GCVS and the Building Connections Glasgow (BCG) project have been working with our members and the wider third sector over the last few months to think about how best we can work together to tackle the issue of welfare reform and make positive steps to mitigating its impacts. There were a lot of great ideas and a whole suite of options arose from these discussions.
At our last BCG Steering Group a project work plan was signed off and we are now developing some very exciting pieces of work:
- Third Sector Action Exchange
Third sector organisations across the city have told us that they would like a central resource, somewhere that they can find out about key benefit changes, access and share tools and tips that can better support people affected and find information and evidence about the wider impacts of welfare reform that they can use to help shape and influence their responses.
- A Citizens Advisory Group
As a sector we know that the voices of people experiencing welfare reform and benefit changes are hugely important in driving and shaping both our practical responses and the way we engage in the policy and decision making process. BCG will establish a Citizen Advisory Group over the next few months to ensure we engage with citizens in the most meaningful and effective way.
- Action Research on Sanctions
Sanctions were the single biggest issue that come up through our scoping exercise – we know that sanctions put huge pressure on those affected, but on services and service staff too. We will work with people affected and staff from across Glasgow to think about ways we could prevent sanctions and improve outcomes for people who have to engage with the DWP.
- Local Issue | Local Solutions
We know that sometimes local issues arise and we want to work with our public sector partners to solve them. Local Issues | Local Solutions is a communication process that will allow the third sector to raise issues directly with public sector partners and work together to solve them.
We are really looking forward to working with people and services across the city to find new, positive and practical ways to mitigate the impacts of welfare reform.
If you would like to get involved or would like more information please get in touch with Johanna Speirs, Third Sector Welfare Reform Coordinator on 0141 332 2444 or email Johanna.firstname.lastname@example.org