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Advising in Austerity: Creating Resilience in Advice Services

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Triodos Bank UK

Deanery Road

Bristol

BS1 5AS

United Kingdom

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Voluntary sector advice services are facing a crisis on a daily basis. The local voluntary sector advice office is, for many, the only lifeline in dealing with a myriad of everyday problems and crises – from losing a job, mounting debts, threats of eviction or the demands of caring for elderly relatives or sick children. Yet advice organisations are faced with a crisis in demand spurred by an increasingly complex and restrictive benefits system, the proliferation of precarious employment contracts and rising numbers of people subject to immigration uncertainties. Dealing with ever-more complex client problems is coupled with a resourcing crisis as local authorities, who provide ‘core funding’, make ever-deeper budget cuts. The critical role played by the advice sector has been explored through research carried out in the University of Bristol Law School and explored in 'Advising in Austerity: reflections on challenging times for advice agencies' (published by Policy Press).

There is an urgent need to radically rethink how services are delivered so that they remain accessible and available to all. In this roundtable discussion advice service managers, researchers, policy-makers and lawyers will explore solutions to the crisis in face-to-face advice funding. The discussion will be informed by stories of advice service users, collected throughout research by the University of Bristol and presented by actors. The event will be
accompanied by an exhibition, displayed in various venues throughout Bristol in the preceding weeks, which will demonstrate the social and economic benefits of providing free-to access advice services available to all.

Thinking Futures is the University's festival to share and celebrate research in the social sciences. With a wide variety of events for the general public, schools, policy-makers and third sector organisations, it provides an opportunity to see how the social sciences inform key debates and advances in policy and practice for governments, education, charities, health services, legal systems, and public services around the globe. It is part of the national ESRC's Festival of Social Sciences.

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Date and Time

Location

Triodos Bank UK

Deanery Road

Bristol

BS1 5AS

United Kingdom

View Map

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