What is the Reaching People Together Programme?
This is a new project being developed by Citizens Advice Hampshire. Arising from the Covid Outbreak Management Fund, Hampshire was looking for new ways to use the county-wide reach of Citizens Advice to address some of the issues and needs emerging from the pandemic – with a public health focus, rather than advice delivery.
The project will have staff based in Citizens Advice Hampshire (who will lead on Refernet), Citizens Advice Winchester District (who will lead on reaching target communities using Advice First Aid) and Citizens Advice Rushmoor (who will lead on reaching BAME communities using Advice First Aid, building on prior work with these communities).
What is Refernet?
Refernet was built form the ground up for Citizens Advice to accept referrals from numerous, usually local organisations, around them. Referrals can be made out to the network and between other organisations as well, but the primary requirement has always been simple to use referrals into CA.
It is a safe, secure and local online referral system used by many local Citizens Advice teams across the UK. Refernet enables referrals to be made securely by Advice agencies whom they partner with, in their town, city or region.
Refernet has one task; referring people safely from any organisation, to another – but on a local / regional level, as a private network managed by a trusted entity – like a Citizens Advice Centre, or council for example.
What is Advice First Aid?
The Advice First Aid partnership aims to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community by training frontline workers to deliver basic advice ‘first aid’ to their beneficiaries. The training enables staff and volunteers working in the community to help identify an issue, provide some initial basic help such as reading through information on the Citizens Advice website, and knowing when to refer someone to one of our expert team of advisers.
What the role of the BAME Coordinator?
This part of the Reaching People Together project aims to use the Advice First Aid (AFA) activities to reach Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. Recognising the widely varying and often specific needs of different communities, you will be working initially in the Rushmoor area, to build on a base of existing work.