for 2018/2019.  If you are not a member or didn’t get the email the survey is still open; please click here:

Immigration Briefing: 9 May 2018

James Davies of the International Care Network will run a morning session giving an overview of immigration matters which may arise in a general advice practice, either as issues in themselves or as complicating factors in other issues.  £15 per place or FREE if you have joined the Advice Dorset Partnership PLUS scheme – see above!  Book your place:

HERE

“State of the Advice Sector” – report in preparation – YOUR DATA needed!

With local government re-organisation now confirmed it is vital we continue to demonstrate the value of advice services and a joined-up proactive advice sector. We are planning a short  report including client data on outputs and outcomes, and the ways that our  services support other professionals and statutory organisations. If you can let us have some data please complete the attached form:

Data March 2018

Job Opportunities in local Citizens Advice offices

Advice Session Supervisor, part-time post based in Christchurch, Dorset. Working closely with the Advice Services Manager, the Advice Session Supervisor is responsible for the day to day supervision of the advice team as they provide advice and information face to face and on the telephone and ensuring that the advice meets quality standards.

Closing date: 27 March 2018

For more information click here

Adviser/Caseworker 15 hours (2 days) weekly. Fixed term until 31.03.2019 with potential to extend.  Based at Citizens Advice Bournemouth and Poole, in the Poole office.
Closing Date: 4th April 2018

For more information click here

Advise Session Supervisor 22.5 hours (3 days) weekly. Fixed term till 31.03.2019 with potential to extend. Based at various sites in Bournemouth and Poole.
Closing Date: 04/04/2018
For more information click here

For volunteering opportunities find your local Citizens Advice office here

News and Useful Information

Consultations about the Future of Social Security Tribunals

The National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (NAWRA) would like your input into the two consultations about the future of social security tribunals. Click on the links to access the surveys.

HMCTS is consulting on its proposals to reform the tribunals service in England & Wales.

The Scottish Government is consulting on the new Chamber in the Scottish Tribunals which will hear appeals for devolved assistances when they begin to be delivered by the new Scottish social security agency.

NAWRA will be submitting a response to both consultations.  If you’d like to contribute please email your comments to the NAWRA reps who have kindly offered to collate our evidence.

  • England and Wales: Julie Henry (Durham County Council) julie@nawra.org.uk – comments needed by 23 March
  • Scotland: Craig Samuel (City of Edinburgh Council ) craig@nawra.org.uk – comments needed by 2 April.

Tax Help for Older People is offering support during 2018 to help older people set up and view their Personal Tax Account (PTA) on the HMRC website.  They recognise that not everyone is comfortable using the HMRC website by themselves, particularly those who are less confident using a computer, prefer to have a bit of extra support; and that is where they can help.

Tax Help for Older People have a step-by-step instruction booklet.  They also have advisers that can talk someone through the process over the phone or arrange a home visit with an adviser to guide someone through each stage.  They are offering help to people who:

  • are over 60;
  • are on a lower income;
  • have a computer but lack the confidence or skills to use online financial tools and services, and;
  • want to access their Personal Tax Account and could do with a bit of help.

There is an information flyer which can be found here  and are happy for other organisations to display this or share it with anyone you think could benefit from the help and that fit the above criteria.

About the Personal Tax Account:
HMRC is working to simplify the tax system by bringing more of its information together in one place. By 2020 the aim is that:

  • Form filling is reduced as the taxpayer will no longer have to tell HMRC information it already knows;
  • An individual’s tax information is up to date at all times, removing the risk of missed deadlines, unnecessary penalties, debts arising and errors in the system being carried forward; and
  • The information HMRC needs is automatically uploaded, bringing an end to the tax return.

Your Personal Tax Account allows you to view and manage your tax affairs online quickly and simply.

Have your say on the Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) [Lords] Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill. For information on the bill and how to participate click here.

Judicial review to lack of transitional protection for universal credit migration

Leigh Day solicitors are bringing judicial review proceedings on behalf of two disabled clients who have lost disability premiums on so called ‘natural’ migration to UC. Natural migration occurs when a claimant experiences a change in circumstances which means a new claim to legacy benefit would be needed. This is not possible in UC full service so the person has to claim UC to get the income formerly provided by the legacy benefit, which will end existing entitlement to other legacy benefits, such as income related ESA.

As part of this Leigh Day are calling for other case studies where natural migration has resulted in the loss of the severe disability and enhanced disability premiums. The solicitors are asking for a short summary of the client’s situation which sets out how they came to be on UC and how the loss of their SDP/EDP is affecting them. Please contact Tessa Gregory – here and Lucy Cadd here

Events and Training

An Introduction to Energy Efficiency, Behaviour Change and Advice NEW DATE!

West Dorset Council are hosting an Energy Efficiency Training  course for frontline workers on Thursday 3rd May at WDDC offices, South Walks, Dorchester.

This course aims to provide delegates with a basic understanding of energy efficiency in the home, and offers a focus on the way that behaviour change theories and ideas can enhance the impact of the advice offered to householders. The course will equip delegates with information about fuel poverty and health, the types of issues encountered by householders with meters and billing, and examine potential measures and assistance that might improve energy efficiency in the home. By exploring the theories behind behaviour change, delegates will also be able to examine how energy efficiency advice can be framed to encourage action by householders.

This course is free to attend, please book by Eventbrite here

Date for your diary!

‘Essential Safeguarding Adults Skills’ 1 day course, from the Borough of Poole. Click on the dates for further information.

Course dates: Tue 10th Apr spaces limited

‘Safeguarding Adults for Managers of Provider Services’ a 1 day course from the Borough of Poole. Please click on the relevant link to view details about the course and to book yourself/colleagues on:

Mon 14th May Last 4 spaces

Tue 3rd July Last 13 spaces

Please note:

  • Delegates must have attended the one day ‘Essential Safeguarding Adults Skills’ course or equivalent prior to booking this course – dates for this course can be viewed here
  • If your contractual relationship is exclusively with Bournemouth Borough Council please contact Deborah Savage email  or telephone 01202 456700 to book on this course

 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.

Research and Reports

The Good Things Foundation has a lots of useful information including this recent report on social change:

theory-of-change-playbook

Funding opportunities

The Macdougall Trust: with safety nets such as ’emergency local assistance’ now under increasing pressure, or even disappearing,  it is useful to know about local trusts that can support individuals in need. The Macdougall Trust covers Dorset Bournemouth and Poole; they can award grants of up to &250 (£350 under exceptional circumstances) mainly for household or essential items. They are not able to pay off debts. Applications need to be supported by an adviser or other frontline worker, and payment cannot be made directly to the applicants, so your organisation needs to be able to accept and disburse monies on behalf of clients.. If required, they can write cheques to Argos and Dorset Reclaim.

The application form can be downloaded from their website here