December’s report – again we’re seeing quite high numbers (even though we were closed for the week between Christmas and New Year), especially for emergency food aid. We provided support to local churches and organisations with referrals and booking point, helping them to access those who need their services the most. We also hosted the SafeZone, a scheme to make the town safer for a night out.
We’re pleased to have Criminal Justice social work on our partner-list. They’ve been very complimentary about the Hub, and have reported that their sessions are achieving 100% attendance.
Here’s our report for November – we saw an increase again of people needing access to the phone, mainly to call DWP, such as checking up on payments. Referrals for the foodbank is still a big requirement. Emergency food parcels are a great service, and really help those in crisis, but its not a solution to ongoing issues. We’ll be looking to work more with our partners to try and ensure that people who need food get it, but they are also receiving support to prevent crisis in the future.
Credit Union and Community Job Club remain our most popular advice sessions. We also started a new session, specifically for anyone who is struggling to apply for Universal Credit.
We’re looking to expand our Coordinator Team here at the Hub, and we need a Partnership Development Coordinator. The aim of this post is to provide support to stakeholders of the Dunfermline Advice Hub, and members of the Dunfermline Poverty Action Group and to develop a cohesive plan around partnership working, collaboration, citizen empowerment and community engagement.
This Post is temporary, with review at end of March 2018, and is funded by the Aspiring Communities Fund with support from the European Social Fund. Future funding will be based on the work completed by the Post Holder.
If you’ve got experience of partnership working, project management and are a good team player, download our Job Pack today! Please return your completed application and equal opportunities form to: firstname.lastname@example.org, before 12noon on Friday 3rd November. Please note that we plan to carry out interviews on Wednesday 8th November.
This month has been quieter, with lower attendance at the Community Job Club. However, we’ve seen a huge increase of people asking about Credit Unions. This will be likely due to the increased promotion of credit unions lately, and the recent developments in plans for Kingdom Credit Union to take over Dunfermline & District Credit Union.
We also had a huge increase in volunteer hours. We would like to acknowledge and give a huge thanks to our team, who went above and beyond to cover whilst our Coordinator was on annual leave. Without the extra help, we would have had to close the Hub, and our partners would not be able to benefit from all the great services we offer here. So, big thanks to Alison, Amy, Dot, Fiona, Nicola and Scott, without whom, we would not be able to do what we do.
Dunfermline Advice Hub is pleased to announce that we are a Safe Space! Safe Spaces are places where citizens and organisations agree to a set of values, ensuring that everyone is made to feel welcome, respected and safe. Fife Centre for Equalities who worked with us to refine the statement are aiming to learn from the Hub’s Safe Space commitment and work in partnership to encourage other organisations to adopt this approach
Everyone has seen sign in shops and services that say something along the lines of “We will not tolerate physical or verbal abuse towards our Staff”, and that’s quite correct- no one should ever work in a place where they will be abused.
However, let’s look at this from another perspective. This kind of statement presumes that citizens will be the instigators in a confrontation. What does someone do if it’s actually the staff member that is being disrespectful, inconsiderate or is not taking into account their wishes? Respect is a two-way street. Anyone who comes to the Hub needs to know that they will be valued and respected here, regardless of who they are, whether they are staff, volunteer, or citizen.
Our Safe Space Values
We always welcome feedback, and we want citizens to speak out if they feel they not being treated within the Safe Space Values. It’s so important, for us as workers and services, to know when we’re going wrong, and have the opportunity to correct that. However, that’s not always how it goes. It can be very difficult for someone to speak out, to be assertive or to articulate in the moment what’s wrong. Therefore, we’ve made it clear on our Safe Space Commitment posters on how you can do this using a variety of methods, including phone, social media, in person at another time, or email. All feedback and comments are treated with the strictest confidence, and we will always ensure that we will follow up on any complaints to everyone’s satisfaction.
Working together always presents us with challenges and difficulties, but the benefits always outweighs the negatives in this case. The Hub is all about reducing barriers, so we hope that with our Safe Space Values, we give everyone the opportunity to speak out, to learn from each other, to change our behaviour, and to respect others.
At the end of the summer holidays, we saw a continued increase in demand for emergency food. Here at the Hub, we supported F3, a holiday food project for families. We provided a pick up point for families who contacted F3 – by getting families to come here, we could make more families aware of the support available, and be able to signpost to the advice they needed.
Many of the families reported that it was becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet, and were already aware of the traditional support such as free school meals and school clothing grant. However, most who picked up a food parcel weren’t aware of the clothing bank, and that we had a “pay-as-you-feel” shop. Many parents benefited from getting some extra children’s clothes, extra school uniforms and clothes for themselves. And with the opportunity to pay, donate or create (a tidy space), many didn’t feel so bad taking free clothes, knowing they have contributed in some way.
Our Talking Wall is great! When you put up a suggestion, we make sure we do our best to get something done! Everything we have going on at the Hub is inspired by YOU and your ideas.
Anyone can start something new at the Hub – community groups, organisations, charities, social enterprises, the list is endless. The Hub belongs to everyone, and we want lots of people using it!
If you’d like to start something, pop along and have a chat with our Coordinator, or give us a call, 01383 432483.
The Hub is more than a venue – its a wider partnership across Dunfermline and Fife. We are all cogs in a machine, and everyone is essential to making it work, in the Hub, and outwith. We are greater than the sum of our parts!
For the community as a whole, this means that services are easier to access, and you don’t need to go round all the doors, trying to find help yourself.
We’re here to help everyone: we can help with referrals to our partners, accessing computers or the phone, or just pointing you in the right direction to get you started!
We asked you what you’d like to see at the Hub, and we had lots of responses about books. Reading is a great way to unwind, and escape the every day!
We got in touch with BetterWorld Books, a local business in Dunfermline. BWB are an online shop, selling new and used books across the UK. They also support causes, such as literacy projects, book donations, community projects, and ensuring that all of their unsold or undonated books are recycled properly, so no books end up in landfill.
They provided a whole bookshelf of books of all different genres for you to choose from. So take a book, leave a book, and start an adventure!