Introduction to the Advice Services Transition Fund Learning and Support Team
We are contacting you as we have been told that you are the named lead organisation in your area for the Advice Services Transition Grant from the Big Lottery Fund. We want to introduce ourselves and tell you something about the work we are doing over the next two years. It is a long email, but keep reading to the end as there are a number of things we want you to do!
Who are we?
The Learning and Support Team is small but perfectly formed for the work; the project is managed by Lindsey Poole of the Advice Services Alliance (a membership body for all advice networks) and will be delivered by Helen Scott of Citizen’s Advice. Some of you may know Helen from her work with lead partners from Citizens Advice Bureaux. You can contact us at anytime on our email address ASTF@asauk.org.uk. We felt it was important that our partnership mirrored the work that you will doing changing the face of advice delivery. We therefore have our own collaborations and will be working very closely with all the advice networks as well as with other partners such as the local infrastructure organisations and the pro bono movement. We will tell you more about this later.
What will we be doing?
Working closely with the Big Lottery Fund, we will be pulling together a range of resources, events and support to help you meet the challenges of transforming local delivery. We are setting up a dedicated website but until that is up and running, we are temporarily storing information from previous work on the Advice Services Alliance website (see the Advice Services Transition Fund tab on www.asauk.org.uk). We will be setting up regional events starting in the spring and facilitating local workshops so you can meet face to face with other partnerships. We will also be sending you regular newsletters with updates of the work and links to useful resources. There are already many other useful places to look for information including the very useful i-Legal website with the ASTF forum. If you haven’t found this already, do have a look at it (ilegal.org.uk/board/59/astforum).
What do we need from you?
We need to be sure that the work we are providing will add value to your work. We also need to be sure that we are providing support across all members of the partnership. So this is where you come in. As the project lead, we need you to do two things for us: firstly, send our emails and newsletters on to all members of your partnership and secondly to complete the on line survey to identify your partnerships learning and support needs. Actually, we fibbed, there is a third thing. Please, please encourage your partnership members to also contact us and to answer the survey - we are keen to hear from all partnership members regardless of size or role in the project.
On Line Survey
Please take ten minutes to complete this on line survey: www.surveymonkey.com/s/ASTFlearningandsupport before 28th February 2014. It has been designed to reflect the themes of the ASTF project, but you may have identified issues outside of this (in which case please tell us). You may have already completed a similar survey from Citizens Advice, but we really do need you to complete this one as well. Your responses to this survey will shape our work over the next two years so it is a real opportunity to ensure we are providing you with the right kind of support. We will let you know the results of the survey very soon.
We will be choosing a number of partnerships to follow as case studies. These are likely to be partnerships which represent exemplars of approaches or objectives. If you think your partnership would be an interesting case study, do contact us on ASTF@asauk.org.uk.
Finally, just to remind you that whilst we are here to help you with your support needs, you must still talk to your funding officer regarding anything to do with monitoring or budget queries, your partnership delivery plan or the conditions of your contract. Your funding officer is still there to help and support you at any time.
We very much look forward to working with you over the next two years and hearing your emerging stories, of your successes and your frustrations and at the end of the day, helping you to continue to deliver fantastic advice to the public across England.
Hiya - Have you seen/done the ASA survey on our projects yet? I have some difficulty in working out how much this project is going to enhance what we are all doing - is it clear to you what 'added value' it will bring?
I am really keen on sharing and coop work - doing the right things and doing things right is v v v important to me. I think we all need networks locally, sub regionally, regionally and nationally to make sure we squeeze absolutely all the value we can out of our resources - do you agree?
My understanding is that we have already set up mechanisms to share ideas and avoid duplication and reinvention of the wheel such as this forum on ilegal and sub regional and regional meets for bods involved - regardless of which agency is lead on the local projects.
My experience is that the vol sec is very good at networking and sharing generally so that good ideas can spread like wildfire and we can work cooperatively to play to each other's strengths so that the outcomes for clients are the best they can possibly be with the limited resources we all have.
Do you think that you will be able to take part/suppport the ASA forum as well as the ones we already have or will you be torn between them as your time is limited?
For what it is worth, I think it would be a FAB use of money if BIG Lottery/ASA supported further development of things we have already set up rather than starting again - what do you think? shall we ask them if they can do this?