Camden’s £7 million investment into advice services to support residents
Camden Council is investing £7 million over the next seven years to support independent organisations to provide a range of advice services for residents needing support.
This investment comes at a time when national government-funding for legal aid has been reduced, in spite of the increased demands for advice on a range of new issues and challenges. The investment in Camden Advice Partnership aims to strengthen the advice offer for Camden residents by encouraging organisation to work together to help people find and access the advice they need easily and effectively.
Advice services are a proven way of empowering residents and building resilient communities and an important part of our vision to make Camden a better borough.
Camden strongly believes that high quality independent services are essential to help residents, especially those that are vulnerable or currently less able to engage within their wider community. Camden recognises that many voluntary and community sector have strong relationships with their community and are often best placed to reach these vulnerable people.
This £7million investment will support the Camden Advice Partnership, a network of general and specialist advice services which is delivered by voluntary and community organisations. The partnership will also link to council advice services to ensure that residents have access to the support they need in a way that works for them. The network will focus on residents and their needs, delivering high quality proactive advice, as well as being more capable of responding flexibly to new issues residents are facing.
“Our residents are facing increasingly complex and concerning pressures from many directions. The roll-out of austerity policies like Universal Credit, which can bring a range of financial worries and require the claimant to manage their claim online. The demeaning requirement for our non-British EU citizens to register to stay in the UK after we leave the European Union. And numerous day to day problems, which with the right advice at the right time, can be dealt with swiftly and compassionately before they escalate into more serious issues.
“Camden Council will continue to play a leading role in helping residents navigate these challenges – but we recognise we are not always best placed to do so. Independent advice services, embedded in our communities, can often give the specialist advice, time and personal attention needed to support residents and help build resilient communities.
“This investment will build a stronger relationship between the council and services, and is a practical demonstration our commitment to a whole community approach to achieving our Camden 2025 vision – that Camden be a place where everyone has a chance to succeed and where nobody gets left behind.”
The Camden Advice Partnership will be funded through a competitive grant which will open for submissions later this year. Investing through a grant scheme provides a transparent way of supporting the advice partnership to provide an effective advice service for our residents while encouraging greater flexibility and innovation from organisations to best meet resident’s needs.