The Advice Dorset Partnership covers the geographical 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). 

During the Covid-19 outbreak we are publishing a weekly E News to keep you updated on information you may need for your clients/service users (benefits, rights for the self-employed, other financial help, support services, and anything else we hope may be of use…….). 

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 on her Citizens Advice Central Doset email:  mailto:caroline.buxton@centralca.org.uk

Jobs

Citizens Advice Purbeck: Business and Funding Development Manager

Based in Wareham when C-19 guidance permits otherwise working from home. The post is peripatetic working within Dorset Council area.

Salary: Based on NJC scale 23: £27,741 pa. Hours per week: 37. Type of contract: 1 year fixed term with the opportunity for an extension based on results.

Closing date: 9am Tuesday 10th November 2020. Interview date: w/c 16th November 2020 via Zoom.

Employed by Purbeck Citizens Advice the post will include part time secondment to Citizens Advice in Dorset (CAiD) a consortium of the four Dorset Council area Citizens Advice: Bridport, Central, East Dorset and Purbeck. You will have experience of stakeholder relationships and partnerships including CCGs, statutory and local authorities, have an understanding of the fundraising landscape and proven success in bid writing, securing new funding and existing services, with a passion for making a difference. More info below, and for an application contact: admin@purbeck.cabnet.org.uk

Citizens Advice BCP: Immigration Adviser (OISC Level 2 or 3) : Part Time 7.5 Hours/week. Fixed Term Contract until March 2021. Salary scale 25 – £4,684 (actual). Closing date: 2 November 2020.

Citizens Advice Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole are looking for an experienced OISC level 2 or 3 Immigration Advisor to work within our established European Union Settlement Scheme project. The adviser will provide practical support to vulnerable EU citizens through information giving, advice, provision of technology and casework assistance to help them make their EU Settlement Scheme applications.

further information or wish to apply for this role please contact: mailto:recruitment@citizensadvicebcp.org.uk

Information updates

JOB SUPPORT SCHEME: With rapid changes being announced even as I type, I will include more detail in next week’s News. Meanwhile here is the link to the recent announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plan-for-jobs-chancellor-increases-financial-support-for-businesses-and-workers

BENEFITS

Employment and Support Allowance: The DWP has reminded us that there are 3 different types of ESA – ‘new style’, contributory and income-related. The type people get depends on their circumstances and it is important they check their eligibility before making an application.

When people have established which type of ESA they are eligible for they need to follow the correct application process to make sure they get the money they are entitled to as smoothly as possible. The following extract is from the Government website, https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

You can apply for ‘new style’ ESA if you’re unable to claim Statutory Sick Pay and one of the following applies:

  • you or your child might have coronavirus or you’re recovering from it
  • you or your child are self-isolating because you came into contact with someone who might have coronavirus
  • you’ve been advised by your doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery
  • you’ve been advised to ‘shield’ (take extra precautions to reduce contact with others) because you’re at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus

NB: The ESA regulations have been amended until May 2021, allowing ESA to be payable from day one for those claiming due to coronavirus.

HOMELESSNESS

Rough Sleepers through the winter: The Government has announced extra support including:

  • A new £10 million Cold Weather Fund to support councils get rough sleepers off the streets during the winter by helping them to provide more self-contained accommodation.
  • An additional £2 million for faith and community groups to help them provide secure accommodation for rough sleepers.
  • Comprehensive guidance to the sector, produced with Public Health England, Homeless Link and Housing Justice to help shelters open more safely, where not doing so would endanger lives.

Read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rough-sleepers-to-be-helped-to-keep-safe-this-winter#:~:text=A%20new%20%C2%A310%20million,secure%20accommodation%20for%20rough%20sleepers.

IMMIGRATION

Right to work for EU Citizens: For EEA & Swiss citizens, the same right to work checks will apply until 30 June 2021. Until then job applicants can prove their right to work in the following ways: 

  • EU, EEA or Swiss citizens can use their passport or national identity card
  • non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family members can use an immigration status document listed in the right to work checks employer guide (that is Residence Cards, Registration Certificates, Permanent Residence Cards & Derivative Residence Cards)
  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members can use the online right to work checking service

SCAMS

Parking Penalty Scam: Trading Standards is warning people to be aware of a new phishing scam: People receive an email with a fixed penalty notice for £23.24 relating to a certain time when a vehicle was in a charging area.  However, there are no details of the location or a vehicle registration. The email claims to be from the Home Office and threatens the amount payable will increase to £80.96 if not paid within 28 days. If people click on links they risk compromising their computer, introducing malware etc.

Coventry Trading Standards website has an example of what the email looks like: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKCOVENTRY/bulletins/2a5c1a9

Local information

Citizens Advice’s Adviceline is freephone on 0800 144 8848 or textphone 0800 144 8884. All advice is free, confidential and impartial. Citizens Advice will not charge you to call the helpline, however your service provider might do.

Dorset Council – Reach Out: useful information for residents, other links, and a recent case study from Citizens Advice https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/emergencies-severe-weather/emergencies/coronavirus/reaching-out/reaching-out-financial-and-emotional-support-during-covid-19.aspx

Dorset NHS Open Letter: Leading doctors and nurses are making a joint appeal for help to stop the spread of COVID-19, save lives, and protect each other.  The letter is also signed by the Director for Public Health.

In their joint appeal, they are asking the public to help each other by playing their part to stop the spread of the virus. They are reminding people that you can stop the spread of coronavirus this winter by limiting the number of households you mix with and remembering to wash your hands, cover your face and make space. Read more: https://withyoudorset.nhs.uk/open-letter-3/

Events

Policy in Practice webinar: How to find the right debt solution for everyone. If you are on the frontline in helping people in debt, or collecting arrears, you can boost the financial resilience of households by helping them to increase their income. By taking this approach organisations can increase collection rates and social impact, in the knowledge that they’re doing the right thing.

Wednesday 11 November, 10.30 – 11.30. To register: http://policyinpractice.co.uk/events/

Trustees’ Week: Trustees’ Week is an annual event showcasing the great work of the 700,000 volunteer trustees who run charities in England and Wales. Trustees are volunteers who take on ultimate legal, strategic and oversight responsibility for an organisation’s work. They play a vital leadership role in any charity.

Trustees’ Week 2020 will take place 2–6 November. It’s an opportunity to highlight the excellent work of trustees, support boards to improve their governance, and encourage new people to consider trusteeship and volunteering opportunities.

Information is available on various websites including https://trusteesweek.org/ and NCVO, who are running various events including a webinar on the newly updated charity governance code, 11am on Tuesday 3 November:

https://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/trustees-week#:~:text=Trustees’%20Week%202020%20will%20take,consider%20trusteeship%20and%20volunteering%20opportunities.

Reports

Bank Closure report: Citizens Advice locally (Dorset and BCP) have produced a report on the impact of bank closures across our area. The survey was carried out pre-Covid in towns where banks had recently closed, and replies indicated that:

  • 37% of respondents said their ability to manage their finances were impacted by bank closures
  • Although 78% of respondents said they used internet banking 84% still felt that having a local bank branch was important with paying in money being the most commonly used service.   
  • The average travel time to a bank branch across respondents in the rural areas of Bridport and Purbeck was 29 minutes. The maximum time for a few respondents was 2 hours
  • 64% of respondents did not use post office banking services.

Whilst is extremely unlikely that banks will re-open, and with on-line banking offered as a convenient means for customers to manage their finances, it is noted in the report that the post office offers an alternative way of accessing banking services.   All post offices now offer certain basic banking services, i.e. cash withdrawals, balance enquiries, payments in and cheque deposits.  Low take up of these services could be because people are not aware of the range of services being offered, and therefore more promotion of these services is important.

Read the full report here, and there’s a short summary:

Funding News

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation is re-opening their UK Funds on Friday 30 October, with some changes to criteria and processes which reflect what has worked well over the last few months: more flexibility and better responsiveness to applicants. More information will be available shortly.

https://www.phf.org.uk/covid-19-support/

Smallwood Trust: Women’s Sector Resilience Fund. This fund has been created with the support of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to safeguard the vital frontline jobs and support services of women’s organisations that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in England.

Funds are for women’s organisations and services that are supporting women aged 18+ whose poverty has been exacerbated by the pandemic or those that have been pushed into new poverty and financial hardship. They are offering:

  • Grants to support organisations providing services and support for vulnerable women, for which there is increased demand as a result of the Covid-19 crisis
  • Grants to support organisations supporting women who experience disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the Covid-19 crisis
  • Grants to support organisations which connect communities and support communities to work together to respond to Covid-19

Grant size £20 – £30k, closing dates 23 and 30 October and 6 November. Funds must be used by 31 March 2021. Read more: https://www.smallwoodtrust.org.uk/organisations

The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation has set up an emergency fund to help small to medium sized organisations who are struggling to manage the financial impact of COVID-19 either because of increased demand for their services or loss of income. The fund is targeted at organisations in a critical position. Grants are for a maximum of £1,000. Read more:

https://www.pwwsolicitors.co.uk/charity-grants/13-the-sylvia-waddilove-foundation-uk