The following information is for professionals, volunteers and Councillors who want to support Newcastle residents to secure the foundations for a stable life - somewhere to live, an income, financial inclusion and employment opportunities.
- Active Inclusion Newcastle
- Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership arrangements
- Our Approach to Financial Inclusion
- Trigger point conversations -information sheets
- Spectrums of advice
- Consultancy lines and email contacts for professionals
- Referral to benefit and debt advice (for professionals only)
- Benefit bulletins
- Debt bulletins
- Training - face to face and e-learning
- Information on homelessness prevention
Active Inclusion Newcastle 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 and partners. Active Inclusion Newcastle 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 a stable life: somewhere to live, an income, financial inclusion and employment opportunities. For more information, see our Active Inclusion Newcastle briefing note (pdf, 46kb).
The government have acknowledged the strength of our Active Inclusion Newcastle approach by making Newcastle one of three national early adopter Homelessness Prevention Trailblazers. For more information, see our Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer briefing note.
- Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership arrangements (pdf, 563kb).
- Newcastle's Approach to Financial Inclusion 2014 (word, 121kb)
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:
- Benefits April 2016 (pdf, 96kb)
- Debt and money management December 2017 (pdf, 265kb)
- Financial inclusion January 2017 (pdf, 96kb)
- Housing and homelessness prevention March 2017 (pdf, 252kb)
- Employment support January 2017 (pdf, 77kb)
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 the following toolkits to give you more in-depth information on topics to support our aim to promote financial inclusion. These resources are on the following topics and can be downloaded:
- Access to affordable credit October 2016 (pdf, 71kb)
- Access to bank accounts October 2016 (pdf, 90kb)
- Employment support February 2016 (pdf, 98kb)
- Illegal money lending February 2017 (pdf, 80kb)
The following guides also provide information for residents, professionals and volunteers to support our aim to promote financial inclusion:
- Where to get advice in Newcastle (benefits, debt and money support December 2017 (pdf, 246kb)
- Computers and IT Support in Newcastle (searchable online map)
- Energy advice and information in Newcastle
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 sign posting 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.
- Spectrum of advice: Benefits September 2017 (pdf, 109 kb)
- Spectrum of advice: Money management (budgeting and debt) December 2017 (pdf, 208kb)
- Spectrum of advice: Illegal money lending November 2015 (pdf, 27kb)
To see our spectrum of advice for housing and homelessness, visit our Housing advice and homelessness information for professionals page.
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.
- Housing Advice Centre, Monday - Friday - 8.30am -12pm & 1 - 4.30pm
Phone: 0191 277 1711 (professionals and public)
- Welfare Rights Service consultancy, Monday - Friday 10am - 12pm
Phone: 0191 277 2633
- Debt advice consultancy, Monday to Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm
Phone: 0191 277 1050 (professionals and public)
- Financial inclusion, Monday - Friday
- Supporting Independence Scheme & Gateway, Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm
Phone: 0191 277 1707
Please complete form as fully as possible. For help, ring the appropriate consultancy line above
- Benefit advice referral form (Newcastle Welfare Rights Service) (word, 387kb)
- Debt advice referral form (Money Matters) (pdf, 237kb)
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', please email email@example.com and provide your email address and contact number.
- Benefit changes in the Autumn Budget, emergency help over Christmas, DWP new freephone numbers, top tips and more December 2017 (pdf, 438kb)
- Council Tax Reduction consultation, mortgage help change, Jobcentre Plus office closure, Universal Credit news and other important news and top tips. October 2017 (pdf 376kb)
- Post-election and future benefit changes, mortgage help becomes a loan, Jobcentre closure, help for disabled, top tips and more. July 2017 (pdf 390kb)
- Big Benefit changes and news April 2017 (pdf 444kb)
- The benefit cap, Universal Credit full roll out in Newcastle and benefit changes for April 2017 (pdf, 371kb)
- Benefit cap news, Universal Credit, supported housing and other important benefit news and tips November 2016 (pdf, 282kb)
- Full service Universal Credit roll out to Newcastle in February and March 2017, the household benefit cap changes from November 2016 and other benefit changes August 2016 (pdf, 286kb)
Debt bulletins keep you up to date with significant changes and news. Please bear in mind that they may be updated to include major changes.
If you want to subscribe to 'debt bulletins', please email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your email address and contact number.
- Debt changes and news June 2017 (pdf, 289kb)
- Debt changes and news March 2017 (pdf, 297kb)
- Earlier Debt Bulletins available
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, Wednesday 14 March 2018 - City centre - fully booked
- 9.30 - 12.30pm, Wednesday 6 June 2018 - West
- 9.30 - 12.30pm, Thursday 20 September 2018 - Byker
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. (January 2018 (pdf, 673kb).
Time and date:
- 1 - 4pm, Tuesday 17 April 2018 - City centre - fully booked
- 1 - 4pm, Wednesday 18 July 2018 - West
- 1 - 4pm, Thursday 18 October 2018 - East
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:
- 10am - 12pm, Thursday 15 March 2018 - City centre - fully booked
- 10am - 12pm, Wednesday 6 June 2018 - East
- 10am - 12pm, Wednesday 19 September 2018 - West
If you want to attend the above budgeting, benefits or sanctions sessions, please email email@example.com and provide the following information about yourself:
- The name of the session and date you wish to attend
- 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.
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. This means you are classed as 'tier 1' in the above 'Spectrum of Advice: benefits'. It takes about 15 minutes to complete. It can also be taken by new starters as part of an induction and as a refresher.
- Introduction to benefits - Stage 2. You should only do this module after completing 'stage 1'. This module is a continuation of stage 1 and is for those who are able to give some basic level of support to people with their benefits but are not welfare rights or benefits advisers. It means you are classed as 'tier 2' in the above 'Spectrum of Advice: benefits'. It takes about 30 minutes to complete.
- Introduction to Universal Credit. You should do this module after completing the two ‘introduction to benefits’ modules. This module provides an overview of Universal Credit, where you can learn something about who can claim Universal Credit, how to claim it, the rules, key messages, useful contacts and where to get support. It cannot give you the full rules or go into depth about special circumstances but points you in the right direction. It takes about 45 minutes to complete.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
and we can send you a ‘walk-through’.
Non-council staff need to sign up in order to access the modules. To do this, please email email@example.com
• Email subject: AIN e-learning sign up request
• (1) full name, (2) role, (3) organisation and (4) phone number
We will then provide you with sign up instructions.
To sign up several people, please provide this information in one email.
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.