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Community Navigation Service: Helping Haringey to Help Itself





Over the course of the last year and a half, service delivery here at Citizens Advice Haringey has changed a great deal and whilst some of those changes have been enforced by COVID-19 restrictions others have been born out of our desire to improve the way we continue to support our local community. . Pre-pandemic our Crutch Haringey project was able to provide practical support to local people facing a crisis who didn’t require formal advice on any of their issues. As the project’s funding came to an end it was vital that we found a way to continue providing such crucial support to those who would need it. Crutch operated on a walk in basis for those who didn’t need to access our advice services and provided extremely important support to our advice work, enabling people who could be guided to take the steps to improve their circumstances without formal intervention to do so. As the project came to an end, the volunteers who had previously supported those accessing the Crutch Haringey service quickly established our Crisis Navigation Service. A dedicated phone line whereby local residents who required more practical support like food bank referrals could call or send a Whatsapp message and receive the support they needed. Hundreds of local residents have made contact with our Crisis Service during the pandemic and with the levels of need increasing further we have been working on how we could develop this service further to ensure that it is able to continue to provide support to Haringey as restrictions are lifted and we begin to reopen our face to face services across the community. Throughout the same period our free to call AdviceLine has answered over 20,000 calls One area which we have received positive feedback on from those accessing our Crisis Service has been how the service has had an impact on people’s ability to help themselves, providing signposting and guidance to the most suitable organisations and outlining the steps individuals can take to improve their circumstances.

With all of this in mind, we are preparing to re-launch our Crisis Service under the new name ‘Community Navigation Service’ or ‘CNS’, this new format will place the service in the community as a point of contact for people who need steering in the right direction when it comes to accessing the right type of support to help themselves out of a difficult situation. Once our CNS service is up and running it is important to note that our free to call AdviceLine will continue to be the first point of contact for anyone requiring the support of our team of fully trained advice workers. The CNS will be accessible via walk-in services at our offices, various community locations (TBC) or remotely via newly developed digital platforms. Follow all of our official channels for further updates on our Community Navigation Service as well as further information on when and how we will be resuming face to face advice work. Our FREE to call AdviceLine continues to be available via 0808 278 7966 (Monday to Friday, 10-4).