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Welfare Reform Resilience Fund (WRRF) 2014/15: list of successful applicants


Local Authority Project description




The project will improve support for customers with complex/multiple needs by enabling frontline staff to better identify priorities and support customers.  It will implement a specialist needs assessment with a focus on supporting vulnerable benefit claimants and ensuring specialist support is available as required.  The project will assist the council in testing the hypothesis that mental health is a significant contributing factor in an inability to fulfil claimant obligations, therefore building evidence to support service development.


Shetland Islands


The project will develop the ICT skills of individuals and their access to the internet throughout rural Shetland.  It will assist people to access hardware, support the development of IT skills and support job search capabilities.  It will pilot hardware availability in remote locations such as school libraries, library vans and health centres and it will investigate long term options for supported access to ICT in rural areas.  There will be an element of signposting people as appropriate to support agencies and to enable people to benefit from the social, employment, recreational and money saving aspects of the internet.


Aberdeen City


The project will mitigate the negative impacts of welfare reform by building capacity amongst those supporting individuals in Aberdeen affected by mental health issues.  The council have identified that those with mental health issues are most at risk of harm due to lack of understanding of process, entitlements and sources of support.  The project objectives are to identify key organisations supporting target client group, map front line services, train frontline staff and explore how local support services can be delivered in a more coordinated and sustainable fashion.




The project will tackle the issues of high cost lending and support the implementation of a robust case management pathway for clients seeking information and advice related to welfare benefits/money and debt advice.  The project will introduce a low cost credit option for white goods and furniture through the introduction of the Smarterbuys Scheme which will be hosted by a local Registered Social Landlord (RSL) and available to local residents.  Development of a robust case management system will be taken forward and will be utilised by a range of partners including RSLs and the third sector.




The project aims to transform digital access for vulnerable individuals to welfare reform services.  A digital access point will be piloted in a local library.  The pilot will work co-productively with potential users, identifying the support needs of users and identifying volunteer issues and training needs.  The ultimate aim is to develop a workable model in partnership to allow replication across the authority.




The project will add consistency to localised welfare reform action plans and support people in their communities through improved triage, digital and financial inclusion.  It will develop resilience by providing a welfare support officer for each area to provide a triage service, first level advice and to connect to services.  A new volunteer co-ordinator post will be created to recruit and coordinate local volunteers to assist with building ICT capacity.  Other activities include a bespoke community bus to deliver online services to outlying communities, credit union services in schools, sanctions survival packs and personal welfare reform action plans.




The project will offer fuel advocacy services to alleviate financial pressure on households.  It will build on the Council’s Families First project based in Linwood and Ferguslie, which aims to support the most vulnerable families with young children using an advocacy model.  The project will also undertake action based research to test the effectiveness of fuel advocacy when delivered as a stand-alone service and as part of a multi-agency integrated service.




The project will develop a network of welfare reform support servicers, create a welfare benefits 'portal' giving information on and access to support services, market the support services and loan laptops to voluntary agencies to assist clients with online skills.  A Network Development Officer will engage with relevant services to build partnership working and use of the portal.  The core of the project is to build an effective network that builds mutual understanding of how public services and voluntary organisations work together effectively for the benefit of shared clients.




The project will provide holistic housing and money advice service for new social sector tenants.  The service will offer mediated support.  It will develop data sharing protocols to identify new tenants most at risk and provide holistic advice at the point of tenancy sign up.  It will link to employability services and establish a method of tracking outcomes for tenants.  It will assess the business case for establishing such a service across Aberdeenshire.


West Dunbartonshire


The project will provide financial wellbeing advice and support for families with additional support needs relating to parenting challenges via local family support centre.  Parents will also be provided with opportunities to engage with adult learning and employability services.  The project will work with families to ensure that the Council is effectively embedding financial wellbeing assessments into future service provision and will establish what key financial wellbeing questions should be integrated into the current shared assessment.  This approach delivers on the Community Empowerment agenda and will enable the council to build capacity and resilience through involvement.


Dundee City


The project will transform the way the council provide information in relation to welfare reform with a view to service redesign, making it more accessible, understandable and engaging to all citizens.  It will provide enhanced access to IT and create innovative new tools to engage client groups ensuring it’s available on accessible format.  It will create digital services designed with users; designed for inclusion, accessibility, engagement transforming people’s ability to access information digitally.  It will look to pilot a particular approach for the deaf/hearing and BME communities.  It will utilise new approaches such as the gamification of information and info graphics.