We are now halfway through the Advice North Somerset project and thought it would be good to take a look at the progress made during our first year.
- The Advice North Somerset Network was officially launched in September at our first Annual Conference – over 40 organisations have already joined
- We have made contact with over 150 organisations in North Somerset and elsewhere who have a bearing on the Advice Sector in North Somerset
- We have produced three newsletters:
Website & Social Media
The first phase of our website www.advicenorthsomerset.org.uk was launched in September and is an integral part of the Network. It has two main functions:
- to provide a directory of advice, information & support organisations and links to self-help tools principally in the areas of money & debt, benefits, housing, employment and family. This is accessible to members of the public as well as to staff and volunteers working in the sector.
- to promote and provide help and support to the Network via a news/blog section, list of training courses and events plus the ability to report on social policy.
We are now on Twitter – Follow @AdviceNSom
We have put a training programme in place and this has been very well received. We are currently offering a variety of free training courses on themes such as what is advice and how to signpost to advice organisations. The autumn series of training sessions is now open for booking.
We have carried out an Advice Needs Analysis of North Somerset. The analysis has two parts:
- a computer-based analysis of the need for advice in North Somerset, carried out by MBARC Ltd.
- an assessment of the provision of advice in North Somerset using focus groups, surveys and interviews.
The main finding is that the total funded need for advice in North Somerset is around £1million. Currently, provision is somewhat under £700,000 a year, leading to a funding gap of over £300,000.
Download the Executive Summary: Advice Needs Analysis: Executive Summary
Or the Full report: Advice Needs Analysis
Currently, our main objectives for the second year are:
- the setting up a quarterly Advice North Somerset Forum – the first session is on 8th December at The Campus
- the implementation of a Network referral system
- continued training to meet the needs of Network members
- focus on digital inclusion
- phase 2 of the website to build on what we have achieved so far.