Hub Blog

January 2018 Report

Katie : 31st January 2018 11:38 am : Monthly Reports, The Hub Blog
January was a busy month again, and we saw high numbers even from the first day we were open after the festive break.  We put this down to a lot of services still being shut on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th.  The most requested information was advice on Benefits, especially universal credit.  Thankfully, in November, Welfare Support from Fife Council offered to hold sessions specifically to support those who needed help with setting up their claim, and helping them get to grips with the online journal.
The second most asked for topic was food aid, which we continue to see high numbers of people asking for help for.  We’re working closely with the Foodbank on this, as its not acceptable that so many are reliant on food aid.  We’re also working closely with a range of partners such as Cosy Kingdom, Citizens Advice & Rights Fife, Fife Council Welfare Support and Job Clubs, to get to the root cause of foodbank use, and help people to access further support to bring them out of crisis.
We’ve also improved on the information we collect.  We’re now taking equalities information – postcodes, gender, family size and ethnicity, to further show the length and breadth of the people who access the Hub, and why.  We’re also recording “underlying causes” – this helps us to evidence how and why people are falling into crisis, and not just the reason they’ve come here.  For every person who attends the Hub, there is a story, and we want to be able to use their stories to make a better service for all.

To see our full report – click here!

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December 2017 Report

Katie : 30th January 2018 4:42 pm : The Hub Blog

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.

DECEMBER 2017 REPORT

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Partnership Coordinator Update: Stakeholders Event 1

Juliet Matipano : 23rd January 2018 12:21 pm : The Hub Blog

Following on from the individual interviews I performed with stakeholders at the Hub, we organised and delivered a Stakeholders Event for the leaders, CEOs and Trustees of the 60+ organisations the Hub has worked with over the past two and a half years.  

Showing how all our services and remits cross-over and link, creating a network!

The event was attended by 24 partners from 12 different agencies. After some networking and ice-breaker time, we saw presentations.  The Area Housing Manager (Fife Council) presented on the changes in housing and homelessness services, particularly in terms of collaborative approaches to reduce duplication and increasing citizen engagement. Katie and I prepared Stakeholders event Presentations on the activities of the Hub so far, showing the merits of the Hub as a single point of contact. Citizens Advice & Rights Fife also contributed a short animation which gave a snap shop of the Hub’s activities in 2017.

The following themes where highlighted from 

  • Collaborative person-centered service delivery

  • Prevention and building resilience, and

  • Sustainability

We then went into short workshops, to create opportunities for further discussion.  From the feedback on these workshops, Katie and I were able to draw out key themes and issues, and have been able to highlight action points that we can take forward:

  • establish a short-term working group to develop a formal partnership arrangement
  • develop multi-agency referral methods, to make it easier for service users to access the organisations in the Hub, even if they are not in attendance.
  • develop a system that will help keep track of citizens who use the Hub, report on their successes and to highlight gaps.

To finish up the event, we asked the participants to make a pledge, of which 5 organisations pledged some form of resource to help the Hub achieve these action points.

For a full report on the event, please contact us.

 

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Partnership Coordinator Update

Juliet Matipano : 10th January 2018 12:18 pm : The Hub Blog

Hi, I’m Juliet, and I’ve been working for the Hub for 2 months now as the Partnership development Coordinator.  My job is to work with the Stakeholders of the Hub to ascertain how we can improve our partnership working in Dunfermline, and to do this, I’ve been talking to some of the key Stakeholders on a one-to-one basis.  By doing this, I’ve been:

  • Investigating the current partnerships developed so far
  • Ascertaining  the perceived barriers, challenges and concerns
  • Gathering ideas, suggestions, aspirations and thoughts on what partnership working in Dunfermline looks like.  

 

I’ve spoken to 16 organisations and 36 different people, all who have a direct presence here at the Hub.  From these discussions, I’ve been able to get to grips with how the stakeholders use the Hub presently, and the challenges they’ve encountered.  Feedback about the Hub has been mostly positive, particularly in the ability to network with other organisations easily. However, the venue and facilities have raised some challenges, particularly around private spaces and heating.

 

The chats I’ve had with the stakeholders have been invaluable – whilst there has been challenges, stakeholders unanimously agreed that the merits of the Hub outweighed the drawbacks. There is a passion and a desire within the group to work differently and more efficiently, and many saw the Hub being the vehicle for that to happen.  

 

Katie and I are now using this feedback to develop and deliver three Stakeholder Events, and two networking events.  For the first stakeholder event, planned for January, we are very keen to invite management, CEOs and Trustees of the partner organisations, to get a more strategic overview of how the Hub can integrate and supplement each service in Dunfermline.  We’re really looking forward to seeing what comes of these, and we’ll report back on the event and what we plan to do next!

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November 2017 Report

Katie : 30th November 2017 12:56 pm : The Hub Blog

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.

NOVEMBER 2017 REPORT

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Partnership Coordinator

Katie : 30th November 2017 11:19 am : The Hub Blog

We’re pleased to appoint our new Partnership Coordinator, Juliet Matipano.  Juliet will be working closely with our stakeholders, consulting with them on the Hub, how we can work better together, and the future development of the service we provide.  

Juliet’s post is funded by the Aspiring Communities Fund.  The aim of this fund is to strengthen communities, increase levels of economic activity, stimulate inclusive growth, and support local service provision and inclusion by:

  • Enabling communities to design and establish new or enhanced services addressing poverty and inequalities;
  • Supporting new staff posts within community organisations to increase levels of economic activity, local service provision and inclusion, and enhance community resilience; and
  • Accelerating the implementation of projects and services delivering longer lasting community-led solutions.

Juliet will be conducting one-to-one interviews, stakeholder events and networking events in the next four months, and we’re really looking forward to what recommendations and actions we can take forward.

Project supported by:

 

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October Report

Katie : 31st October 2017 2:03 pm : The Hub Blog

October’s report!  And lots more footfall here at the Hub, mostly due to more people attending for emergency food (F3), and Community Job Club.  We also saw a lot of enquiries for the credit union (although not as much as last month).

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We’re Hiring! Partnership Development Coordinator

Katie : 20th October 2017 10:34 am : Recruitment, The Hub Blog

 

**Post Closed**

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: recruitment@dunfermlineadvicehub.org.uk, before 12noon on Friday 3rd November.  Please note that we plan to carry out interviews on Wednesday 8th November.

MS Word: Job Description Partnership Coordinator DAH Application (1) Equal Opportunities

Supported by:

 

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September Report

Katie : 12th October 2017 4:52 pm : The Hub Blog, Uncategorized

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.

 

 

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Safe Space Values

Katie : 25th September 2017 1:55 pm : The Hub Blog

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.

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