Tackling Inequalities

Tackling Inequalities


Clackmannanshire is a wonderful place to live but some communities and groups of people have struggled for generations with poverty and health inequalities. This has been due to many factors including a lack of employment options, limitations of travel, and adverse family experiences.  Local Community Planning Partners (CPP) are committed to helping those people who persistently struggle to make ends meet including women, and those with disabilities and mental health who have limits to their ability to work.

The Tackling Inequalities Group (TIG) is a sub group of the Community Wellbeing and Safety Partnership (CWSP) and is made up of a group of frontline managers in health, housing and welfare benefits, third sector organisations and community workers. This group aims to help cascade information out to relevant residents and other staff working across Clackmannanshire, to ensure that local people have access to the information and supports they need to improve their financial situation.

The main themes covered by the TIG are listed below and relevant links and information is provided. If you wish to receive up to date information from our Tackling Inequalities Bulletin which aims to be bi-monthly, please subscribe by emailing Lesley Jack at admin@ctsi.org.uk.

Universal Credit Full Service is now rolled out in Clackmannanshire for new applicants and for all those, except those on Employment Support Allowance (ESA). UC replaces:

  • Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Working Tax Credits (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Housing Benefit (HB)

Those on ESA will move onto full service in summer 2019.

There is support for those moving onto Universal Credits including Assisted Digital Support and Budgeting advice.

Clackmannanshire CAB now offer a Help to Claim Service to assist people with UC from the initial claim, to their first payment.  You can access this support in a variety of ways:

  • At the Clackmannanshire CAB offices at Glebe Hall, Alloa, FK10 1HS (between 10am – 12:30pm, and 1:30pm to 3:30pm Monday to Friday)
  • Over the phone with Clackmannanshire CAB – 01259 219 404
  • National Helpline – 0800 023 2581
  • National Webchat – www.cas.org.uk/helptoclaim
  • Via one of Clackmannanshire CAB’s drop in outreach sessions (detailed below)

In addition, CTSI support a project involving Digital Champion Volunteers who are available to anyone across Clacks to help with online/IT issues including updating your UC journal. These volunteers are timetabled here.

If you are worried that the benefit changes will reduce the money you have coming in then drop in to one of the Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) sessions in Alloa or in one of their outreach venues. CAB can support people with a wide range of options. For more details on budgeting sessions please find details here.

There is help provided by the Council and also through CAB to help with addressing fuel poverty. This can be claims for winter  fuel relief, switching, smart energy as well as improvements to your home to decrease fuel use. For more information, please see Clackmannanshire Council and CAB.

Reducing water use can also save people on fuel and more information can be sought from Home Energy Scotland. The local Outreach Worker for Clacks is Malcolm Eakin who can provide community groups and organisations information sessions and personal assessments.  He can be contacted at: Malcolm.eaakin@sc.homeenergyscotland.org.

There are a number of ways that local residents can be helped if they are hitting a time of crisis. Residents should first apply for the Welfare Fund which is administered by the Council. The application can be made online or though the help of CAB. Applications can be made here.

Crisis Grant

This can be paid within 48 hours to the resident, in that period CAB can arrange a 2 day food parcel from The Gate that can be provided. If the Crisis Grant is turned down then the further 5-day pack can be provided to ensure a week’s food it provided to those in need. Those applying for the Crisis Grants are encouraged to attend a budgeting session to help identify if there is more benefits that can be attained to help relieve financial pressures.

Community Care Grant

A Community Care Grant may help if you are about to leave care to live on your own in the community or face going into care because you don’t have the support you need to continue living at home.

A Community Care Grant may also be able to help if you are a family facing exceptional pressures and need an essential item like a cooker or washing machine but don’t have the money to buy it.

Application can be made online via website here, directly at Council offices, or through CAB here.

Food Poverty

Referrals can be made directly to The Gate although it is hoped this is a last resort for many people  – contact detail here. It is advised that applications are made through CAB so that additional support can be provided to the resident to find longer term solutions to their position.

There is a lot of support locally to help people with anxiety and stress in Clackmannanshire. Referrals to a number of courses can be made that run throughout the year. These can be made to the Integrated Mental Health team here. There are now three mental health nurses in GP surgeries who are there to support and refer people also. Contact your local GP surgery to make an appointment with the mental health nurse.

There is also support for those who are feeling suicidal. Suicide is everyone’s business and it is vital that people who have suicidal thoughts are given the support and help they need. There is a new card with local details of supports – national numbers and local help.

Wellbeing Scotland provides additional counselling support for those with adverse childhood/family experience and in schools in Clacks. This is a referral service. For support and advice, please contact Wellbeing Scotland here.

There is a wide range of supports to work provided including volunteering, Department of Work and Pension courses, Clacks Works, Coalfield Regeneration Trust, Forth Valley College and the new Fair Start Employability programme. For full details please refer to the directory here.

There is a highly effective addictions and recovery service offered in Clackmannanshire with NHS and third sector organisations working together to provide comprehensive support to those in need. Full detail of their services are provided here.

Signpost Recovery and Addictions Support Counselling (ASC), provide a range of support services in Clacks.

Recovery Community is very active in Clacks and has a range of activities operating and a café every Monday at The Gate. For more details on the Recovery Community, and other services locally, please contact them here.

At the heart of Clacks’ Local Outcome Improvement Plans (LOIPs) is a focus on supporting women who have been disadvantaged  for family or educational reasons. NHS Forth Valley, Alloa Family Centre and Early Years Education and  have been working together to roll out the highly successful programme, Thrive in Clacks. The first course was completed in June 2018 and it is hoped a second course will run soon. More details here.

Other early pre-work training available for women includes Steps into Work run by DWP and GOALS Training by Coalfield Regeneration Trust which are held in Alloa. Other training is provided at Forth Valley College.

Clacks Women’s Aid has support for wide range of women and can be contacted here.

Many local areas have new development trusts and community workers who can help to signpost people to services and supports. Here is a list of contacts in each area:

Clackmannan Development Trust – Lesley Shaw

Sauchie Resource Centre – Laura Brown

Sauchie Active8 – Sandra Gruar

Bowmar/Wimpey Park Group – Elaine Hill

Dollar Development Trust – Fiona McGregor

Alva Development Trust – Mary

Menstrie Action Group – Mhairi

Tullibody Development Trust – Janet McGowan

Hawkhill Community Centre – Bill Logan

CTSI is supporting the training of a group of Community Health Signposter Volunteers to be able to better signpost people to the services they need in their communities or locally. If you are interested in being a Community Health Signposter, please get in touch with Liz Rowlett here.