advice

In the last year we have:

  • Managed £1.8M of debt on behalf of 643 Service Users
  • Maintained the AQA Advice Standard
  • Had 242 requests for our SEND Mediation service
  • Supported 38 individuals into employment
  • Provided 38 young people with an Independent Visitor
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Money Advice

ACT has seen our charitable Money Advice Service as key to underpinning all of the services that we offer throughout the organisation, which is why we fund much of the service through our own unrestricted reserves

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ACT has seen our charitable Money Advice Service as key to underpinning all of the services that we offer throughout the organization, which is why we fund much of the service through our own unrestricted reserves. Whether it’s for someone in our Housing Services, a victim of domestic abuse or an individual getting support for substance misuse, we can offer Money Advice. Our support works on 3 levels:

  • Delivery of high level case work, directly supporting individuals and families with significant money advice/debt concerns
  • Raising awareness of money/debt issues and their impact and enabling people to take positive action
  • Building on the guidance given and offering mentoring support to help people embed financial learning in their own home.

In addition, we are funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner to support those who have been financially disadvantaged due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We also provide a money advice service to the tenants of Ipswich Borough Council.

Referrals for our Money Advice Service come directly from Ipswich Borough Council for their tenants. Other professionals can download a referral form or individuals can self-refer by completing the form or calling our office on 01473 622888.

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Employment Advice

This service provides assistance to individuals wanting to gain paid employment. We support individuals in the following areas:

This service provides assistance to individuals wanting to gain paid employment. We support individuals in the following areas:

  • Developing confidence and self esteem
  • Building CVs and job applications
  • The appropriate disclosure of offences
  • Liaising with and referring to learning and training providers.

Opportunity Suffolk is a programme managed by TCHC. ACT is one of a group of partner organisations who deliver this contract.

We have dedicated staff to help give people the support and tools they need to get on in life and move closer towards or into work. The programme supports people aged over 24 and living in Suffolk who have not worked for more than two years. Whatever barriers they face, we run tailored programmes putting the individual at the heart of this flexible programme.

This programme is funded as part of Building Better Opportunities by the European Social Fund and the Community Fund through the Big Lottery.

For more information, please contact us on 01473 622888 or [email protected]

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Appropriate Adult Scheme

The role of the Appropriate Adult was implemented under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). It was introduced to strengthen fairness and reliability of confessional evidence; particularly for those identified as vulnerable – juveniles (under the age of 18) and adults believed to be suffering from mental health issues or a learning disability.

The role of the Appropriate Adult was implemented under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). It was introduced to strengthen fairness and reliability of confessional evidence; particularly for those identified as vulnerable – juveniles (under the age of 18) and adults believed to be suffering from mental health issues or a learning disability.

The purpose of the Appropriate Adult is to:

  • Advise detainees of their rights and ensure those rights are being upheld
  • Observe the interview to ensure it is being conducted fairly – intervening if necessary
  • Facilitate good communication between all parties
  • Ensure welfare needs are being met and that detainees are safeguarded whilst in police custody.

We’ve held the contract to provide the AA service in Suffolk for 19 years and for 3 years in Norfolk.

The role of the AA is supported by our volunteer workforce who attend interviews at the Police Investigation Centres in Ipswich, Gorleston, Bury St Edmunds, Aylesham, Wymondham and King’s Lynn.  We also attend Benefit Fraud Investigation interviews throughout Norfolk and Suffolk by arrangement. In 2020-21, we attended 2,860 call outs, with 100% arriving within the hour in Suffolk and 99.9% in Norfolk.

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Mentoring

Offering one to one mentoring support, the service offers vulnerable individuals, particularly young people, the opportunity to have a mentor to support and guide them aiming to:

Offering one to one mentoring support, the service offers vulnerable individuals, particularly young people, the opportunity to have a mentor to support and guide them aiming to:

  • Reduce  offending and/or anti-social behaviour through involvement in positive activities
  • Raise awareness to the consequences of risk taking behaviours
  • Build the resilience of and provide support to vulnerable individuals (reducing the risk of exposure to abusive situations and improving life chances)
  • Reduce the gap between disadvantaged young people and their peers by funding sustainable activities
  • Support individuals to develop positive relationships.

We are funded by a series of small grants, often coming via Suffolk Community Foundation. It costs approximately £500 to provide a 20 week mentoring arrangement for a young person incorporating meaningful activities.

The mentoring support is delivered by trained volunteers and can range from a set period of visits for a young person, to an open ended arrangement for a family.

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Mediation

Mediation is an impartial, confidential and solution based service offered by ACT and delivered by fully trained staff and volunteers (accredited by Mediation UK) who can provide this service throughout the county.

Mediation is an impartial, confidential and solution based service offered by ACT and delivered by fully trained staff and volunteers (accredited by Mediation UK) who can provide this service throughout Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex.

The service is open to anyone and aims to improve relationships for individuals, families and communities experiencing conflict – for example, a neighbourhood dispute. We offer mediation in locations that meet the needs of the beneficiaries with the proviso that all parties feel safe and comfortable at the venue. Each party has one individual session with the mediator and then a joint session is held, if all parties agree. Sessions can be held virtually if that is preferred. When an agreement is reached, this is put in writing and signed by all parties. Mediation is a chargeable service costing £225 in total where there are two parties involved. Please contact us if conflict involves multiple parties for a tailor made service.

To make a referral, please complete the following referral form:

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SEND Advice and Guidance, Mediation and Disagreement Resolution Services

The Children and Families Act 2014 changed the way special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision is delivered. Children and young people with special educational needs and disability from birth to age 25 are subject to Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans from 1st April 2015 which replaced Statements of SEND and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA).

The Children and Families Act 2014 changed the way special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision is delivered. Children and young people with special educational needs and disability from birth to age 25 are subject to Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans from 1st April 2015 which replaced Statements of SEND and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA).

Suffolk County Council’s Inclusion Service commissions ACT to provide a free and impartial service to offer SEND Mediation or Disagreement Resolution and advice and guidance associated with this.

This service is completely free of charge and confidential and you can call the ACT Helpline on 01473 618675 to access this SEND Mediation or Disagreement Resolution advice and guidance or for more information.

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Independent Visiting Service

Independent Visiting is on offer to any young person in care and is designed to provide positive time out of the placement setting. It can be described as ‘someone you can talk to whilst having fun’.

Independent Visiting is on offer to any young person in care and is designed to provide positive time out of the placement setting. It can be described as ‘someone you can talk to whilst having fun’.

Our Independent Visitors primarily take time to listen to and understand the young people, their interests and what they like to do. Visits are usually monthly although this can be varied to meet the needs of the young person. Independent Visitors are trained volunteers who want to work with young people.

To make a referral to the service, please complete the following referral form

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Women's Wellbeing Service

ACT work in partnership with The St. Giles Wise Partnership to provide support to Women in custody and on probation in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. .

ACT provide this service using multi-disciplinary teams of trained Women’s Wellbeing Coaches (WWC’s) who are able to deliver support across eight pathways which reduces reoffending and develops healthier lifestyles.

These pathways are:

·        Families and significant others

·        Lifestyles and Associates

·        Emotional Wellbeing

·        Social Inclusion

·        Accommodation

·        Finance, Benefit and Debt

·        Dependency and Recovery

·        Employment Training and Education

This is a new service and referrals can only be made through HMPPS.

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