UC Savvy helps community organisations prepare for the universal credit roll-out in Nottingham
Universal Credit is due to roll out in Nottingham in October 2018. Becca Menzies from Transforming Notts Together has been running UCSavvy courses across the city to help community organisations from foodbanks to churches understand the new benefit, the process for registering and the impact this will have on their service users.
Many organisations attending the course respond by creating an action plan to prepare for the roll out. Activities include cascading training to other staff and volunteers, providing digital access for completing the online registration form and simply ensuring all service users know about the new benefit.
One organisation that attended a UCSavvy course in Nottingham is the Jericho Road Project, which offers practical and emotional support to women affected by the sex industry. In 2017 they helped 195 women, many of whom will be recipients of Universal Credit when it’s introduced in the city later this year.
Staff from the project found the course increased their understanding of the new benefit and the content prompted conversations about how this would affect the women they support. They left feeling better equipped to respond to the changes and are now in the early stages of preparing an action plan for supporting the women who access their services through the transition to Universal Credit.
After sharing information with other staff and volunteers, an initial action is to check that the women who are engaging with support have a bank account and photo ID – crucial first steps that will help prevent delays in registering and receiving the benefit.
UCSavvy puts information in the hands of organisations so that, as those they work with negotiate the transition to the new benefit, they can be ready to offer support and guidance.