Strength in Advice
This is a page that contains practical suggestions to deal with tough times.
If you are interested in support from our development team, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Everything listed below is based on our experience and the experience of AdviceUK members. If you want to take a particular issue further, we’ve given some links that you may find useful. You may have things to add, or comments, please let us know.
What your clients face in 2013
Welfare reform – see www.adviceuk.org.uk/welfarereform for resources and links to keep you updated. Make contact with your local authority and explore opportunities to work together. Engage with networks such as the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (NAWRA) and Rightsnet.
Big changes to social housing – think about how you could work with housing associations and other Registered Social Landlords to support their residents. Have a look at the websites of the National Housing Federation and Chartered Institute of Housing.
Unemployment going up, incomes going down – you may not have looked at your charitable objects in a while, but our guess is that the word 'poverty' will come up. Back up your arguments with data from the Nomis site (Office for National Statistics) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies
I don't know where to start...
A good place to start is listening - what do people want from your service? Have a look at what we're learning by understanding demand for advice. Don't do the wrong thing righter...
Find different partners – have you considered working with children’s centres? Local GP surgeries? Utility providers and associated charitable funds? This is a good place to start for information on working collaboratively, as are AdviceUK’s website resources. Follow us on Twitter and join the conversation.
Influence and challenge funding decisions – our BOLD work shows how advice services can work constructively with commissioners to design services from the outside in, reducing waste and cutting the costs of failure.
Make time to plan – it's vital to set aside time to reflect on your work, and have open conversations about what is happening and what you are learning. If you are a manager, one of the best ways of starting productive conversations is spending time with frontline staff as they get on with their work.
Are you paying too much? Change telecoms, IT or utilities providers, link with others to get cheaper bulk deals – for example on office supplies or payroll services. Could you reduce your premises costs by working in different ways or co-locating with other organisations?
This is what AdviceUK believes in and why we think advice is worth fighting for - what about you?
Advice that puts the client at the centre of everything. Diverse organisations serving diverse communities. Advice that works with the whole person, linking effectively with other services and support. The value of local commitment. Advice that addresses the root causes of poverty and disadvantage. Inclusive local advice networks. Recognition of the wider impact of advice and its potential to improve publicly-funded services. Advice that is focused on prevention. The principle of grassroots up, not top down.
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Offering free debt advice for the west Kent area with over a 100 hundred volunteers.View "West Kent Debt Advice Centre" profile
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