Active Inclusion Newcastle

Active Inclusion Newcastle (AIN) is a partnership approach developed as part of the Newcastle City Council 2013-16 budget setting process. It responds to the growth in demand for information, advice and support for financial inclusion and housing advice which need to be met at the same time as resources and capacity are reducing across the council. AIN improves the coordination and consistency of information, advice and support to facilitate more partners to help residents' financial inclusion and to prevent homelessness in the context of high levels of unemployment and the cuts being delivered by the Government's welfare reforms. Improved coordination helps us to reduce people's fear and uncertainty and to maximise our resources to maintain the foundations for stability: an income, somewhere to live, financial inclusion and employment opportunities. For more information, see our Active Inclusion Newcastle briefing note (pdf, 174kb).

Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership arrangements

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 October 2016 (pdf, 118kb)


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', simply provide your email address on this online form.

If you have problems subscribing, please email


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 face to face support to residents and could provide budgeting information and advice 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 Monday 5th December 2016 - City Centre
9.30 - 12.30pm Thursday 9th March 2017 - Walker
9.30 - 12.30pm Thursday  8th June 2017 - City Centre
9.30 - 12.30pm Thursday 7th September 2017 - West End
9.30 - 12.30pm Thursday 7th December 2017 - Walker

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 (April 2016 (pdf, 644kb).

Time and date:
1.00 - 4.00pm Tuesday 17th January 2017 - West End
1.00 - 4.00pm Tuesday 11th April 2017 - Walker
1.00 - 4.00pm Tuesday 11th July 2017 - City Centre

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 Thursday 15th December 2016 - Walker
10.00 - 12.00 Thursday 16th March 2017 - West
10.00 - 12.00 Thursday 15th June 2017 - City Centre

If you want to attend the above budgeting, benefits or sanctions sessions, please email 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

Please let us know if you have any disability access requirements or needs.

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.

If you are interested in Housing & Homelessness training see our Housing and Homelessness page.

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 and we can send you a ‘walk-through’.

Due to the recent implementation of the council's new Learning Management System (LMS) non-council staff cannot access Active Inclusion Newcastle e-learning modules at the moment. We are working on this and we will update this page with access instructions for non-council staff once the new arrangements have been confirmed.

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: 
12 October 2016
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