A BOROUGH organisation has been awarded nearly half a million pounds to fund a welfare rights programme.
North Tyneside Disability Forum based at Shiremoor Centre, has received £482,531 form Big Lottery Fund’s (BLF) Reaching Communities Fund to build on and develop its existing Good Advice Project across the next five years.
Chief officer Sue Adams said the money would go towards funding a welfare rights worker, an advice worker, advice assistant, project administration and clerical support alongside running costs and some capital purchases.
The service provides advice and guidance to disabled and vulnerable people and their families and representatives, Monday to Saturday, from its Shiremoor Centre base with satellite provision at the organisation’s new Outreach Project in Whitley Bay.
“Initially funded by BLF’s Advice Plus funding, The Good Advice Project has established a strong reputation throughout North Tyneside for the support afforded disabled people, their carers and representatives,” said Ms Adams.
“The project has developed beyond being a general advice service to offering specialist support for welfare benefit issues to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
“The demand on the service is high, with the unique element of the service being the level of time and support offered to enable the many obstacles and barriers faced by disabled people in accessing information and rights to be overcome.
“We are all delighted about this award, which will impact on service users and service providers alike.
“In a time of economic downturn, redundancies and difficulties, our already stretched service is now able to respond to and address more of the borough residents’ issues.”
NTDF is one of nine groups in the north east to share in more than £2.1m from the fund.