Information & Advice
Funded through the Big Lottery’s Advice services Transition Fund, Advice in County Durham is a partnership of local advice providers, committed to working together to improve the provision of advice across County Durham. The partnership aims to provide a seamless service for those seeking advice and enable organisations providing information and advice to work in a more collaborative way for the benefit of all concerned.
With austerity measures and funding cuts leaving more people in need of help and resources available to advice organisations being reduced, the need for new ways of working is greater than ever. The partnership will redesign access routes to advice by joining up the provision in simple pathways that both agencies and clients will understand, to ensure that there is ‘no wrong door’ when it comes to helping clients.
Clients will get a single point referral, easier access, earlier intervention, reduced waiting times and faster emergency response.
Organisations delivering advice will have the opportunity to gain approved centre status as a member of the partnership network, reflecting the level of service delivered.
Sam Scotchbrook– Project Co-ordinator, Advice in County Durham
Tel: 0191 3726704
Armstrong House, Abbeywoods Business Park, Durham, DH1 5GH
Updated Referral Portal Directory …
The AiCD referral directory listing the services you can refer to through the portal has been updated. You can view it in the attached PDF document and at the following link: https://indd.adobe.com/view/2e07cb14-d59b-4813-8e2c-313961a6092
….hopefully members have found the new format more user friendly – I’d welcome any feedback…
ADVICE IN COUNTY DURHAM – Network Meeting
Thursday 28TH February 2019 1:30pm -5:00pm
Coffee and registration from 1:10 pm
Advice in County Durham is a partnership of local advice providers, committed to working together to improve the provision of advice across County Durham.
We are delighted that one of our key members of the AICD partnership Livin have kindly offered to host us for this event…a huge thanks to Livin and we are really looking forward to the day …
We are holding a Routes Out of Poverty event which was previously available to frontline DCC staff over the last 12 months – we are now fortunate to host this event so that partners in particular the Voluntary and Community Sector can see what statutory services are delivered in County Durham and how to refer and access the various services to support families across the County…
Speakers from the following services will be there on the day…
*Health 0-19 year olds..
*Stronger Families Employment Advisors
* Education …Cutting the cost of the school day
Introduction to Universal Credit free training …
I can now confirm that I have opened the window to take bookings for the following training …
Introduction to Universal Credit Training - delivered by Durham Welfare Rights Service
Date and times Thursday the 14th February 2019 9:30am – 4:30pm
Venue – Armstrong House , Durham
You will receive joining instructions once you have been successfully allocated a place – places are on a first come first served basis- so book early to avoid disappointment
Here is the link to the training brochure which gives an overview of the course aims and objectives..
Referring to Durham Welfare Rights through the Referral Portal
Durham WR have recently updated their referral criteria for all referrals sent to the service through the portal. As per the description below I have attached a copy of the Welfare Rights Form of Authority and a copy of the HMCTS medical authority form (this form is helpful as it enables the Welfare Rights Officer to secure a copy of the GP records more quickly when needed). The full criteria is copied below and is now available to view on the referral portal…
Welfare Rights Criteria
Durham County Council Welfare Rights specialise in the representation of clients at benefit appeal tribunals. This particular referral route is for the referral of clients requiring representation at tribunal only. Any general benefit queries or checks should be directed through our professionals advice line: 03000 268 978 open 12.30 – 15.30pm or the client can reach us directly through the public advice line: 03000 268 968 open 9 – 12pm.
Welfare Rights will only take on a case for representation once the SSCS1 has been submitted. When making a referral to Welfare Rights for representation we ask referrers to include - a copy of the Mandatory Reconsideration notice - a completed copy of the SSCS1 form, – a completed form of authority for Welfare Rights and – a completed HMCTS medical authority form.
Any referrals not including this documentation risk being rejected. If your organisation does not provide support up to the SSCS1 stage you can refer the case to Citizens Advice County Durham who can assist with this and will then send the case on to Welfare Rights once ready.
Update from DWP…
Universal Credit Live Service will end in January and the Jobcentres in County Durham are busy preparing our customer for the change to Universal Credit Full Service, this will be a supported change and customers will be invited into the Jobcentre to make their claim to Full Service. If you have any customers contacting you about a letter they have received on this subject please encourage them to attend their appointment etc. If they have any questions they should contact their local Jobcentre.
The changeover is due to start on 5th September 2018
The following websites have been developed to help people living or working in County Durham access the information they need. Please follow the appropriate link below to access the site you need.
Durham Locate (formerly DIG)
Need help finding the right care and support? Locate is a free online resource providing a wealth of care and support information and services making it easier for you to make plans now and in the future.
Families Information Service (FIS)
The Families Information Service is a free and impartial service providing information to help parents support their children through to their 20th birthday, or 25th birthday if the child is disabled. The website provides information on a wide range of things including – choosing childcare, where to find a nursery, pre-school or playgroup, sport and leisure clubs as well as family leisure activities, information about free and flexible early learning (formerly nursery education) for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds, support for children with additional needs or disabilities, parenting groups and classes.
Help 4 Teens
Help 4 Teens provides a range of information for young people around careers and further education including: careers database, qualifications, personal development opportunities, sources of financial support, volunteering opportunities, health and personal wellbeing.
Wellbeing For Life
Wellbeing for Life is a service commissioned by Durham County Council and delivered by five partners who have years of knowledge and experience of working and supporting local people across County Durham
This is Durham
The official Tourism Website for Durham