Advice Services Transition Fund
A national Big Lottery funding programme has invested a total £65 million across the country - the Advice Service Transition Fund (ASTF). The funding was informed by a review of the not-for-profit advice sector commissioned by the Cabinet Office which found that the key challenges for the sector were:
- Management of crisis situations
- Lack of consistent standards or frameworks across advice providers
- Assumption that face to face is the most effective way of delivering advice.
- Too much reliance on funding from the public sector
The purpose of the fund is to help advice services to:
- Adapt to the new environment being brought about by welfare reforms and ongoing economic uncertainty, coupled with reduced supply owing to legal aid cuts.
- Achieve more through collaboration, early intervention and exploitation of remote channels.
- Deliver high-quality services that are sustainable in an environment of reduced funding.
The advice agencies involved are working with the New Forest Advice Network (NFAN) to ensure the funding is used as effectively as possible and that the projects link in with other advice provision in the county. NFAN is also working to support inter-agency referral processes through its Common Referral System.