Improving Lives in Scotland
AdviceUK was appointed by the Scottish Government Debt Advice Levy Fund to distribute a fund of £700,000 in small grants to members who provide money and debt advice services within Scotland.
Between 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021, 29 organisations received funding supporting 38 Projects and Centres across Scotland.
During the funding period, the funded projects have supported 2,630 clients across 29 Local Authority Areas in Scotland. Over £3.6 million of debt was being managed as a result of this funding and over £1.1 million of Financial Gains have been achieved.
How this funding has helped make a difference:
- Enabled organisations to improve their ICT infrastructure, in particular through the adoption of the AdvicePro case management system, making it easier for advisers to work remotely, enhance reporting capacity and enable the use of tools such as digital signatures to improve workflow. It has also allowed them to continue to provide a service to clients in vulnerable circumstances during the pandemic.
- Increased digital inclusion and reduced digital poverty. It has enabled clients to access digital equipment so that they can use online services and for example, manage their claims for Universal Credit online. Digital resources have also been developed which enable clients to better manage their money and improve their financial skills and confidence.
- Expanded capacity to meet demand for debt advice – The funding has enabled the funded organisations to extend their service by increasing their capacity to meet the demand from clients with debt problems. The ability to remotely support clients has expanded the geographic reach of the organisations so that they are able to support more people in need across all parts of Scotland. In some projects, the funding has also enabled face-to-face advice delivery for clients in vulnerable circumstances, including people who are digitally excluded…..
- Increased partnership working – The funding has encouraged more partnership working, in particular with the NHS in Scotland but also with other organisations such as those who support clients with mental health problems.
- Increased support for specific client groups – The funding has enabled the organisations to work with a wider range of specific client groups, many of whom are vulnerable. These include young people, lone parents, people with learning disabilities, self-employed people, carers, and people from black and minority ethnic communities. In the last example, the use of Language for All has been especially helpful in meeting the needs of communities traditionally underserved by advice providers.
- Increased help with a range of specific debts and issues
The funding has enabled organisations to support clients with a range of specific debts, in particular rent arrears and utility debt. It has also enabled the organisations to tackle a range of other issues such as food provision and encouraged early intervention into problem debt.
If you would like to know more please do get in touch.