Welcome to the Advice Partnership E News Bulletin

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 will be 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 [from May the E News will be sent out from this address]:  mailto:caroline.buxton@centralca.org.uk

Reminder……. ADVICE DORSET PARTNERSHIP – STRATEGY 2020-24: The Strategy is a short document setting out our aspirations for the period 2020-24. Given the current situation the Introduction covers how the advice sector and other VCSE colleagues have worked with local authorities and others, contributing knowledge and resources to ensure an effective and speedy response to the Covid-19 crisis; we also highlight advice issues that are likely to emerge as we move into the recovery. period. It’s a short read – and we really appreciate any comments or feedback you have – thank you:

Information Updates

GOV.UK: Here is the link to the Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy – ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy

WORKING SAFELY DURING COVID-19: The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. There are 8 guides covering a range of different types of work: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

FURLOUGH SCHEME extended until October 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-scheme-until-october

EMPLOYEES – summary of work changes: The Low income Tax Reform Group has summarised a range of issues and scenarios for employees, including the effect of not working, or working reduced hours, on Working Tax Credit: . https://www.litrg.org.uk/tax-guides/coronavirus-guidance/coronavirus-employees-work-changes#tax%20credits

DWP BENEFIT INFO IN BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE: The Video Relay Service (VRS) allows users to make an inbound call to the DWP via a British Sign Language interpreter using a video connection. This video (on You Tube) announces a phased expansion of the VRS to all DWP services over the next six months. The video posted 20 April is here (there are subtitles): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dsKzCyYFn8

DOMESTIC ABUSE information on Shelter’s website includes the ‘Silent Solution System’: https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/coronavirus#Domestic_abuse

EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME: The EU Settlement Resolution Centre has reopened; phone 0300 123 7379, or contact them online: https://eu-settled-status-enquiries.service.gov.uk/start?_ga=2.92635485.1126857809.1589365310-951407468.1579800283


Citizens Advice: 4 coronavirus scans to be aware of – including fake vouchers for free school meals, and fake medical tests…..read more: https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/4-coronavirus-scams-to-be-aware-of-f50a3e4c9d6f

There’s also an update on fraudsters setting up fake charities, or impersonating well-known charities, on the Action Fraud website: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/covid19-charity

Reports / Training / Briefings/ Webinars etc

Citizens Advice BLOG: Why the next 6 weeks are crucial for renters. Renters face an evictions cliff-edge when existing protections end (on 25 June) if the government doesn’t act soon. Read more: https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/why-the-next-6-weeks-are-crucial-for-renters-2385e81bdf98

EU Pre-settled status and claiming benefits: CPAG has now published a summary of the case of two EU nationals turned down for UC on the grounds that their pre-settled status was not a qualifying right of residence for the purposes of means-tested benefits.

“The High Court held that Ms F and Mr T were correct to submit that as EU nationals legally resident in the UK under domestic law (because they had pre-settled status) they could rely upon Article 18 TFEU to protect themselves against unlawful discrimination on the grounds of nationality. However, the Court held that the discriminatory treatment they had suffered was lawful because justified”. The couple are seeking leave to appeal, and CPAG are seeking more potential test cases on this issue, read more: http://(pre-settled status) was not a qualifying right of residence for the purposes of means-tested benefits.

In the light of this you may be interested in booking on the Brexit Civil Society Alliance briefing on EU Settlement Scheme – How can organisations support EU Citizens Wednesday 27 May, 10 – 11.30. https://www.brexitcivilsocietyalliance.org/new-events/brexit-answers-eu-settlement-scheme

Policy in Practice – next WEBINAR: ‘Stories from the Frontline’ – Wednesday 20 May 10.30 – 11.30 Register here: http://policyinpractice.co.uk/events/


Talbot Village Trust: Covid-19 support fund (for BCP charities). Grants will be made to local organisations in need of funds to enable them to deliver their front-line services and priority will be given to organisations directly helping in the COVID 19 related crisis. Applications reviewed fortnightly. https://www.talbotvillagetrust.org/covid-19-support-fund/

…and a reminder that the Dorset Community Foundation ‘Coronavirus Community Fund’ is still open, grants of up to £5km, with a current focus on supporting disaster response activities and services addressing immediate needs caused by the pandemic : https://www.dorsetcommunityfoundation.org/dorset-coronavirus-community-fund/

Barclays 100×100 Covid-19 Community Relief Fund: Barclays will be making 100 donations of £100,000 each to UK charities working to support vulnerable people impacted by coronavirus/COVID-19, and the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis.

Funding will be focused on supporting charity partners who are meeting the immediate needs of people in Barclays communities, including low income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people and key workers.

NB this is only open to charities with an income in excess of £1m per year….Closing date: 22 May. Read more: https://home.barclays/society/investing-in-our-communities/barclays-covid-19-community-aid-package/barclays-100×100-uk-covid-19-community-relief-programme/