The following information is for professionals, volunteers and Councillors who want to support Newcastle residents to secure the foundations for stability - somewhere to live, an income, financial inclusion and employment opportunities.

Our Approach to Financial Inclusion

Trigger point conversations - information sheets

We have developed a range of information sheets for professionals and volunteers to support you to have conversations with residents about money and housing issues. These resources are on the following topics and can be downloaded: 

We also have the following information sheet on financial inclusion which is specifically for Newcastle City Council Councillors.
Financial inclusion information for Newcastle City Council Councillors May 2015 (pdf, 350kb)

Toolkits

We have a range of toolkits to give you more in-depth information to support our financial inclusion objectives. These resources are on the following topics and can be downloaded:

The following guides also provide information for professionals and volunteers that support our financial inclusion objectives:

Spectrums of advice

We seek to make the best use of the limited face to face specialist advice services in Newcastle by helping other non-specialist services to prevent and respond to financial exclusion and the risk of homelessness. This means moving from signposting to proportionate responses in which all partners can play a role.

To aid us in this process we have developed the following spectrums of advice. These describe three broad tiers or levels of advice and act as a tool to help us to better understand where organisations fit into our provision in Newcastle and what support they need to do this. This support includes the information,consultancy lines and training described on this page.

To see our spectrum of advice for housing and homelessness, visit our Housing advice and homelessness information for professionals page.

Consultancy lines and email contacts for professionals

We have the following opportunities for you to talk to specialists about housing, welfare rights and debt issues. Please note that - unless indicated otherwise - these numbers are for professionals to use only and are not for residents to use.

Referral to benefit and debt advice (for professionals only)

Please complete form as fully as possible. For help, ring the appropriate consultancy line above

Benefit bulletins

Benefit bulletins keep you up to date with significant benefit changes and news. Please bear in mind that they may be updated to include major changes.

If you want to subscribe to 'benefit bulletins' or the 'Where to get advice in Newcastle' booklet, please complete this online form.

If you have problems subscribing, please email activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk 

Training

The Active Inclusion Newcastle Unit is providing the following free face to face training and e-learning opportunities for City Council and non City Council professionals, volunteers and Councillors.

Introduction to Budgeting

The ‘Introduction to Budgeting’ session is aimed at frontline staff and volunteers who provide budgeting advice and support as part of their role. The session will give you the skills to help the residents you support to stay out of debt and manage their money. Following the session you will be able to complete an accurate budget plan, identify how your clients’ income can be increased and their costs reduced, help them to manage their bank account and bill payments and support them with other financial inclusion aspects.

Time and date:
9.30 – 12.30pm Tuesday 29th September 2015
9.30 – 12.30pm Friday 11th December 2015
9.30 – 12.30pm Tuesday 15th March 2016 
9.30 – 12.30pm Monday 13th June 2016 

If you want to attend, please see instructions below.

Introduction to Benefits

It is a very basic overview of the benefits system, its structure, basic rules, who can claim what, claims, payments and challenging decisions,  some problem areas and how to avoid them in the first place. Also explained is practical information about the benefit administrators, where you can get further information and advice for staff and the public. The session also allows for questions. These training sessions are aimed at those who are not specialist benefit advisers but may be able to give some benefits support to people (described as tier 1 and 2 in the above benefits Spectrum of Advice - benefits). You may find these training notes useful, which accompany the training.

Time and date:
1.00 – 4pm.  Thursday 15th October 2015 - fully booked
1.00 – 4pm.  Tuesday 12th January 2016 - fully booked
1.00 – 4pm.  Tuesday 12th April 2016 - fully booked

Preventing sanctions

Newcastle City Council and Jobcentre Plus are working together to find ways of reducing the number of sanctions applied to unemployed people in the city by improving compliance with the requirements for receipt of benefit. As part of this work we are jointly holding quarterly workshops on supporting residents to avoid benefit sanctions. Also see ‘How can I avoid a benefit sanction’ on our Benefits Information page.   

Time and date:
10.00 - 12.00. Friday 18th September 2015
10.00 - 12.00 Thursday 3rd December 2015
10.00 - 12.00 Thursday 10th March 2016
10.00 - 12.00 Thursday 16th June 2016

If you want to attend the above budgeting, benefits or sanctions sessions, please email activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk and provide the following information about yourself:

The name of the session and date you wish to attend
Name
Role
Organisation
Phone number
Manager’s name
Manager’s phone number

We will then email you to let you know if you have got a place on the course and where it is.

Courses are allocated on a first come first served basis. If the course is full by the time you email, we will let you know. You can then apply for other sessions.
If the courses are not available, please check back as we will be adding more dates.

E-learning modules  

We have produced these E-learning modules which are available to both City Council and non City Council professionals, volunteers and Councillors.

  • Debt Awareness - Level 1. This is aimed at frontline staff and volunteers who come into contact with people who have money problems but do not provide budgeting or debt advice. It takes about 30-45 minutes to complete. This training can also be completed by staff and volunteers who provide budgeting advice if they are new in their role and/or they want a refresher.
  • Introduction to Benefits - Stage 1. This is aimed at frontline staff and volunteers who do not provide active benefits advice but can give basic information and signpost to benefit offices and advice services. Those who provide more benefits support should also take this as a first stage before they move onto stage 2 which will be available in the near future. It takes about 15 minutes to complete. It can also be taken by new starters as part of an induction and as a refresher.

How to access the modules:

Council staff can access the modules by logging into LMS. This is done by clicking the ‘LMS’ button, found top right of the intranet screen. For problems, email activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk and we can send you a ‘walk-through’.
   
Non - council staff should email activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk for instructions.

  • Please write in the subject line: “Active Inclusion debt / benefit modules”.
  • Please say if you want to set up access for several colleagues or you want access just for yourself.
  • Also tell us your:
    o Organisation
    o Surname
    o Forename
    o Job title
    o Email address
    o Phone number
     

Information on homelessness prevention

Newcastle has a range of protocols and other resources aimed at preventing homelessness and improving access and quality of service provision. For more information, visit our Housing advice and homelessness information for professionals page.

Page last updated: 03 September, 2015