The Neighbourhood Team are just starting the 2014 round of tenancy visits. This year we are focusing on Universal Credit and the whole range of issues around the new benefit.
So we will be visiting all tenants of working age who are currently in receipt of full or part housing benefit and talking about what the benefit means in terms of payment and claiming. As the new benefit will be managed online, we are finding out what level of computer skills residents have and if they are not skilled – or do not have access to a computer we will offer sessions to improve skills and work out how they would access a computer and the internet locally. We are also having a conversation about the help we can offer in terms of work club and employability skills. Impact offers a range of these services and we are finding out what people need and getting them on events that can help. You may know that we offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities through our Give and Gain offer and ion the visits, if people are interested in this, we are able to refer on to our colleagues and get people into volunteering. Another important part of the discussion is about debt and what benefits people are claiming. A referral to our expert Money Matters workers can often result in a plan to manage tight household budgets and increased income though claiming for extra benefits.
As well as this, we are talking about how people can cut fuel use and save money with tips and also by switching supplier, which can save over £100 each year. We also have energy monitors to loan so people can understand which appliances cost the most money to use….and knock things off!
The visits are also a chance to catch up on any issues that you may have relating to your home or neighbourhood
So, please expect a visit in the next 12 months if you are likely to be affected by the move to Universal Credit. The team look forward to seeing you and if you want to talk to me about any of this, please give me a call or drop me an e mail….or you can tweet me.
Direct line: 01946839928
Twitter - @impactstephen
The Neighbourhood Team
- Stephen Wilson - Kendal, Ulverston, Windermere, Keswick, Carnforth
- Teresa Little - Salterbeck, Moor Row, Eskdale Green, Keekle,Cleator Moor, Egremont, Calderbridge, Bigrigg
- Bill Rushforth - Workington, Maryport, Harrington, Fletchertown, Aspatria, Cockermouth
- Patricia Goodwin - Salterbeck, Distington, Pica, and Whitehaven
- Jennifer McLoughlin - Carlisle North (Botchergate, Harraby and Botcherby) and Eden (Penrith and Kirby Stephen)
- Jenny Russell - Carlisle
- Lillian Baldry - (Tenant support worker - new build properties, Salterbeck)