A new advice service project was launched this month and will run for two years thanks to funding by Big Lottery.
The advice sector is operating in a rapidly changing environment and needs support to adapt and reform its service models. The Government (through Cabinet Office) and Big Lottery Fund are investing in providers of local advice services so that they can continue to give vital help to people and communities. They want to help the sector transform by renewing its service models to reduce duplication, measure the difference services can make to people’s lives, and bring providers together to be more efficient and effective.
In order to thrive and secure its future sustainability, the independent advice sector will also need to be more enterprising and business-minded. The Advice Services Transition Fund (ASTF) is to support changes that will help the sector to become more enterprising and resilient. They want a strong and vibrant advice sector in England to be able to respond with confidence to the challenges presented by changes to the funding environment and increased demand for services.
Doncaster has successfully been awarded a grant from the ASTF and will deliver this Advice Services project under Doncaster Advice Services Partnership (DASP) ‘Sustainable Advice for Doncaster’.
DASP’s aim is to develop new ways for clients to access advice that once established can be sustained beyond the end of the two-year funding period. We envisage this happening through an automated telephone system, development of the DASP website, a self-help advice kiosk as well as ensuring that the partnership is able to deliver training programmes, not only in terms of project staff and volunteers, but working with Borough advice agencies to develop their own advice capacity.
Secondly, this will mean that those specialist advice resources that continue to be available can be deployed more effectively where the client need is greatest.
In addition DASP will seek to generate funding for after the two-year period by maximising the business potential that the partnership possesses.
1, People are able to access advice more effectively through a range of different provision, encouraging self-help, preventing problems escalating and reducing stress.
2, People with the greatest advice needs get access to relevant specialist provision, utilising scarce resources in the most effective way to help individuals and families avoid crisis.
3, DASP will establish and develop advice provision to enable people to maintain positive improvements in their lives beyond the project period and be more confident about the future.
The project will endeavour to work with and support as many advice services as possible over the two years.