Advice service awarded £350k

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A south east Northumberland advice service has been awarded £350,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Dawn Advice Limited, based in Morpeth, is part of the Northumberland Advice Network partnership, which seeks to support around 10,000 people.

These include those disadvantaged by unemployment, poverty or people experiencing debt or mortgage arrears.

The partnership project comprises Dawn Advice as lead partner and lead advice agency supporting all six Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) in Northumberland, including Morpeth, Blyth and Wansbeck.

And there are a further 14 voluntary and community sector service (VCS) partner organisations across rural Northumberland.

Michael Fawole, from Morpeth CAB, said the money would be invaluable.

“The fund will be focused on front line delivery to improve the capacity and sustainability of VCS advice provision,” he said.

“The project will develop a county-wide, co-ordinated and integrated VCS advice and support network enabling the sector to maximise available resources, work towards a collaborative funding approach, and the development of new business models to increase the capacity of the sector.”

Dharmendra Kanani, Big Lottery Fund director for England added: “Getting the right advice at the right time can be a lifeline for people and communities most in need.

“Current services are struggling to keep up with increasing demand and the greater complexity in the types of problems people are facing.

“This timely funding demonstrates the enormous value that BIG can bring by offering support to help local partnerships of advice providers to come together to develop new ways of working fit for the 21st century.

“Times are tough for advice providers and for people at the thin end of the wedge.

“This is a chance to invest in a much needed transformation of services so that they can adapt, respond to need and survive.”