Great information in one place with AdviceCentral
Date Added: 18/03/2015
A new telephone and web-based service has been launched in Central Bedfordshire offering free, high-quality information and answers to questions for local people.
Its aim is to make getting information easier for people by providing access to a range of organisations and advice services in one place. So, if one agency is booked up or unable to help, such as offering home visits, AdviceCentral can direct residents to another that can without the resident having to make the call themselves.
Sherone Phillips, Service Manager, says: “In just a few days of opening, we have had a wide range of enquiries; from problems with new furniture to what to do about parking fines right up to queries about being homeless and help with benefits. So far we have found the right answers and the right agencies to support all the callers.”
AdviceCentral offers access to information by website, online enquiry form and telephone help-line on a wide range of topics such as managing money, issues about housing, help with health and care. People just needing information or self help can get it from the agency’s easy-to-use website, freeing up frontline services and charities to give targeted advice.
Julie Ogley, Director of Social Care, Health & Housing at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “I’m delighted that AdviceCentral is now operating, as it will make it much easier for people to access advice from one place, without having to ring around or visit different agencies.
“We are fortunate to have a range of great advice services in Central Bedfordshire and having another service that can direct residents to the right kind of support is another step forward.”
AdviceCentral is being delivered by five charities: Ampthill and Biggleswade Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK Bedfordshire, Dunstable and District Citizens Advice Bureau, Leighton Linslade Citizens Advice Bureau and The Disability Resource Centre Bedfordshire.
The service operates from the Disability Resource Centre in Poynters Road, Dunstable, and is staffed by trained volunteers who help with:
• Identifying issues quickly and effectively
• Prioritising calls to ensure that urgent issues are dealt with without delay
• Providing immediate information to answer the caller’s issue
• Referring the caller promptly to the most appropriate agency where necessary
AdviceCentral launched early March, and anyone interested in further details or volunteering with the service should contact the service manager by emailing [email protected] or calling 0300 303 6666 or visiting the website http://advicecentral.org.uk/