EDP CA WEEKLY BRIEFING 14 JUNE 2021
- Staff change: Philomena Murphy has been with Purbeck, and now EDP, for many years as both a supervisor as well as an incredibly knowledgeable and effective housing caseworker. Over the years she has worked on several projects and acquired a huge wealth of knowledge and experience that is irreplaceable. Philomena, was a barrister in a previous life and has been presented with an unmissable opportunity to return to this career and so, very sadly, she is leaving us to ‘have her days in court’. We wish her all the very best in her, if not new – let’s say renewed, career and will miss her and the knowledge that she brings to the team greatly. I hope the coffee and cake is up to standard in her new area of operation!
- ‘VOLUNTEERING IS GOOD FOR YOUR WELLBEING’ – We knew that! Two recent Welsh studies supported this hypothesis. If you would like to read more then go to https://www.wcpp.org.uk/publication/volunteering-and-wellbeing-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/
- If any Wimborne based volunteers need the RSA key to sign in to Casebook then this is now back in the keybox. Please phone the onsite supervisor.
- ENERGY – The FFP project has access to some additional funding for Dorset clients who are on either credit or pre-payment meters and are either struggling to afford energy or who are facing disconnection. This is up to £200 and is available to a wide range of clients, even those who have had a Surviving Winter grant previously. Clients can be referred to the Energy FFP Task list by your supervisor.
The question to ask on Adviceline is “CitA (we) have an energy project running to help people save money on their energy bills and they will also check your eligibility for a local grant to help you to meet your fuel costs. Would you be interested in speaking to an Adviser to see if you are eligible for some additional financial support?”
- BENEFITS – The DWP has issued new guidance on eligibility for points under the personal independence payment (PIP) washing and bathing descriptors where a claimant has to remove a hearing aid or cochlear implant while washing. The Guidance follows an Upper Tribunal decision that claimants could not wash or bathe safely after removing hearing aids as they wouldn’t be able to hear a standard fire alarm. ADM Memo 9/21 is available from gov.uk
- BENEFITS – We now have some face to face appointments available to help people claim Universal Credit. Currently these are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Ferndown Library. We also have Video appts on Tues, Wed, and Thurs.
- ADVICE SERVICES – Susan Ridley is offering generalist appts at Lytchett Matravers Library on Thursdays for residents of Lytchett Matravers/Upton Ward.
- ADVICE SERVICES – There are a limited number of face to face appts available at Wimborne and Wareham offices. These will be for the most vulnerable clients. Please speak to your supervisor to book any face to face appts.
EDP COMMUNICATIONS UPDATE
- Any IT problems please speak to your supervisor in the first instance. If they are unable to help then contact Kate at [email protected]. Everyone should now hopefully be able to access the EDP portal on our website.
- The New Stour & Avon Magazine was launched recently and we are pleased to say we have agreed to include a regular (monthly) feature, outlining key issues and campaigns for local residents. Please see attached link to the latest issue where we have coverage about repairs on a rented property https://issuu.com/unstuck/docs/s_a04.jun4.online2/22 see page 22. If you feel that there is something we should be generating awareness of please contact Sian [email protected]
- Training for June is a new course on Docebo Research and Campaigns: Making Research and campaigns work in your local office. This is something that everyone needs to know about.
Please let Mandi know when you have done this [email protected]
RESEARCH AND CAMPAIGNS
- Many thanks for your Evidence Forms. Currently we’re particularly interested in any cases that relate to problems people have with Universal Credit which lead to them needing to use a Food Bank. For example, benefit not enough to cover needs, delays in payment, high level of deductions, rent not covered by UC housing costs element. When you write an evidence form, it’s helpful if you can identify exactly what the injustice was, be it a regulation that seems unfair or a bad service.
- Last week, Zoe and Rosemary had a liaison meeting with Maria Boyce from Jobcentre Plus. With distancing and cleaning in place, work coaches are now back to seeing claimants face to face. They have discretion on whether a claimant can have contact via a different channel due to Covid concerns. Please watch out for how they exercise this discretion and write an evidence form if it seems unfair.
- Have you advised clients who struggle in a ‘digital by default’ world? Here’s a chance to let Citizens Advice know about clients who are digitally excluded. It’s a 10 minute survey asking about general issues, not individual clients, and will help Citizens Advice campaign to improve things. t’s open for a week and anyone can take part https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XTMYDDN
- SCAMS AWARENESS – The national Scams Awareness campaign takes place from the 14th-27th June. The aim is to create awareness of scams and to give people the confidence to recognise a scam and report it. Here’s a link to more info on the CA website https://bit.ly/3576cye Locally, we will be sharing messages on social media – twitter and facebook @CitAdviceEDP (please follow and share our posts) and will be issuing a press release to the local press. We will also be displaying posters in key areas. If you are able to, please add the following to your email signature:
I’m staying ahead of scams. Are you? Be #ScamAware. Stop, report, talk. Visit citizensadvice.org.uk/sa21/ to find out more.