RESIDENTS can get independent advice and guidance following the launch of two new services by Worcestershire County Council.
The services – which are free, impartial and confidential, will help people with issues, such as housing, benefits and debt, as well as understanding and accessing care and support services.
The general community advice service for all residents is delivered by Worcestershire Advice Network (WAN), led by Citizens Advice Worcestershire and Herefordshire in partnership with six other local providers.
They are an experienced and long-standing, accredited information and advice providers for the council.
There is also a new sensory impairment specialist information and advice service called ‘Sensory Matters’ led by Sight Concern Worcestershire and supported by Action Deafness.
This service is aimed at providing and facilitating access to information and advice to residents with sensory impairments including those who are D/deaf, blind, visually impaired, deafblind, or experiencing dual sensory loss.
These services are supporting the delivery of the council’s statutory requirements to provide information and advice as outlined in the Care Act (2014).
Coun Marcus Hart, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “The commissioning of the two services for advice and guidance are part of our mission to help all Worcestershire residents maintain their independence, good health and wellbeing.
“The new service has expanded our offering to include specialist help for those with sensory impairments.”
Anne Eyre, CEO of Sight Concern Worcestershire added: “Sight Concern Worcestershire is delighted to be working with Worcestershire County Council to deliver Sensory Matters, a new service to provide people with a sensory impairment the information, advice and guidance they need.”
She added the local charity – with many years of experience in supporting people with sensory imparments – was looking forward to helping even more.
Geraint Thomas, chief officer for Worcestershire Advice Network said the partnership welcomed the county council’s five-year commitment for community advice services and was honoured to have been successful in securing the contract to deliver the services.
Research shows many people in the county still need support in person or over the phone as they are unable to manage issues through online means.
Worcestershire County Council’s funding for the ‘multi channel’ Community Advice Services is essential to help ease the pressures on residents, especially the vulnerable, due to the cost-of-living-crisis.
People can go to worcestershireadvicenetwork.org.uk to find their local organisations.