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


TRAINING SESSION (half day): Universal Credit for people with health issues – 12 July, Weymouth  – PLACES STILL AVAILABLE!!

Are you working with people claiming Universal Credit? Do some of them have long-term heath or disability issues? Are you puzzled by terms such as a ‘work capability assessment’, ‘conditionality’, ‘thresholds’. ‘new-style ESA’….?? Then this half-day training will help demystify some of the complications for those claiming or moving to UC who have health issues.This is a half day course on Universal Credit for those who are sick or have long-term health/disability issues.

This course is one of the events organsied by the Advice Dorset Partnership. The current scheme does not require organisations to be paid-up members, but does mean that everyone pays the same fee for the course. We have tried to keep this as low as possibe at £25 per place, just to cover our costs, but it will also mean if there is insufficient take- up we will have to cancel it.

When: Thursday 12th July 9.30 am to 1 pm

Where: St Aldhelm’s Church, Spa Road, Weymouth, DT3 5EW, parking available on site

Cost: £25

To book on Eventbrite click here

Job Opportunities in local Citizens Advice offices

There are currently no local job opportunities available for national opportunities click here

For Volunteering opportunities find your local Citizens Advice office here

News and Useful Information

VOLUNTARY SECTOR SURVEY STILL OPEN: Dorset Community Action is working with Volunteer Centre Dorset, and Citizens Advice in Dorset to check the current health of the VCSE sector and to gain an understanding of the impact of LGR on Dorset’s VCSE sector.

We want to ensure that the VCSE sector still has a place in this new local authority world and tell the story of the importance of the VCSE to the new council, how we make effective use of statutory sector and other funding to deliver services, and promote the value of volunteering. At a time of year on year statutory sector funding cuts we view this as particularly important.

To do that we require evidence to make our case on your behalf. Can you help us by completing the survey? Please click here

The survey should only take you around 10 minutes to complete and is open until 5pm Friday 29th June 2018.  Thank you for your support.

Avon and Bristol Law Centre

ABLC  are now running a project taking on Welfare Benefits Upper Tribunal appeals from across the South West of England and Wales.

The issues which the project covers include:

–          UC, ESA and PIP,

–          Housing Benefit,

–          Tax Credits,

–          Overpayments of any benefit or tax credit,

–          Right to reside/ Habitual residence,

–          Support for Mortgage Interest.

They can provide representation under Legal Aid and can only take on cases where the individual is eligible for Legal Help, however they are more than happy to check through this with any person referred to them. All they need to take a referral is the clients name and telephone number.  To make contact in the first instance you can email Jack Mowll here or call 0117 916 7719 (direct)  0117 924 8662 (reception).  More information about Avon and Bristol Law Centre can be found here


The Family Information Service shares a range of information for families and young people, which professionals may also find useful. This includes information on schools, childcare, funding, health, local events/activities, general news and fun stuff! This is what they say:

To hear more from FIS, we encourage people to sign up to receive our e-newsletter<https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/children-families/get-help-for-your-family/family-information-service.aspx>, or like us on Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/dorsetfis>.

Family Information Directory <https://familyinformationdirectory.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/kb5/dorset/fsd/home.page> contains listings of all services for families, children and young people. This includes childcare, schools, support services and events and activities. Searches can be filtered by location, child’s age and whether the service has provided additional information about how they support children with SEN or disability.

Our Outreach Team<https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/fis-outreach> attend events and groups to reach parents and professionals. Their main priority is advising parents who are struggling to find childcare to meet their needs.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (Local Offer): Dorset’s Local offer<dorsetforyou.co.uk/localoffer> provides information, advice and support for children and young people aged 0 to 25 years with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). The Local Offer also links to our directory so parents can search for services and find out how to access them, all in one place.

E   familyinfo@dorsetcc.gov.uk<mailto:familyinfo@dorsetcc.gov.uk>
T   01305 221066

Local Offer leaflet here: FIS Local Offer Leaflet 2018

Childcare leaflet here:  FIS Childcare funding leaflet 2018

Equalities and Diversity Forum is a national network of organisations working across all areas of equality and human rights.  They  bring together people from a range of disciplines, sharing knowledge and expertise,  helping members to speak with one voice on shared positions; informed by a strong evidence base to communicate these positions in powerful and progressive ways.

For more information about the organisation and the organisations in the network click here and to their latest newsletter click here

The National Audit Office has been in the headlines with their latest report on the roll out of Universal Credit. The content and scope of the report looked at the following, in order to assess the value for money of the Department’s introduction of Universal Credit:

To read the full report click here

Other Events and Training

Healthwatch Dorset – Annual Review: Thursday 12 July 6 – 8pm, Dorford Centre, Dorchester

A chance to:

  • Meet and chat with our Board members, staff and volunteers.
  • Be the first to get a copy of our new Impact Report.
  • Hear about the work we’ve been doing over the past year and how we’ve been influencing local health and care services.
  • Hear directly from some of the people we’ve been working with, including a presentation by some of the young people who took part in our #LifeUnfiltered project.
  • Hear about our plans for the year ahead, including a new round of Community Investment Projects, in which we’re working with particular voluntary and community groups across the county.

Book  HERE

Dorset Community Action: useful bite-sized training on various topics, eg ‘trustee – roles and reposnsibilities’ – various date and locations:

To see the full programme visit: this link

Research and Reports

A new report on reforming working age social security discusses findings from a roundtable session (convened by the Social Security Advisory Committee and Institute for Government) on what lessons can be learnt for future reform from what has worked – and what has not worked so well – in the past and what lessons can be learnt for future reform from what has worked – and what has not worked so well – in the past.

To read the full report click here

Tax Credits: A report by the HMRC has found that more than 73,000 households are affected by the two child limit policy as at 2 April 2018 to read the full report click here

Other projects

Healthy Homes Dorset is a project funded by Public Health Dorset, managed by Dorset County Council and delivered by The Centre for Sustainable Energy, a Bristol based Charity. Healthy Homes Dorset is represented in Dorset by Jon Parvin, who is a Senior Energy Advisor based in Dorchester. NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) estimate that there are over 500 ‘Avoidable Winter Deaths’ in Dorset with around 100 directly attributable to living in poorly heated homes. Living in permanently cold accommodation also has a significant impact on not only physical health, but also mental well-being, with a corresponding significant increase in GP and Social Services involvement and hospital admissions. We believe that everyone has a right to live in a home that does not cause, exacerbate or contribute to  poor physical or mental health.

Healthy Homes Dorset is able to access funding to provide free cavity wall and loft insulation to residents of Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth who are either on a low income or who are diagnosed with a relevant medical condition or have a disability. We can also arrange for any necessary preparation work to be completed free of charge and can, in some cases, provide new heating systems either free of charge, or at a reduced cost. Independent, impartial energy advice is available from trained staff either over the phone or, when required, through a home visit.

For more info contact Jon here

Funding Opportunities

St Martins in the Field through the Vicar’s Relief Fund (VRF) provides small crisis grants of up to £350 to support people who are at risk of, or currently, experiencing homelessness or are vulnerably housed, to establish and maintain their tenancies. Types of applications include funding to secure accommodation and to clear rent arrears following an eviction notice.

They accept applications from support services eg. Citizens Advice or a homelessness charity.  For more information on how to register to apply for grants see here

Dorset Police & Crime Commissioners’s Safer Dorset Fund – community grants: grants of £100 – £3,000 for projects that meet one or more of the Dorset Police & Crime Plan.  More details here

The TDS Foundation fund projects  to promote knowledge of Landords’ obligations OR  Tenants’ rights and responsibilities. Read more here

The Woodward Charitable Trust make small grants to organisations working with children facing exclusion, disabled people,  prisoners, and for community cohesion work Read more here