Citizens Advice Reading led on a Big Lottery funded project. An award of £349,591 was made over a two year period to work with eleven local not-for-profit partners to deliver a new business advice model in Reading that will provide closer and more effective working arrangements and an enhanced service for clients. The key criteria were:
- To improve inter-agency awareness, co-operation, referral and joint working.
- To collaborate and share knowledge, training and best practice.
- A consultant led survey to identify local advice needs, gaps, overprovision and barriers to accessing services.
- Provision of funding support for housing advice but a need to determine how this can most effectively be deployed.
- To identify, develop and support expert advice organisation and to make these accessible to all partners.
- The consultant led development of a quality advice standard for Reading – to be monitored and assessed on an on-going basis.
- To develop a ‘portable’ referral form and process to aid the client journey between agencies.
- To enhance the points of access to advice services to include, face-to-face, telephone, on line and social media.
- To develop a local advice forum through which to provide training and networking events for voluntary and other local groups.
- The development of a sustainable funding strategy for the future of advice services.
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