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A new Report by Citizens Advice "New Year, Same Arrears" looks at the impact of the pandemic on private renters. They’re disproportionately likely to have fallen into financial difficulty and also have less savings to use as a safety net. As a result, many are struggling to pay their rent. Half a million people are behind on their rent because of the pandemic. In addition 58% of people who are currently behind on rent weren’t in arrears before the crisis. 

Without support renters face unmanageable debt and the threat of eviction. The Report makes 2 main recommendations:

  1. A legal ban on bailiff action and a pause on all possession proceedings during the national lockdown in England, and in tiers 2 and above, beyond 11 January. 

  2. A national programme of loans and grants to help people in England who have fallen behind on rent due to the pandemic.

A Citizens Advice Press release and an update on 11 January extension can be found here

Latest Job Vacancies

Help to Claim  - Best Practice Lead 

Salary : £28,560 F.T.E for up to 0.8 FTE £23,157

Location: Wiltshire

Hours : 30 hours per week

Term: Fixed until 31st March 2022

Wiltshire Citizens Advice is part of the network which delivers the Help to  Claim Service which offers end-to-end support to help people make a new Universal Credit claim and be ready for when their first payment arrives.  As part of this, there is a national network  of Best Practice Leads, to gather and    share learning about how Universal Credit and the Help to Claim service is  performing, develop relationships with relevant local stakeholders and share   ideas and best practice. The role will work across a Jobcentre Plus district in Dorset, Hampshire, WIltshire  and the Isle of Wight area to improve people’s experience of Universal Credit and  Universal Support as well as feed into the wider Best Practice Lead network and  work of national Citizens Advice. You can be based anywhere in the region but must have the ability to travel to  Wiltshire approximately 1 day per week. 

Closing date for applications: 1st February 2021 5pm

Interviews: 11th February 2021 - online

To discuss this role please contact CEO ​ or to download an application please go to www.citizensadvicewiltshire.org.uk. 

We do not accept CV’s as part of the recruitment process

We welcome and encourage expressions of interest form all backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people , as they are currently under represented in our workforce. 

Latest training events 

Future "Bitesize" Q&A/Training sessions - your views 
These (free to join, 30-60 minute ) online sessions will be run, by Wiltshire Money, where possible with subject experts/knowledable speakers.
 It would be great to have your views and your feedback on what topics you would like to see covered. If you have an idea for a bitesize training session, anything that will help you and/or your team cope with this fast changing environment, please let me know and email me at
 
Virtual presentations, training and webinars are all still taking place, however. See below links to relevant updates and information that I hope you will find useful

Benefits Training Company (BTC)

For interactive, professional input on how to best support people with welfare benefits issues, try booking onto one of the BTC live, modular online training courses.

For BTC Online Benefits Training available until April 2021 Click here

Policy in Practice Webinars. including flexible collection policies for Council Tax debt and "watch on demand webinars" including a Policy Review of 2020 and a look forward to 2021.  

DWP - Skills Toolkit 

More free courses have been added to The Skills Toolkit, with topics including getting the most out of Microsoft Outlook, introductions to finance and bookkeeping and understanding how computer networks operate.

The online learning platform is available to everyone and provides easy access to a selection of high-quality digital and numeracy courses, which can help people build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.

Acas  have a number of online training modules such as "Mental Health", "Redundancy" and "Contracts, Hours and Pay". Acas experts run regular webinars on employment law topics and employment relations  They're free to join, you just need to register in advance. You can view previous webinars and subject to available spaces, you can Register for upcoming webinars. 

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England have adapted their training courses so they can be accessed remotely, either through online instructor delivery or with digital only content.  

Next Wiltshire Money Forum date tbc winter/spring 2021

You can Email us to let us know if your organisation would like to present ("Virtually" if necessary) at a future Wiltshire Money Forum. We are always looking for volunteers! 

Previous Forums

Wiltshire Money Forum - November 2020 the winter Wiltshire Money Forum was a "Virtual Conference"

The Virtual WM Forum took place w/c 9th November to coincide with "Talk Money Week" On the Monday, WM Members were invited to drop-in and say “hello”. It was good to hear our member’s latest news; including Wendy who gave us an update on the work of Stop Loan Sharks - Illegal Money Lending Team

WM Members dropped in to a discussion and Q&A on 12th November.The theme was "Support initiatives and Covid" We heard from various guest speakers, including from Wessex Water, Swan Advocacy, Family Learning Team, Healthwatch and TV Licensing about their positive local initiatives and schemes that are there to support our communities financially and emotionally at this difficult time.

The November virtual WM Forum Agenda with lots of useful links, service updates, presentations and topical information is still available HERE for the next few weeks.

Wiltshire Money Forum - July 2020  - the summer Wiltshire Money Forum was a "Virtual Conference"

Thank you to all those who attended the event -22 delegates. This meet provided an opportunity for discussion and for members to ask questions around topical issues on Housing, Council Tax, Employment issues & Furlough. We had 22 members join the call and a range of issues were discussed from Housing re-possession to Discretionary Housing payment rules and Redundancy questions

The "Virtual Agenda"  is available to view here The agenda provides links to presentations, useful contacts and information about housing, employment, debt etc.  The Agenda will be available on this website for a while so that Wiltshire Money members can browse the links and information in their own time.

Wiltshire Money Forum - December 2019

Thank you to all those who attended the event.  The event was attend by 27 delegates. 

You can find the presentations here. The  presentations  include Wiltshire Council’s updated Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) Policy 2019. The scheme can offer Housing Benefit customers short term financial assistance with their housing costs during periods of particular need. Housing costs can include help towards rent, tenancy start up costs, and moving costs.

In addition, the trainer contact details for the "Gambling Awareness" session if you have any questions or requests for further training are included in the presentation slides

Wiltshire Money Forum - September 2019

Thank you to all those who attended the event.  The event was attend by approx 41 delegates.  You can find the presentations here

 All Presentations from earlier forums can be found on a separate web page by clicking here

 Training and Events

See below for details of current training opportunities and feedback from previous events

Future training events 

No training events are scheduled at this time

Previous training Events 

Bitesize Session - Employment Law for Money Advisers 20th October 2020

This free session took place online with 25 WM members and a chance to ask an Employment Lawyer questions on topics such as:

  • Redundancy Pay, Notice Pay, Holiday Pay
  • Unpaid Wages
  • When to check for Discrimination
  • Sick Pay rules
  • Flexible Working , the Furlough Scheme Introduction to ACAS,  Introduction to Employment Tribunal.

The feedback was very positive with delegates saying it  was very informative and helpful.... "That was excellent! Thanks for organising it and please let Paul know how enlightening that was - He's made the subject seem so much less daunting..."

Wiltshire Money - 1 day Universal Credit in Practice Course on the 5 February 2020. 

“Very experienced and engaging trainer. I will definitely use the information we covered and the resource pack”

The course, run by the Benefits Training Company, provided an update for those working with clients in receipt of UC. A total of 16 delegates, from a range of organisations, attended the training. 81% of delegates said they would certainly go on to use the information given to them and 100% of the delegates rated the course rated the Course 8/10 or above.