On 1 October 2014 Synergy Dacorum reached the milestone of one year of the Partnership’s work helping local people access the advice and support they need under the Big Lottery Advice Service Transition Project.
Over the first year, a total of 271 unique clients were advised by two or more partner organisations under the referral scheme. In addition, the Big Lottery-funded specialist housing advice and specialist benefits support appointment slots in the Dacorum Citizens Advice Bureau enabled a further 225 people to be supported during the first year, achieving a total of 496 people who have benefitted directly from the project.
During this period, the Specialist Housing Adviser was been able to intervene in clients’ cases to recoup £33,445.61 for Dacorum clients in rents and deposits owed.
The real value of providing advice in this ‘joined-up’ way has been reflected in the outcomes and case studies of the people we have been able to help.
The Synergy project has also strengthened the network between the partner organisations, building knowledge and allowing us to demonstrate externally the importance of our work as a partnership.
Synergy Dacorum has grown over the year: from the initial 12 organisations, our Partnership now consists of 20 local agencies working together to support the residents of Dacorum.
We are now working on a strategy to review, maintain and integrate Synergy Dacorum beyond the end of September 2015 so that referring people for advice and support in this way continues to be the accepted and natural approach to improving the experience of local people who need advice.