We introduced Irene and Ann in our July newsletter. They have settled in incredibly well and already making a huge difference to the team. Small charities, such as ours, rely on staff who are motivated, keen to learn and focused on the best possible outcomes for the users of our service. I’m delighted that both Irene and Ann have brought these attributes to the role and both are overflowing with enthusiasm and driven to make a difference for those who come to our service for help.
We have been busy researching content for a number of new guides which we will bring out shortly. Cath has been focusing on welfare benefits, aiming to help answer some our most common queries such as ‘what benefits are out there’ as well looking at PIP specifically, and addressing those ‘if only I’d known’ scenarios.
We will also bring out a guide for those readers interested in moving into further education and interested in finding out about the levels of support available in colleges and universities
As well as preparing new content we have been delighted to welcome Lizzie to the team, a volunteer with Project Scotland, who has been busy reviewing all our existing guides and website content. She has been looking out for those annoying broken links and making sure date sensitive content such a welfare benefit uprate figures are up to date and accurate.
Interestingly, on the helpline we’ve been dealing with a high number of queries from abroad, with visitors planning their trip to Scotland and wanting to find out if their equivalent of a blue badge would be valid here in Scotland. Pleasingly, all local authorities that we spoke to confirmed that they would indeed accept a blue badge from overseas provided it was displayed clearly on the dashboard and the expiry date was clearly visible.
In the office we are looking forward to user testing our new CRM (customer relationship management) system. We have been working with Social Enterprise Direct to configure an IT system that will help us to manage our processes and information much more efficiently. Social Enterprise Direct bring their experience to the project as the trading arm of Advice Direct Scotland, who deliver the full Citizens Advice Bureau service online and over the phone.